Ashford, Jane. Brave New Earl. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2018.
Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1492663355 | 352 pages | Regency Romance
Brave New Earl is a fun, fluffy Regency romance, even if it did feel a bit too light given the issues the characters claim to tackle. However, having read several of Ashford’s reprinted Traditional Regencies with plans to get to more of her newer titles one day, I was glad to see that her style still feels very similar to those, even in a market that does favor the more sensual stories.
For at least the first half, the characters and their development were engaging, and the setup was great, even if it does demand some suspension of disbelief. I found Benjamin and Jean very likable and their motivations incredibly solid, in addition to the tension between them feeling believable.
However, as the story went on, it did start to feel a little tedious in terms of the pacing, and I didn’t really find the backstories of either Jean or Benjamin were written in a way that had any emotional weight, and I ended the book feeling the story lacked something, and that things ended a bit too quickly.
I did quite like the initial setup for what I assume will be further books in the series, with Benjamin’s uncle setting up a sort of grief counseling group of noblemen, and even if some other elements of this book felt a little lackluster, I am still curious as to how each man’s story will play out, and may check out further installments.
Generally, this was an ok Regency romance, and while it’s not among the best I’ve read, it’s definitely still something I would recommend to an avid Regency romance fan.