The Unexpected Earl
Author: Philippa Jane Keyworth
Paperback: 324 pages (my version eBook)
Publisher: Madison Street Publishing
Published date: 2014
FTC: Reviewed for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
When I saw that HF Virtual Book Tours was doing a tour for Ms Keyworth's Regency novel The Unexpected Earl, I couldn't resist. I am such a sucker for this genre. She loves Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer novels. Sign me up.
This novel was such a light fun read. I can tell that Ms Keyworth did her research and there were some great insights into the Regency life. While it honestly didn't bring anything super new to the genre, it was an entertaining read (I seriously read it in just a couple of days) and I am looking forward to reading more of her novels.
Six years after being jilted without a word of explanation, Julia Rotherham finds Lucius Wolversley standing before her once again–unexpected, unannounced, unwelcome. With her heart still hurting and, more importantly, her pride, Julia must chaperone her younger sister, fend off fortune hunters, orchestrate a fake engagement, and halt an elopement–all whilst keeping the man who jilted her at arm’s length. But what Julia doesn't know is that this time, the Earl has no intention of disappearing, and this time, he has more than an explanation to offer…
Honestly, when I first starting reading the novel I couldn't stand the character of Julia Rotherham. She seemed pretty abrasive and rude. But Ms Keyworth did a wonderful job of slowly eroding her walls and developing her character. I love books like this where we privy to more than just the heroine's point of view and it was entertaining to read Lucius Wolversley's side of the story. Unlike many Regency's I've read, Ms Keyworth told a lot of the story from the men's perspectives. Ms Austen kind of gently inferred things but it was entertaining to follow these gentlemen out of the parlor and into the world they inhabited.
The story obviously revolves around Julia Rotherham and Lucius Wolversley. I liked that instead of there being a lot of mooning and moping, the love story isn't sappy. Julia and Lucius are both having to learn about trust and being truthful and honest. It's also a story of family, especially Julia's relationship with her sister. I am such a sucker for books with good sister stories.
What makes The Unexpected Earl stand out from other modern Regency's that I've read is that Ms Keyworth is a wonderful writer and throws a lot of wit into the writing reminiscent of Ms Austen's novels. Ms Keyworth lives in England so she's got the language done perfectly. If you've never read a Regency novel, I think this would be a great introduction to the genre. I am warning you that the book starts of a bit slow so get past that and you've got an amazingly well written, entertaining story, a surprising amount of action, and a novel that is much more than just a Regency love story.
I read my book as an eBook but I adore the cover. It's one that I wish I had the actual book. I want to check out her other book The Widow's Redeemer which sounds interesting and also has a beautiful cover: