- File Size: 3223 KB
- Print Length: 304 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 197909845X
- Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group (November 12, 2017)
- Publication Date: November 12, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B077F16GTC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,618 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$11.25|
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The Unseducible Earl (The Nightingales Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Victoria Thorne is a Nightingale nurse recently returned from the Crimea and hired by the Earl of Cheriton to nurse his brother, also a Crimea vet, back to health. As Victoria cares for Jamie, she is also able to deal with her own issues that linger from living and working in a war zone. At Cheriton Court, she expected to work hard, to help patients with her skills, and to face some opposition. She never expected the intense attraction she feels for the earl--the betrothed earl.
Robben Merrick is betrothed to a woman who is perfect for him. On paper. He doesn't love her, but he expects affection will come. It is time for him to marry and produce an heir. He's grateful his fiancee is willing to postpone their announcement while his brother is still battling for his life, even though he's out of battlefield danger and safe at home at Cheriton Court. His growing feelings for his brother's nurse are not part of his plans. And he cannot act on them, even if it feels like he is sentencing himself to a loveless marriage and a broken heart.
Humphreys is a wonderful writer. I felt every bit of Victoria and Robb's attraction and brokenness.
There are a couple of sub-plots that added to the depth of the story and made the ending even more satisfactory.
I love this and highly recommend it!
In this review, I’d like to comment on what I like about the book, as well as offer some thoughtful criticism of what didn’t quite work. For each criticism I offer, keep in mind that it did not affect my ultimate enjoyment of the book and will not keep me from reading this author again. I feel it only fair to inform other readers of what I found both enjoyable and not so enjoyable. The good outweighed the bad.
I will open by saying that I’m disappointed there's no mention of book 2 within this book or on the author’s website. I'd love to read an excerpt, know a tentative release date, and be able to pre-order. Even if book 2 isn't to be released for another 2 years, I’d like to set in motion the pre-order and get a taste of what's to come.
Exquisite historical accuracy. The author clearly did a great deal of research. I felt immersed in the time period, and that is something I highly value in historical romances (and is becoming a rarity among new publications).
The plot was captivating and carefully crafted with unique subplots and twists.
The characters were refreshingly realistic.
The writing style was engaging.
The heroine was revolutionary and independent, a stronger character than I traditionally see in historical romance. This compliment is mixed with criticism, however, as her revolutionary ways did become frustrating towards the last half of the book. She was a progressive woman ahead of her time and fought against the social constraints—an admirable quality making her a strong heroine. That said, she pushed too hard against social rules. It was as if she were motivated to do whatever would anger society most. I would have valued a bit more practicality from her. For instance, if she wanted to do the right thing but was constrained by society’s rules. I think if this had been a true story, the countess would have dismissed her, especially after the ways she flaunted the rules and disregarded the countess' wishes. If living under the countess' roof, she should show some restraint and respect, even if it means going against her instincts, which would then supply more internal conflict for the heroine to overcome. Just doing whatever she wanted, outcome be darned, wasn't so much revolutionary as frustrating.
At times, the sentences offered too much explanation, which in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it did detract from the story when there was too much clarification. For instance, instead of saying he clucked his horse into motion, it makes a point in saying that he made a clicking sound using his mouth. There were other oddly worded sentences here and there, such as a fresh surge of anger surged. The writing style, overall, was enjoyable, but there were a few oddities that could have been cleaner.
I would have welcomed more of the hero's perspective. His sections were few and far between, and he had quite a few internal conflicts to resolve that the reader wasn’t much a part of given his limited POV (more on this in a moment).
The final climactic scenes felt rushed, more tell than show and not a lot in the way of the characters' feelings or thoughts, jumping from scene to scene instead. It would have been great to lengthen the final climactic moments. If it was a matter of novel length (which I doubt given the shortness of the novel), I would recommend removing the excessive details of the heroine's treatment of patients in order to add a stronger focus of the romantic climax. Something I would have really valued is being part of the hero's resolution of inner conflict. He had a plethora of internal conflict to unpack, and one reason the climax felt rushed is the reader isn't part of his internal resolutions. I would have loved more detail on how he overcame the issues.
The plot was too packed with episodic nursing crises, where I felt at times like I was reading a nursing journal rather than a romance. As if the nursing of the brother and the romantic conflict weren’t enough, every few chapters added a new illness for the heroine to resolve, making it feel sitcom episodic, a bit like a nursing chronicle, which detracted from the romance of the characters. A great deal of detail was put into these episodes, detail of the heroine lancing wounds, cleaning wounds, draining wounds, etc, all of which could have been gladly sacrificed for a stronger focus on the romance and the plot. That said, the incidences did in some small way move the story along by further developing the characters, bringing them together, or separating them, but I wish there had been a smoother way to do this to avoid quite so many separate episodes that weren't focused on the romance, such as perhaps working with a single patient instead of so many and decreasing the specific medical details to focus on the character emotions. The reoccurring visits of one patient would have been enough to raise the ire of the countess and hurt reputation.
I was VERY disappointed by the first love scene because it dishonored the hero. While I realize the reader wants them to share that moment, it made the hero seem like a dishonorable cad. He was still an engaged man who knew he couldn’t marry the heroine, so he chose to debauch the heroine and cheat on his betrothed. I would have valued him more for stopping before ruining her. An honorable man wouldn't have ruined her. If he thought there were hope of them being together, I could understand his decision to go through with the act, but he thought he'd marry someone else in a few months. As much as I would have wanted to celebrate the union of the hero and heroine, I couldn't celebrate this because it completely altered my view of him. What made it even worse was this wasn’t the first time he had dishonored a woman, so he knew the consequences and didn’t care. He was repeating the same past mistake by taking a girl’s virtue, (potentially) begetting her with child, and then leaving her (last time for a European tour and this time to marry someone else).
Their second physical encounter is what should have happened the first time. In the second encounter, he's not willing to risk the consequences but still wants to give her pleasure. Oddly, the second encounter made me think less of the heroine. She'd rather be his mistress than his wife. She condemns him for not wanting to make her his mistress, as if he’s the dishonorable one for wanting to do the honorable thing. Not a crowning moment for her character.
The last quarter of the book bordered on preaching feminism. While this fits the heroine and the theme, I felt propagandized. I want a romance, not a political diatribe.