Saturday, September 30, 2006

What an Earl Wants by Shirley Karr

Shirley Karr was author of the month in, I don't know, about July in my Historical Romance Chat yahoo group - I'm only a few months late! LOL!

What's a lord to do?

The devilishly attractive Earl of Sinclair is having trouble holding onto servants, what with so many of them pairing up and running off to be wed. Luckily, his able new secretary, J. Quincy, seems scrupulously loyal, and possesses the invaluable ability to flawlessly forge the master's signature. But imagine Sinclair's surprise when he discovers the "J" stands for "Josephine." His cherished employee is, in actuality, a quite delectable lady in disguise!

Jo desperately needs this position, and never actually lied about her genderĂ‚—though she didn't expect Sinclair's keen eye to expose the truth so quickly. If the ton finds out, the scandal could be devastating. But Jo believes she can still be of service to the dashing lord. The greatest difficulty, however, will be keeping her mind on business with Sinclair standing so tantalizingly, intoxicatingly close. And what this earl wants, he usually gets!

I'm going to state straight up that I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5, but as I sit here thinking about what to write I can't help but think I have been a bit harsh, and yet.....not really.

The thing is that I have read most of this book, or more precisely the ideas in this book, more than once before and it didn't feel really fresh at all. There are some authors who can write cliches and they are still fresh as a daisy, and others where it doesn't. That's not to say that this book wasn't enjoyable, because it was. The relationship was satisfying enough. Maybe my issue was really about the pacing which was quite up and down. There were long parts of the books where the characters were gallivanting around the place, and then long stretches where there was little movement, because Sinclair had to recover from his injuries.

I don't think I really get the whole woman dressed as a man thing either - a gorgeous woman isn't recognisable at all when dressed as a man. Hmmm. The other thing was that Jo was one of those heroines who has given up all hope of a future because she is making sacrifices for her family. Yes, it undoubtedly happens, but it was laid on a little thick for my liking!

I didn't dislike this book at all really. There were some fun ideas in it, like the fact that the heroes staff kept on pairing up and leaving him. I liked it enough to have already got the author's next book out of the just wasn't exceptional for me.


  1. The 'meh' book reviews are the hardest to write. I remember reading on of MJD's books and I enjoyed it while I read it but when I went to write up something it turned out the book was completely forgettable.


  2. Yes, exactly. I didn't hate it so I can't point out pages and pages of things that I didn't really like, but then the opposite wasn't true either!