If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, it’s become evident that I have a growing love for the romance genre. There’s just something about the glamour of historical romances: fancy dresses, grand balls, elaborate house parties….I literally cannot get enough. I follow a bunch of romance novel related blogs/publishers on Twitter and saw there was going to be an “earl” themed eBook sale. This might have been the worst idea for my bank account, but best idea for me ever! One of the interesting books I got was I Kissed An Earl by Julie Anne Long.
Violet Redmond has quite a reputation. Known for her reckless behavior and stunning beauty, Violet does not court suitors in a manner that befits a woman of her status. However, she is independent and knows what she wants, so only the bravest suitors attempt to woo her. Violet is not only looking for an exciting man, but also a clue to her brother’s whereabouts, as he has been missing for some time. There is one man, however, that fits this bill. The Earl of Ardmay, born a bastard, is an Englishman who knows no boundaries. Currently at sea chasing a pirate and vowing vengeance, the Earl first notices Violet when her unwavering belief in her brother’s innocence angers him. It is not for long, however, as this anger turns to interest. The Earl is smitten with Violet, and she is taken by him despite his raucous past. What will this clash of two strong personalities bring? What will become of Violet’s brother?
As I’ve said many times before, I’m always a fan of a strong heroine. Violet definitely fits the bill in this story. She’s strong-willed, brave, and most importantly, on a journey to find herself. Consumed by her anger over her brother’s disappearance and unjust accusations, Violet is lost in her emotions as they take over. She needs stability, and that stability ironically comes from one of the most raucous characters in the novel: the Earl of Ardmay. Although he comes from a battered childhood, it has shaped him into a man who has an inner strength that allows him to overcome any hardship and take on the world without blinking. This is just what Violet needs, for as much as both she and the Earl put on a strong exterior, both have weaknesses that this exterior hides. Their relationship, while the main pull of the story, is not the only appealing thing about this work. The dynamic between the Earl and his shipmates, as well as the relationship between Violet’s brother Lyon and Olivia, the woman he loves, also added to the intrigue of the novel. (Sword fights, pirates, and the fight for love aren’t bad plot devices either!)
While there were many positives to this novel, there were a few small things that detracted from my enjoyment of this work. There were some typos, spelling errors, and even a few missed words here and there. This made it slightly jarring to read at times, and broke up the fluidity of the text. I understand that not everything can be proofread 100% perfectly every time, but this definitely made me pause at times and lose my train of thought. Despite this detraction, I definitely enjoyed the interplay between Violet and the Earl. Adding this to the exciting subplot of Violet’s brother’s disappearance made this novel a fun thrilling ride. For those of you who love a good Earl (and who doesn’t!) this is a fun pick.
4 out of 5 Stars
This is my twenty-first completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge
I Kissed an Earl by Julie Anne Long
Harper Collins (2010)
eBook: 384 pages