Titled gentlemen are supposed to be perfect. Whether it be good looks, charm, or eloquent speech, everyone expects an earl to be refined in every way. And if the earl isn’t, he risks being shamed by the Ton. No one knows this better than Landon Tait, the Earl of Farewell, who’s been on the receiving end of the Ton’s gossip since he first made his appearance in London.
After the last Season, he vowed to stay as far from London as possible. But when his brother lands into serious trouble, he has no choice but to come to his aid. He tells himself he’ll make it quick. Just one evening and his brother will be free from trouble. Then he can return to his country estate to enjoy his life of solitude.
Miss Opal Beaufort is attending a ball when she overhears the snickers about a certain gentleman who was born with a lisp. Several ladies sneak to a private room to listen to him, and something in Opal snaps. She can’t stand the idea of someone being made the laughingstock of the Ton. But as soon as she intervenes on his behalf, a scandal ensues, and she finds herself unwittingly betrothed to him.
Now, Landon isn’t only forced to stay in London to face the ridicule of the Ton, but he also must deal with a beautiful wife who might find him as imperfect as he fears.
Really unusual, for the genre. Surprising, in a very good way.
The reclusive earl
Seen reviews saying it was boring. I find most historic English romances boring. Surprisingly I thought this one wasn’t. The characters were sweet with a lot dialogue. I found it interesting and enjoyable.
Excellent plot idea, needs improvement
First off, the entire premise of the book is unique and I commend the author for originality. This is the first book I’ve read where one of the main characters has a speech impediment—especially the male character. It was touching to see the couple’s acceptance of one another turn into such a sweet and devoted love.
However...my issue is with how the impediment was displayed. First off, Landon has trouble pronouncing words with the “S” sound in them—yet throughout the book it seems he only has an issue with words *spelled* with the letter “S” while other words that have an “S” sound in them aren’t an issue? Also, his resulting shyness from his impediment goes a little too far into pathetic for me. I think there is a way that it could have been written that would have maintained some of his dignity as an adult male, but instead he resorted to extremely childish behaviors like hiding under beds (???) and running out of rooms. Then to make matters worse, the first bedroom scene was extremely cringe-worthy as, again, his shyness was overplayed into near ineptness. I like how his confidence grew as the story progressed, but surely he could have started out a little less pathetic in certain aspects.
As for Opal, she was written with a tragic backstory that was vaguely mentioned, but otherwise was annoyingly perfect. Every “fault” she struggled with was the result of how others treated her and not anything to do with herself on a personal level. She was essentially Landon’s “savior” and although he did rise to her aid by the end of the book, too much time was spent making him look pathetic and her look perfect. More balance would have been more believable.
Then the bedroom scenes...I will admit that I usually read “clean” romances or skip the sex scenes, but I did read through some of their first encounter and wow it was cringe-worthy. I completely understand having an awkward first experience, and I get the intention of demonstrating that they are both virgins with no experience, but Opal did even know what a penis was?! That was too much for me—it took away any believability.
The intriguing premise of the book was enough to make me finish reading it and I think there’s a really exceptional story idea buried in the overly simplistic writing style and unfortunate bedroom blunders.
Overall, the characters share such a genuinely endearing love for one another and it’s nice to have most of the trouble come from outside the relationship instead of trauma and turmoil from within, like so often portrayed. I want to give this 4+ stars but I can’t bring myself to do it. With some re-writing this could be a genius book!