Victorian Set in 1846 Updated Review
I had an opportunity to read and review an ARC of Good Earls Don’t Lie.
This was a fast and enjoyable read for me. I originally chose the title because the book is billed as having a disabled FMC(female main character). Ms. Willingham delivered well in this aspect for me. She details the difficulties Rose faces in her struggles and I found it made her a very believable and relatable character.
I enjoyed the MMC as well, as a slightly different take on the ‘must marry an heiress’ trope. I loved Iain’s commitment to his people. His kindness to Rose made me fall in love with him quickly.
This is a sweeter romance but it still made me squirm in my seat at the sex scenes, Ms. Willingham does a masterful job of ramping up the sexual tension.
By the time I finished the book, I wanted more of the characters, and their world, it’s a standard length romance, but as some of you may know, I prefer longer reads with exhaustively developed characters and worlds. This is a ‘me’ thing, most readers of Victorian Romance are likely to be very well satisfied by this story. The author captures the struggles and realities of the time period well.
I will say, as this is an updated review that I missed the date on the first page. I read the story as having taken place in the Georgian time period because the Irish Potato famine played a large part in the story, the first of the Irish Famines happened in 1740-41. (though, yes, the GREAT potato famine was in 1845) My vast knowledge of history working against me here because I didn’t read it with the correct time period in mind! Regardless, the story is lovely.
Readability: 5/5 stars: I wanted to finish reading the book and the characters were very ‘real’ to me. I enjoyed their blossoming love story and the end of the book blew my socks off.
Arcs: 4/5 stars: The character ARC for the FMC could have been a bit more well-developed, her struggles with her disability were extremely well done, but it bothered me that she seemed to have a full recovery by the end of the book. As someone who lives, daily, with a crippling disability, I’d still love to see more writing, more characters who have disabilities who live full and fulfilling lives without miracle cures. That is my only caveat to this story. The romantic arc, character arc for Iain (MMC) and the side characters, some of whom seem to be appearing in their own books later, were well crafted. Even though it’s a monogamous romance, (which I do admit I have trouble reading sometimes) this is so well written that it didn’t bother me.
Writing Craft: 3/5 stars: As stated above the character and plot arcs are well crafted, but I’d encourage the author to police the use of ‘was’ as well as filler/filter words. My editor brain was on the entire time I read, and that is a bad thing for me. This is not likely to affect non-writers, but if you’re looking for a book that has all the elements covered, be prepared to cringe a little at the craft issues. Despite a lower craft score, I still enjoyed the book quite a lot. I had to finish it to see what happened and I’m still thinking about the characters. A little more editing work on this would have made the book shine and garnered a 5/5 star rating.
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars. Fans of Sweet Victorian Romance are going to enjoy this book immensely. Disabled readers will likely enjoy it as well. Well done Ms. Willingham. I’ll be reading more of your books.