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The Earl's Mistress (MacLachlan Family & Friends) Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2014

105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“In her latest exquisitely written and darkly inquisitive romance, RITA Award-winning Carlyle offers her signature and brilliant blend of superbly nuanced characters, bold sensuality, and deliciously dry wit in a romance to truly treasure.” (Booklist (starred review))

About the Author

A lifelong Anglophile, Liz Carlyle cut her teeth reading gothic novels under the bedcovers by flashlight. She is the author of over twenty historical romances, including several New York Times bestsellers. Liz travels incessantly, ever in search of the perfect setting for her next book. Along with her genuine romance-hero husband and four very fine felines, she makes her home in North Carolina.


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Product Details

  • Series: MacLachlan Family & Friends (Book 10)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062100300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062100306
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 75 people found the following review helpful By lark on August 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This isn't the stuff of an even halfway decent historical romance for me. The guy (Hepplewood) is a sadist, gets his kicks using a riding crop, spanking her until his hand hurts, etc., all because he had no control in his youth and has low self-esteem. Well, boo-hoo. The heroine, Isabella, is turned on by his abuse. Why? Because there was no discipline in her childhood. What? Where I come from, that usually results in a spoiled brat, not a goofus getting all hot and bothered when she's whipped. Then there's Everett, the cousin, a pedophile who had raped a 12-year-old!!! I read this genre for dreams, not nightmares.

What was Ms. Carlyle thinking? She said it would be dark.....okay, I can handle dark. I knew there'd be sex aplenty.....okay, let the good times roll. But THIS??? I've enjoyed other novels by Ms. Carlyle, I like her writing, I like her style. But this one? How am I supposed to like and identify with these people? We're never given solid, plausible reasons for their behavior. We're seldom made privy to their thoughts in this regard, only on a superficial level. They showed character in other facets of their lives, but turn the page and here come the riding crop and dildos, in private. And that private part took up most of the novel. So. Little insight into the characters. Instead, we're just given the aberrant behaviors. Furthermore, there were only short snippets of what could reasonably be recognized as "story."

The goal of this novel seems to be its shock value in lieu of competent writing.

In retrospect, I don't think Ms. Carlyle intended the story for readers like me. I'm just not hip enough. My mistake. A $7 mistake.

Edited to add: I've just returned this book like bad fish. I felt like I'd been blindsided. It should be advertised as erotica, not historical. The only things "historical" in this were crinolines and carriages.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By MaryB on August 26, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Carlyle, whose previous books I have really enjoyed, gave it the old college try to make "heroic" the creepiest hero I have read in a romance novel in a long time. She failed. It wasn't necessarily the squick-factor of some of his sexual play, but the fact that he kept hitting the woman he loved. A tragic event in his past wasn't nearly enough explanation to justify using a riding crop on the heroine in the present - at least for me. The fact that the heroine was so turned on by this guy's control and submission issues and his riding crop made her about as equally unappealing. Plus, the gratuitous addition of the pedophile cousin pretty much sealed the deal as a one-star read for me from an author who has previously been an auto buy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a HUGE disappoint. This book didn't know if it was erotica or historical romance. I have read all of Carlyle's books; she is an automatic purchase for me, but this book was not what I expected. Yes, the main story was OK and well-writen, but it had these highly erotic S &M love scenes that seemed out of place and reminiscent of Bertrice Small's racier romances. I almost quit the book because the love scenes made the Hero seem CREEPY. They included spanking, crop use, dildos, domination, and hints at anal sex. Which wouldn't have been nearly as off-putting if I had ordered this in the erotic lit section. I have nothing against erotic lit, but I don't want or expect it in a historical romance. It was weird. As for the actual plot, it was OK and sometimes a bit disjointed, I actually only finished the book by pretending the loves scenes weren't in there because it was just too weird for me to read about the Hero cropping the Heroine and blabbing about safe words and punishment and then in the next chapter read about some sweet scene with his daughter. Just didn't work for me. The Hero also was very possessive of the heroine. Again, WEIRD! Not to mention the unappetizing pedophile side story. I hope this is not a new trend for Carlyle because it felt like a bait and switch. I ordered a historical romance but got this S & M book instead.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Angie H. on September 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've never read Shades of Gray, but I do admit I have quickly scanned a few pages once or twice. That type of book is not for me. I am not into kinky play or spankings, butt plugs or filthy language. I want a story with love, obsession, possession, romance and passion. That being said, this story had about 2 scenes that slightly pushed the envelope. No where near some of these reviews and certainly NOT like shades of gray.

First, I have never read from this author and I purchased this book by complete accident! I held off in reading it for a few days because of the negative reviews (pedophile rumors). But, being that I don't like to waste money, I decided to take a chance and read this book...bad reviews and all.

I am so glad I did!!! I have to say I LOVED IT!! Yes, I did! I loved it!

The story is about a young lady "Isabella" that is broke, looking for a stable job to take care of sisters (her family is dead and she has no money). She applied to a governess position, held by a very mean man (so HE believes) "Anthony". Anthony meets Isabella and falls in lust with her. He denies her this job, instead flirts and taunts her. She is very strong and not afraid to put him in his place. Of course, a man like him thinks he has found his match, and that makes him want her more. But, it also scares him. So, he chases her away.

She goes on her way, no job, no money, and no hope. He realizes he may have made a mistake and goes out to find her. During this time, her very evil cousin is chasing her, he wants her for a specific reason (by the way, we don't know the REAL reason until the end). His mother is also evil. Now, this is where the pedophile rumors came in.
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