07 September 2015

Release Day & Review: The Earl's New Bride by Frances Fowlkes

Do you love a spin on Beauty and the Beast?  Then don't miss The Earl's New Bride by Frances Fowlkes and get ready to fall in love.

The Earl's New Bride
by Frances Fowlkes.
Audience/Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
Publication: September 7th 2015 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Scandalous).
England, 1819

The Earl of Amhurst has returned to his estate in search of a wife and, more importantly, an heir. Simon Devere isn't interested in some comely, simpering creature. A beautiful woman only brings heartbreak and ruin, and Simon's disfigured visage is proof enough of that. No, he wants a wife who is unattractive and undesirable—and the homelier, the better.

But nothing about Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is homely. She is lovely and sweet...and struggles to mix with polite society when she would so much rather have plants for company. And yet Simon is her only hope for keeping Plumburn Castle in her family's possession. Even if it means marrying a man she doesn't love.

It's an impossible and unlikely match...unless this awkward beauty can bring hope back into a solitary beast's life.

Reviewed by Kelly.

I love the dresses and the society of the Ton from this era. The protocols and no air conditioning make me happy to live in this day though. I also don’t care how women were not to inherit the home when the man dies. It is so sad.

Simon; aka the black earl, the earl of Amhurst, a murderer (by gossip), and a scarred man, comes to the home of Henrietta and her sisters and mother to find a wife as it is his right to take over the home. He wishes to find a wife that is "comely" so his heart does not break again. His last love betrayed him and killed herself and after some time his good name was restored but the gossip mill still questions and circulates more rumors. He is tired of it and wants to find someone to give him children and settle down and beat his brother to the home. He was maimed in the face when his past love betrayed him and he keeps a patch over his eye. He has frequent headaches. He is also a gentleman and has a kind heart. He is also a man and his carnal thoughts are written for the reader to view.

Simon meets Henrietta, a girl whose father has died, a girl who loves her home and wishes to marry him because she loves her home and wants to stay there, a girl who loved her father and has memories of him there, a girl who is beautiful, a girl who loves the study of the earth sciences and knows how to use herbs for health, a girl who ends up falling in love with the earl for who he is and not is reputation, a girl who makes things to help the earl feel better, a girl who stutters due to nerves and a girl who has difficulty falling asleep and is clumsy.

They have to circumnavigate around what is proper to say and everyone makes assumptions of who likes who and what is proper and what is protocol to say. So it is hard to get to the bottom of anything with how you say things (ugh, that would make me go insane) and just when maybe he can choose Henrietta and trust her, something is said and heard and misunderstood. Oh my gosh, I am so glad I don’t live in that time!!

Then the other girls that are entertaining Simon to become his next wife at Henrietta's home becoming ill. Something is not right, and what or who is making them ill?

I loved the writing. It flowed easy, the characters are very likeable or not depending on whom it is. I could see it all play in my head. I could feel the affection that Henrietta and Simon turn into something more. I was rooting for them the whole time and wanted to throw my kindle across the room sometimes over the stupid protocols of the time and other times finding myself liking the protocols. Yeah, I am weird like that!

I don’t know how I feel about the two being intimate before he declares his intentions or before marriage in that day. He was concerned over his reputation after all and that would certainly not look good if they were caught! But, he was tender with her.

If you like the early 1800’s, plants and herbs, a scarred face, a little mystery, mud, horses, a budding romance and protocols of this era then this might be for you.

After viewing her all-time favorite love story, “Anne of Green Gables”, at the impressionable age of ten, Frances Fowlkes has been obsessed with affable boy-next door heroes, red-heads, and romance stories with lots of “highfaluting mumbo jumbo” written within their pages. It only seems natural then that she married the boy who used to pull on her curls in her high school English class, had not one, but THREE red-headed boys, and penned multiple love stories with bits of flowery prose.

When not writing, Frances loves spending time with her family, fangirling, and planning her next vacation.

Frances Fowlkes, originally a northern mid-westerner, now lives in the southeast with her ardent hero of a husband, three playful and rambunctious boys, and one spoiled standard poodle.

A self-professed Anglophile and summa cum laude graduate of LeTourneau University, Frances Fowlkes combines her passion for happily-ever-afters with her interests in both American and English histories.

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