Quinn, Ella. You Never Forget Your First Earl. New York: Zebra/Kensington, 2018.
Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1420145182 | 348 pages | Regency Romance
You Never Forget Your First Earl is unfortunately the weakest entry in the Worthingtons series so far, but the strengths that carry over from the first four books remain intact. Once again, Ella Quinn shows her clear enthusiasm for the the Regency period with a well-researched historical romance, which stands out in a sea of wallpaper historicals. While she admits to taking a few liberties, they were largely for the sake of the flow of the plot, and I think any other reasons outlined in the author’s note provide justification beyond that.
I also liked the setup for both characters. Elizabeth intrigued me from her first appearance in book two, and I’m glad to finally get to know her better, and that she’s not just “the ideal wife” for a gentleman, but she really does want more than that. And while he does factor into some of my problems with the book, I enjoyed Geoff’s charming awkwardness for the most part.
Unfortunately, this is one of those books that has an almost conflict-free beginning-to-middle where they get along great, with the last third or so being bogged down by a Big Misunderstanding that could have been resolved with one conversation. The worst part is is that the two of them keep contemplating wanting to talk about it (or in her case rail at him about it), but pretty much don’t. I like the intent with the conflict about the ways of expressing love, but I just feel like if they were open and honest, there wouldn’t have been so much interminable sulking and assumptions.
On the whole, I did like this, in spite of its flaws in terms of how the conflict was executed. I would probably recommend this to fans of richly detailed historical romance, especially if you don’t mind the Big Misunderstanding trope.