October 21, 2015
You know, when someone asks me what I'm reading I can never ever tell them the title of the book. I usually can never remember most romance titles. I find most romance novel titles
Forever Your Earl is a pretty decent reentry back into historical novels by Eva Leigh, aka Zoe Archer. Ms. Archer left us to journey into the paranormal romance world and now has returned to us under a different name. That makes me happy. I loved her very first book, Lady X's Cowboy, and was sad to see her turn her pen to another genre. But things have changed in the publishing world. Authors are spreading their wings and that can only be good for us - I think.
In Forever Your Earl, we have a mature woman, Eleanor Hawke, who is the owner and editor of a scandal rag called The Hawk's Eye. She's proud of her work, and as I was reading some of Eleanor's narrative, I suspect that some of Eva/Zoe's voice about writing was coming through. There were many times when Eleanor found herself defending the kind of writing she did, especially to those people who told her she was too good of an author to write what she did. When the narrative switched to Eleanor's writing passion, I think we are allowed to view the bittersweet side of female authors who write romance.
Of the two main characters in this book, Eleanor is my favorite. She's a strong woman, she's independent, and she doesn't "need no stinkin' man." She's also been around, she's seen her share of Timothy Toads; she's no "oooh will it fit?" When she encounters our hero, Daniel, she stands toe to toe with him. Eleanor does not back down. Their encounters have plenty of banter, fun and dialogue. They like being with each other, even when they start to fall in love.
Daniel, on the other hand, is more along the lines of a typical bad rake with a good heart. In other words, he's a nice guy who knows his way around the bedroom. He's also part of the aristocracy and isn't used to people telling him no. Together, Eleanor and Daniel create sparks. They are from two different worlds, they both know that any lasting relationship will not work. Eventually they will have to part. They both are very much aware of how temporary their togetherness will be, so I was eager to see how Ms. Leigh would bring about a HEA.
Was this a perfect book? No. I found the secondary plot of finding Daniel's missing friend Jonathan irritating. The only reason for it being there was so that Eleanor and Daniel could be together. I would have been happier if there had been another means to an end. The secondary plot line was a tad bit clumsy for me.
Overall, this was a satisfying reading with two characters who have a great deal of understanding for how the world turns. Eleanor and Daniel make a great couple, although they did seem as if they were in the Victorian era and not the Regency. Because this is the beginning of a new series by Eva Leigh, I suggest you take a look - I think you'll like it.
Time/Place: Regency England