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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review: An Earl by Any Other Name by Lauren Smith

Gosh I really love it when a book catches me off guard and introduces me to memorable characters.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Forever Yours
Release Date: August 1, 2017

An earl in the streets, a rogue in the sheets . . .
Leopold Graham, Lord Hampton, was never a man to let propriety stand in the way of his pursuit of pleasure. Hedonism is his only desire in life---until his father's death saddles him with debts that threaten to bankrupt the entire family. Now the only thing that stands between him and utter ruin is marriage to a proper, and preferably wealthy, young lady.

Ivy Leighton is no sweet English rose. Perhaps it's her gypsy roots, but she would rather make a spectacle of her independent spirit than sit quietly on the sidelines. If that means that the only place she'll ever have in society is firmly on the shelf, then so be it. But when Ivy runs into the handsome, rakish Leo who's looking for a respectable, well-bred wife, she can't stop thinking about the troubles they can get into. Now she just has to convince him that a life with her is really what he needs.




What’s it About? Leopold Graham, Lord Hampton has been left with cleaning up his late father’s mess. Not only did he die in a scandalous way, he left Leo with debts that could ruin the family. So the formerly rakish Leo has decided to marry for money, except his mother doesn’t agree with that so she invites Ivy Leighton to a house party in the hopes that she can show Leo what life can be with the right partner. Ivy no stranger to Leo though, when she was a young girl she lived in Leo's home and they were the closest of friends. Now she's an independent, intelligent young woman who has no intention of marrying but agrees to attend a house party as a favor to a woman who was like a second mother to her. Sparks fly between Leo and Ivy but Ivy is disappointed that Leo doesn't remember her and she's agreed to keep her identity a secret from him.



Overall reaction to the story? I was thoroughly charmed and delighted by An Early by Any Other Name and Lauren Smith I am a new fan! I really enjoyed this historical romance because it takes place right as women were starting to campaign and fight for their right to vote in England. That fact gave the plot a different feel to it than the usual historical romances that I read, not to mention that it greatly influenced the characters’ behavior. An Earl by Any Other Name beautifully balanced the changing times for women and the need for a sweeping romance between two very different people. I can’t wait to read more of this series!

Describe the hero in five words: Charming. Loyal. Selfless. Fun. Caring.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Leo started off as just a typical aristocrat set in the ways of his ancestors because there was comfort in the familiar, even if it wasn’t fair. But he quickly proved his worth by being level headed, open minded (Even when he didn’t realize it). I loved how charming and entertaining he could be. And as much as Leo claimed to be against the suffrage movement, he wasn’t an overbearing character; he was considerate of his mother and didn’t order her around as would have been his right as lord of the manor in that time. He was just so likable and easy to fall for because he wasn’t the type of man who was determined to be right when all the evidence in front of him said he was wrong.


Describe the heroine in five words: Courageous. Determined. Caring. Intelligent.
Did you like her?
Why? Ivy was wonderful! She wasn’t some featherbrained nitwit who said she wanted rights but had no concrete arguments to stand on. She knew why she wanted the right to vote and she knew just how to explain her thoughts to Leo in a way that wasn’t patronizing, nor was it antagonizing. She was logical, and articulate. Ivy’s independent personality didn’t feel forced or fake; she just was who she was and that happened to be a woman who loved and lived fiercely and wanted women to have the ability to control their own lives. She is definitely the type of woman I would love to be friends with because along with that fighting spirit she has a heart of gold. She treats everyone with courtesy, respect, and if she’s known them for long a deep and honest affection, no matter their social status.


Let’s talk about the romance: Leo and Ivy aren’t total strangers, they have a history together and that made this romance all the sweeter. Lauren Smith seemed to want to emphasize the emotional connection between them more than they physical which really worked in this case. With Ivy being a suffragette it made things a little more complicated but it didn’t take away from the connection that these two were building in spite of Leo not being sold on women voting. What I found beautiful about their relationship was the respect between them. Leo never degraded Ivy or women in general, he had his own arguments against women being able to vote that had merit at the time but he was also willing to listen with a fair mind to Ivy’s arguments. I loved that sense of equality between them in a time where things were starting to shift and men didn’t exactly take kindly to women wanting the right to vote. I loved that Leo wasn’t trying to be a “macho” man and was more than willing to learn a thing or two from a woman’s perspective.


How about that supporting cast? Leo’s mother was a breath of fresh air too! She was every inch a society lady but with none of the snobbish, single mindedness of her class. She wanted Leo to be happy and she knew he wouldn’t be happy with a traditional woman. I loved her to pieces. I wasn’t completely sold on Leo’s friend Owen who behaved terribly towards Ivy but in the end, his circumstances explained a lot and now I’m curious about him!

Click It or Skip It?Click It. An Earl by Any Other Name is truly a feel good romance with lovable characters and a swoon worthy romance.




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