Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Beverly Adam - The Spinster and the Earl

She was known as The Spinster of Brightwood Manor, and that suited Lady Beatrice O’Brien just fine.
She was happy being a spinster; happy running her father’s estates while amassing a fortune of her own; happy tending to the needs of her community; and most of all, she was happy not having a man around to tell her what to do.
But when Beatrice accidentally shoots her new neighbor, the Earl of Drennan, her life turns upside-down. Suddenly, this very arrogant gentleman, who also happens to be charming and attractive, makes himself at home at Brightwood Manor, and proceeds to court her!
Beatrice knows one thing for certain. Marriage will complicate her life. But falling in love? That’s an entirely different matter.

Comment: I got to be aware of this book some months ago, I can't precise exactly when and I don't really remember why I decided it would be a good idea to read it. The fact it had the premise the main couple would go through a enemies to lovers kind of trope probably had something to do with it but after all this time I no longer know. Anyway, it was in the pile and this month I added it to my reading list.

This is the story of feisty Lady Beatrice, she's an only child and the current lady of Brightwood Manor, she's used to deal with everything her own way and she is quite determined and confident in her abilities. Lady Beatrice is considered a spinster but she doesn't mind because she is used to do things her own way.
One day, she accidentally shoots a man and she finds out he is her new sort of neighbor and because of his injuries and not cared for house, he stays at her father's house instead, to recover. The two of them come closer together and seem to be attracted to one another but if only their attraction weren't disguised by Lady Beatrice's antagonism and her new neighbor's arrogance and secret plans...

Oh what to say about this novel... I still can't really find a logical manner on how to best describe my impressions about it. It just seemed too boring and unappealing to me.
This is the first book I've tried by the author and I can't really say it was a pleasure nor do I feel inclined to try something else by her. Sometimes things just don't work out for us.
I found the writing too difficult. I understand the intent of the Irish way of speaking, it did add veracity to some scenes and to the characters but being english my second language I struggled. Of course this is not the author's fault but as a rule it does not allow for many people to simply enjoy the story if so often one has to decipher or go through parts that aren't fluid or easy to grasp.

The narrative also seemed boring to me. The elements that would have made this a vibrant read, the magical coins, the feisty heroine, the cat and mouse sort of game the main couple would play until admitting they were in love, all this felt flat to me because it was done in a way I only saw as almost silly. The magical coin would have been interesting if it really played a part but as it is, I feel it was just an appropriation of Irish folklore and not really developed. The relationship that would have amazing felt like a childish game, considering the protagonist's personalities.
I confess I found the POVs from lady Beatrice's father to be rather silly as well. I think overall this story had interesting base elements but the tone of the narrative and some details were a bit too silly and not well explored in the serious way I'd expect from the narrator's "voice".

I didn't like lady Beatrice. I do admire her sense of enterprise, her need to be as independent as she can and her opinions on it but her behavior and her way of treating others seemed childish and not amusing at all. I also don't think someone in her position would ever act like that. Is this meant to be a comedy? Then, some things make more sense but I just didn't get any fun out of reading it.
The hero whose name I can't say from memory was bland. He had secret agendas, interests, but of course the heroine was just too perfect for me and everything else seemed like a game for them both. I wouldn't say their romance was "romantic" nor do I feel their HEA was as destined as we often feel when we finish a good romance.

The inklings about future stories just didn't do anything for me and I found everyone to be very boring and without any little reference that would make me curious. Another thing: many other readers mentioned in their reviews how everyone treated the hero by "your grace", something apparently only dukes would receive? but in this case, an earl was acknowledged this way. Is this an Irish thing? I can't tell but it seemed annoying to me. Also too annoying were plot inconsistencies...
Anyway, certainly the author was dedicated to this and that only proves some effort but I can't feel glad I read it not do I want to try it again with another book in the series.
Grade: 3/10

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