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When an Earl Meets a Girl (Chase Family Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"Captivating historical romance. Fans of Julia Quinn and Tessa Dare will love Lauren Royal!"
--Glynnis Campbell, USA Today Bestselling Author
"A wonderful read! With a deft pen, Lauren Royal captures all the pageantry, excitement, and color that was Restoration England."
--Kathe Robin, Romantic Times
"This passionate story will keep you up long after bedtime, laughing one minute and crying the next....[Amethyst will be] an instant favorite of every historical reader."
--Emerald, Love Romances.com
"Exciting characters, snappy dialogue, and a wonderful love story. Amethyst will capture your heart."
--Robin Peek, Under the Covers
From the Author
It's unusual for an author to center all her novels around a single family, and it wasn't something I planned to do when I started writing.
The Chase family came to me all at once. I knew I wanted to set my first books in the late 17th century, and I wanted to write about people affected by their times. An English family with Royalist sympathies would have lived through a lot in those years--the English Civil War, the Protectorate, exile on the Continent, the Restoration--and those experiences would have forever shaped their personalities. So the Chases came to me: Jason, the oldest, who had responsibility thrust on him too soon by the untimely deaths of their parents; Colin, a middle child filled with resentment for his parents' choices and what those had ultimately cost him and his siblings; Kendra, the only girl, raised by imperfect but well-meaning older brothers; and her twin Ford, the baby of the family, the happy-go-lucky one who was too young to feel the burden of their circumstances. Ford later marries Violet Ashcroft, bringing her eccentric relations into the Chase family circle.
After this 7-book series, I decided to write books set in the Regency period. By then the Chases felt as real to me as my own family, so it was natural to write about their descendants. Though over a hundred years have passed, evidence of the original Chases still remains, hidden in old portraits, hereditary traits, and family legend (the truth of which astute readers will know better than the Regency Chases do!). I had a lot of fun tying these characters together across the centuries.
My daughter and I are now writing Chase books set in the Renaissance era, so the tradition continues. Will I ever write about a different family? I can't say for sure, but I'm not ready to walk away from the Chases yet!
I hope you'll love the Chases as much as I do. :-) Happy reading!
- File Size : 2230 KB
- Publication Date : January 13, 2014
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Novelty Books (January 13, 2014)
- ASIN : B006QP63LI
- Print Length : 480 pages
- Language: : English
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Page Numbers Source ISBN : 1634691504
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #13,343 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Colin, our leading man, is famous for his practical jokes. The first joke leads his siblings through his house following a trail of animal blood that leads to the blood-covered "dead" body of Colin's man-servant. While his sister screams in terror, and his brothers shield her from the grisly scene, Colin comes out laughing and his man-servant asks for assistance getting up, saying his back is killing him. BA DUM TSSSH!
Once Colin's siblings recovered from their shock, they laughed hysterically, congratulating him on this being one of his best, because you know that faking someone's gory, horrific death is always good for a laugh. Never mind the bloody mess all through the house that now has to be cleaned up by the "dead" man-servant who has to participate in these ridiculous pranks.
Later, he pours loads of sugar and salt in a jar of pickled snails, for Amy, the leading lady to eat. It's kind of a test to see if Amy has a sense of humor. Of course Amy passes the test because no one is funnier than Colin.
But the coup de grace of Colin's jokes is when he asks a woman to pretend she had a miscarriage to play a joke on his former fiance, who has no sense of humor and thinks his pranks are childish. Apparently, I have no sense of humor either, because the death of one's baby doesn't even make me giggle. But as always, everyone is more than willing to participate in such a hilarious gag.
As if Colin isn't bad enough, the epilogue shows us he's training his 6 year old daughter. She lures him through a door with a bucket of water overhead, by telling him her mother and his wife, Amy has badly burned herself. Once again that humor from the 1600's has me throwing back my head and laughing. Nothing says funny like pain and suffering.
The romance part of the story may be okay. I don't know. It took me so long to recover from each ridiculous prank, I'm not sure of what I read.
If you think murder scenes and dead babies are funny, by all means, this is the book for you. And from the amount of people who rated this book and liked it, I can see I'm in the minority. But for me and this author, I think I'll pass.
Ms. Royal, since you're such a connoisseur of comedy, I have a movie recommendation for you. The movie "SAW" should have you peeing your pants with fits of laughter.
- a high-born lady who tells a merchant's daughter, "Please just call me Kendra."
- a character in 1630 being named Kendra - really? And an Englishman in that time named Colin? Come on.
- high-born characters saying things like "Why would you care about marrying a title? Marry for love!"
There are many more. These anachronisms completely ruined the book for me. When I want to read a contemporary romance, I read one.
I'll start with what I didn't like about this book. It definitely had both good and bad qualities, and I'd rather get the bad out of the way first so I can end on a good note. First, I noticed several spelling/grammatical errors as I was reading this. For example, "awkward" was spelled "akward" at one spot, and the word "dais" was repeatedly spelled "dias." The fact that this particular mistake occurred multiple times actually makes me wonder if this wasn't just a typo that went unobserved by the editor, but, rather, that the author simply doesn't know how to spell the word correctly... which would be pretty embarrassing for her, if that's the case. This is a book I got for free on Amazon, which would ordinarily make me wonder if the author were self-publishing, but she seems to be fairly established, which means there really is no excuse for mistakes like this.
On a similar note, the characters' speech too frequently jumped from attempts at historically accurate phrasing and modern jargon. The result was that the attempts at accuracy came across as forced and kind of cliche, and then the anachronistic speech - such as comparing a character's speed to that of a rocket - stood out even more than it ordinarily would. I really think that Ms. Royal should look into finding a better editor, as these errors could easily be ironed out by someone who's more thorough.
Also, while I generally liked the characters, I was at times irked by their incredible stupidity. The heroine, Amethyst "Amy" Goldsmith (by the way, could there be a cheesier name for a female jeweler? I think not) is a virgin at the beginning of the book and Royal decided to emphasize this by making her ridiculously naive. It also takes her way, way too long to reach fairly obvious conclusions, like realizing that Colin does, in fact, love her, and that sex does sometimes lead to pregnancy. Colin, too, is a bit slow at times, though not quite as bad as Amy is, and between the two of them, I found myself rolling my eyes pretty frequently. Some aspects of his personality, such as his love for pranks, also feel forced, rather than adding depth to his character.
All that aside, I did actually like this book. Amy and Colin are well-suited for each other and I enjoyed reading about how their relationship grows. I loved that they were surrounded by interesting supporting characters, though I would've liked to see more of some of them, especially Kendra.
I also greatly appreciated that, although this is a romance novel, there is more to the plot than romance. Amy and Colin's story goes beyond just seeing them get together; we actually get a pretty well fleshed out view of their life together. This is a refreshing shift from the "just get them together" approach that many romance novelists choose to follow. Additionally, Royal put a good bit of effort into showcasing the time period of this story. I've noticed that many historical romance authors throw their characters into a setting and then basically ignore what might be going on politically, focusing entirely on the romance between the characters. Royal actually integrates history into her story and I thought that this was fairly well done.
Overall, while I don't think that I like this book enough to re-read it, I did enjoy it and I do think that I'll be continuing the series, if only because I downloaded the rest of it for free as well. I'm pretty happy with how this story unfolded. It definitely had its flaws, but as far as romances go, I'd say this is a pretty good one!
Review cross-posted on Amazon, Booklikes, and Tumblr.
Top reviews from other countries
Lord Colin Chase is an extremely handsome, privileged, tall, elegant member of Charles II's Court. He is betrothed to a cold-hearted heiress, who is helping him rebuild his beloved Greystone Manor with her money. This suits Colin, he is not interested in a love match, until a chance encounter in a jewellery shop introduces him to the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, Amethyst Goldsmith. He cannot take his eyes off her, buts she's not for him, an Earl and a shopkeeper, he doesn't have time for love, he has his life all mapped out, but then the Great Fire of London happens and his life is turned upside down. Amethyst is not only beautiful, but extremely talented, kind, quick minded, clever, but trapped by her father's wishes and the promise of keeping the jewellery business going, no matter what.
This is a most enchanting, passionate and humorous tale. The characters are strong, very likeable and totally believable, so too are Colin's sister Kendra and his brothers Jason and Ford.
A secondary story runs alongside this main story, so you never quite know what is going to happen next.
Lauren Royal's writing is magical. She cleverly conjours up the atmosphere of London, King Charles II's scanadalous Court, fashion, court life and behaviour of England in 1666, and she leaves you wanting more.
I shall be quickly moving on tot he next book in this delightful series, Emerald.
Historical inaccuracies, Americanisms and morals imposed on an earlier period in time in a different country (although reading some of the other reviews, sex does happen in this book. I can’t comment as I didn’t get that far) all goes to show a lack of research and understanding from the author. Even the names aren’t accurate for the period never mind the behaviour of the supposed aristocracy ( openly discussing money?!) or the likelihood of Amy being allowed to claim the pieces of jewellery she made (either her father or betrothed would have been the maker) are a few things that made this a difficult read.
At times, I did feel the writing was a little modern given the era of the book, and some of the words often took me out of the story. This was also the same for the mixture of POVs. I believe this book to be written in "omni" POV, which I've never particularly enjoyed. The unexpected switch in POV always confuses me. I hope the rest of the series remains fluent in one pretence.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and I thought the world-building and detail were fabulous.
It's love at first sight for Amethyst when she sees the handsome Colin Chase in a procession celebrating the restoration of King Charles II -Just two problems stand in their way - she is a child and a jeweller's daughter and whilst he is an aristocrat gentleman.
The story picks up a few years later when Colin visits the jewellers where Amethyst works and although he can't admit it to himself, starts to fall in love. Events gather pace as the Fire of London sweeps through London and throw Amy and Colin together...
Amethyst was refreshing on a number of levels. It was good to read a historical romance set in the Restoration, and the story never let up. Even when (spoiler alert) Amy and Colin are married , the twists don't stop coming and I thoroughly enjoyed the story right to the last page.
I read some of the 1 star reviews (on Amazon.com) and frankly, I can only assume they were written by people who don't like or understand the HR genre. I have no hesitation in recommending this book.