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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: Good Earl Gone Bad by Manda Collins

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Release Date: October 6, 2015


Marriage? To a gambler? You must be joking! Yet Lady Hermione Upperton has never backed down from a challenge. When her spendthrift father offers her at the gaming tables, she is given a difficult choice-wed the Earl of Mainwaring, an infamous gamester with no respect for her skills with the reins, or face charges for the murder of a member of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. Either way she'll have to clear her name. Can she count on her husband's help the way she has begun to count on his kisses?


All Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring, wanted was a night of cards. But by the end of the evening he's walked away with a fortune-and a bride who's suspected of murder. Jasper knows Hermione is passionate about her unorthodox membership in the Lords of Anarchy, but he's certain she would never kill to keep it. Can he protect his headstrong wife from prosecution and a ruthless killer without endangering both their hearts in the process?

I’ve read Manda Collins before and enjoyed them but this one didn’t exactly do it for me. It wasn’t a bad read per say but when compared to previous books, I felt Good Earl Gone Bad fell a little short. And flat.

Lady Hermione was consistently described as a “spirited” and stubborn woman yet I never saw any evidence to back that claim up. She tended to just “go with” whatever was happening rather than fight her way towards her goal. She did start off being a bit independent in her views and opinions but once Good Earl Gone Bad shifted into a murder mystery Hermione seemed content to stay at home and let Jasper do all the work to solve the mystery. She wasn’t very interesting at all.

For a marriage of convenience romance, there really wasn’t much in the way of Jasper and Lady Hermione’s relationship development. They were more like friends who on occasion slept with one another. I didn’t feel that they had enough passion to make them go from “convenience” to the real deal. The overall love story was pushed aside in favor of a murder mystery and while that’s not a bad thing in a book, it is when the book is supposed to be a romance novel.

My biggest issue with Good Earl Gone Bad was the pace. It was so slow to get from point A to point B that I got bored and had to put the book down for a few days. That’s what surprised me the most about it because like I said before I have read Collins’ work before and had fun. I even did a double check to make sure it WAS a Manda Collins book. It took pages and pages before anything remotely interesting happened and when it did, not a lot of time was spent on it before moving on to more “filler” scenes.

The basic IDEA for the plot of Good Earl Gone Bad was an interesting one, I just think it could have been developed and executed much better.

Final Verdict: The slow pace, bland characters and underdeveloped romance kept me from enjoying Good Earl Gone Bad but that doesn’t mean I won’t read another book by Collins. It just means that this one was a miss for me.

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