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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review: Waiting for An Earl Like You by Alexandra Hawkins

Yeesh, I can't believe I missed the previous book in this series. I'm glad I picked up this one though, there was a lot I loved about it.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: January 3, 2017

Justin Reeve Netherwood, Earl of Kempthorn a.k.a. Thorn has never cared much for his neighbor s daughter. But his twin brother, Gideon, befriended the wild, reckless, and wholly inappropriate Miss Olivia Lydall in youth, and two have been close ever since. So when Olivia finds herself in a state of romantic conflict and seeks out Gideon for advice, he s only too pleased to oblige. Only problem: The man Olivia is speaking to is Thorn. And now it s too late for him to tell Olivia the truth

Thorn always believed that Olivia was too smitten with Gideon for her own good. So what s the harm in steering her away from him? But Thorn s charade turns out to be anything but harmless once he begins to see Olivia for who she really is: A woman full of spirit and passion and someone he can t live without. But how can Thorn claim Olivia s heart when their deepening connection and burning desire is built on lies and deceit?

What’s it About?It’s a case of the ‘ol twin switcharoo in Alexandra Hawkins’ latest novel! Justin Reeve Netherwood, Earl of Kempthorn a.k.a. Thorn doesn’t care for the relationship between his twin brother Gideon and Miss Olivia Lydall. The two became friends when they were younger and as adults are still very close. When Olivia finds herself in need of advice she naturally turns to Gideon, only she doesn’t know it’s actually Thorn and he uses it as an opportunity to steer her away from who she believes is her childhood friend.

The problem is, the more time Thorn spends masquerading as Gideon, the more he sees Olivia’s true character and the more Olivia starts to fall for him. Now Thorn is stuck between telling Olivia the truth and ruining everything between them, or risk her finding out on her own and yup, ruining everything between them.

Describe the hero in five words: Loyal. Cunning. Seductive. Stoic. Arrogant.
Did you like him? I definitely liked Thorn.
Why? As arrogant and high handed as he was for interfering in his brother’s friendship with Olivia, it did come from a good place. Thorn thought he was protecting his younger brother from a person he falsely assumed was no good for him. He wasn’t completely wrong though. Olivia wasn’t right for Gideon but she wasn’t beneath his notice. Bless his heart, Thorn made everything so complicated for himself when it didn’t have to be and watching him untangle his own mess and be humbled by his feelings for Olivia was worth the moments I wanted to strangle him for his stubbornness.

Describe the heroine in five words:Witty. Headstrong. Resilient. Loyal. Optimistic.
Did you like her? Yes I did.
Why? Olivia is a fierce character. Despite Thorn’s obvious disapproval of her friendship with his brother, she continued to seek Gideon out. I liked that she wasn’t easily intimidated by Thorn’s title or his intimidation tactics. She didn’t let Gideon get away with his teasing either, she gave as good as she got. Olivia’s personality was so lively, and so spirited that I felt she brought life to the scenes she was in. To me she was part mischievous child, part passionate woman, with a dash of vulnerability thrown in for good measure and her vulnerabilities made her more likable to me.

How convincing were the main characters as a couple?Thorn and Olivia lit sparks off of each other every time they were together so it was inevitable that the antagonism would turn into passion and later, love. I will say that I loved the little twist at the end where Thorn revealed something to Olivia about their childhood that had me going “Aww, that’s so romantic!” That was a particularly great way to close up Thorn and Olivia’s romances.

Is there a “Scooby Gang” worth mentioning? I missed the previous book in the series (That sucks) where I gather quite a bit happened and so my head was kind of spinning with all the characters in Thorn’s life and their connection to the characters in the first book in the series. That whole loud, brash group was likable though and I liked the blunt way they spoke to Thorn because again, the guy was so arrogant and used to being obeyed that he needed friends like these to knock him down a peg or two.

How “Lost” did you get in the story? I read this book within two days. From the moment I met Thorn, Gideon, and Olivia I was hooked on their dynamic, specifically how different Olivia was when she was with Gideon compared to Thorn. I got caught up in their relationships with each other that before I knew it I had finished the entire book. It was more than just the romance, it was the relationship between the brothers that had me curious. They were twins yet they were estranged and seemed angry at each other and I just had to know why.

Click It or Skip It? Given how dark this series started out, Waiting for An Earl Like You is significantly lighter in terms of the way Thorn and Olivia’s relationship progresses. The complex dynamic between the two was one of the best parts of the book so I would say Click It. Also, I’m a big fan of Alexandra Hawkins’ work.

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