Intentions of the Earl by Rose Gordon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A debt-ridden earl (3 points!) is bribed by a duke (10 points!) to compromise and ruin a young American woman. However, the young woman is not without resources of her own.
This was almost an DNF. It is self-published and really needs an editor's hand--the diction is often awkward, noticeably so, and there are a number of malapropisms (depart for impart, prodigy for protege, viscous for vicious, etc.). Also, there seems to be no sense of history except as wallpaper. This is 1812 and they are an American family in London. 18-freakin'-12, and no mention of international tensions or, oh, British interference with US shipping, or THE WAR THAT IS ABOUT TO BREAK OUT at all. Not to mention the American family is more like a modern family than a family of 1812. Culturally things would not have been SO much different between New York of 1812 and London that a girl would have to wonder why a man didn't powder his hair and reject the whole idea of having servants (it's not like the America of 1812 had washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Servants here have been a feature of middle class households until appliances took their place). There is also a nerdly character who is reading a magazine named, I think (I'm working from memory here) _Popular Plants_. As opposed to something even vaguely 18th/19th century sounding like "Proceedings of the Royal Horticultural Society." But maybe this is picking at nits. There certainly were plenty of those to pick. On the other hand, one touch that seemed like it might actually be historically accurate is that the girl wasn't as easy to seduce as they usually are in novels like this.
So...I stuck with this book because a friend liked it The romance itself, plot and characters, weren't that badly done but I kept getting distracted by the bad prose and bad history. The book shows promise but I don't think it's ready for prime time yet.
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