Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Date of publication: May 28th, 2019
Series: First Comes Love
The Earl Next Door—Book 1
What does a Wickedly Wonderful Widow really want? One noble suitor is about to find out. . .
Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, is all on her own after her husband’s sudden death. The good news? Losing him allowed her to find herself. Finally, Adeline is free to do, go, and be as she pleases. She cherishes her newfound independence and is not looking for another man to wed. But seeking out a new lover? Well, that is a whole ’nother story. . .
Lord Lyon, son of the two-timing Earl of Marksworth, wishes to have a respectable, loving wife someday. When he meets the beautiful and self-reliant Adeline, Lyon is instantly smitten. But Adeline would rather have the handsome suitor in her bed than to take his hand in marriage. It’s a scandalous proposal—and one that’s hard for Lyon to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline’s resolve. . .and he can find a way to be the Wickedly Wonderful Widow’s lover for all time?
I am going to do this review in a different style today. I am going to list the pros and cons (with explanations). I have done reviews like this in the past. I have found that I can get my thoughts across better this way. It is up in the air if this review style will become a permanent thing.
Pro’s of The Earl Next Door
- It is set in Regency England. I am a massive fan of historical romances set in that period. I love being able to imagine going to balls, eating by candlelight, and being courted.
- Adeline’s independence. What I liked is that the author chose to have her independence be true to the era. While she could do what she wanted, she still had to observe the tons’ social dictations.
- Lyon. While he was a typical Regency romance hero, he did stand out to me. He had a strong moral code (which was explained in the book). As weird as this sounds, he also didn’t have a mistress. Usually, in these books, the male main character is ending a relationship with a mistress, or he is considering one. Not Lyon. It was refreshing to read.
- Adeline and Lyon’s initial relationship. I loved it!!! From the minute he asked her if she was running a brothel, I knew this relationship was going to be a good one. She put Lyon in his place several times. My favorite one? Well, when she walked into his house, soaking wet, and proceeded to tell him and every other man there off. I slow clapped at the end of that scene.
Con’s of The Earl Next Door
- Adeline’s backstory. While it wasn’t the most tragic one I have read, it struck a nerve with me. When everything was revealed, she put through a lot by her late husband. I could understand why she felt the way she felt later on in the book.
- Lyon’s father. He grated on my nerves. Every single scene he was in, I wanted to erase him, he annoyed me that bad. For someone who has been married three times and was engaged to be married again, he didn’t have the right to push marriage on anyone.
- Adeline and Lyon after they had sex. I did like that Adeline didn’t want to get married. I liked that she tried to keep it simple. I also liked that Lyon was the one pushing marriage. But, after the first few interchanges, I started to get annoyed.
- The end of the book. I was underwhelmed by it. It was predictable. Everything that took place after Nora arrived at Adeline’s house I predicted. Even the epilogue I didn’t like.
Conclusion of The Earl Next Door
I started off liking The Earl Next Door. It was in my favorite romance era, Regency England. I enjoyed that the author chose to make Adeline as independent as she could for that era. I loved Lyon and thought his character was a refreshing change. Adeline and Lyon’s relationship, for the first half of the book, was excellent.
The book started going downhill for me after Lyon and Adeline had sex. Their relationship became a power struggle. He wanted to marry her, and she didn’t want too. I did wish that Adeline’s entire backstory was revealed earlier in the book. I could not stand Lyon’s father. The end of the book was disappointing to me. It became too predictable. Even the epilogue, which I enjoy, was “meh.” But, saying that, I do want to read book 2!!
I would give The Earl Next Door an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I am on the fence if I would reread The Earl Next Door. I am also on the fence about recommending it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**