Friday, March 11, 2016

Book Review: The Earl Next Door by Julia Daniels

The Earl Next Door, by Julia Daniels
2015, 121p, Regency Romance
My Rating=3 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the author for an honest review

Lord Brandon Maxwell is a flawed man. He lives daily with the ugly memories of the death and destruction he witnessed during England’s war with Napolean. He has become a recluse, avoids people as much as he can, knowing anything can trigger the anxiety attacks that debilitate him. His only solace is the controversial column he writes anonymously for his brother’s newspaper, and the occasional glimpse of his enchanting neighbor, Lilliana.

Lilliana Staplehurst is about to be evicted. Having lost her parents in a horrible accident six months earlier, she knows the man set to inherit will be arriving any day to boot her from her home. The only distraction from her woes is her weekly correspondence with a mystery man who writes for the local newspaper. When he suggests they meet, she jumps at the chance to put the egotistical man in his place.

The two neighbors realize quickly they are destined to be together. Although they accept their feelings for one another and allow their love to grow, soon the memories from Maxwell’s past threaten what should be a happily-ever-after. Lilliana will have to be strong enough for both of them, to help him move beyond the past and embrace their future happiness.

Lilliana's parents died six months ago and she is almost out of mourning. She will need to move because the man who will inherit her home will be coming soon. She is secretly in love with her neighbor, Lord Brandon Maxwell, but he's somewhat of a recluse so she doesn't see him very often.

We learn very quickly that they are both involved with a weekly newspaper column. He writes a controversial column and she refutes him. They are both anonymous, though, and don't know the true identity of the other one. One of his brothers owns the paper and this column has driven up sales so he encourages him to continue to be controversial. 

What I didn't like about this book was that there were quite a few issues for them to work out along the way but they resolved quickly. I would have liked for the newspaper controversy to go longer before it was resolved. Even the secret that he held which was built up along the way didn't seem to be that big of a deal when she learned of it. I tend to say that in most books, they have issues which can be cleared up with a five minute conversation. These were, indeed, cleared up quickly so I guess I like the drama of it after all, haha. 

Aside from that, this was a quick, fun book to read! The story moved along well and there were a few obstacles along the way. Lilliana and Brandon were easy characters to like and cheer for. They've known each other for years but there were reasons why the timing wasn't right until now. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop. The only warning I would give is that there is some innuendo (no details). Since this is "Brandon Brothers #1," it appears there will be books about the other two brothers. They weren't in the book too much, but enough to know that their stories should be interesting!

About the Author:

Julia started writing when she was in her teens. She loved Emma and Pride and Prejudice, but was frustrated by the language and vowed one day to make the stories easier to read and thus be embraced by normal folks.

Then, she found North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and was immediately enthralled by the gritty Victorian story. The characters jumped off the pages for her, and thus began her "obsession" with Margaret Hale and John Thornton.


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