Bowen, Kelly. Last Night with the Earl. New York: Forever, 2018.
Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1478918592 | 442 pages | Regency Romance
Last Night with the Earl is a much better book than its predecessor, although I will admit I may have been a bit too unfair in my review concerning the historical accuracy thing. That being said the characters this time around were much more relatable and sympathetic.
I love Rose’s character, and how she lifts up other people and makes them see the beauty in themselves, but she has this shame due to the way her former fiancee humiliated her years ago, that triggers genuine anxiety attacks when she goes out in society. This not only provides greater context for her situation as it was upon meeting her in the first book, but allows for a connection with Eli, who is radically changed following his experiences in the war, scarring him physically and emotionally. I did feel like the story was a bit inconsistent in terms of the past between them, with it sometimes seeming like they were meant to be old friends, and at other times feeling like they didn’t know each other that well, but other than that, everything else worked for me.
And as for the Grace Burrowes novella, I found that it was hard to get into, so I ended up skipping it. While I am intrigued by the idea that Forever/Grand Central Publishing has come up with to introduce us to another author “we may love,” I found my issues with Grace Burrowes’ writing coming to the fore as I read this one, as her work in general is very hit-or-miss for me, and I very much would have preferred if the publisher had bundled one of Bowen’s e-novellas with this one, like “The Lady in Red,” since I think that one matches the Christmas theme they were going for.
However, speaking purely on the novel itself, I would recommend it to fans of light historical romance that also has an impactful message within it.