I received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Earl's Mistress by Liz Carlyle
Series: MacLachlan Family & Friends #10
Published by Avon on August 26th 2014
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era, BDSM
New York Times bestselling author Liz Carlyle creates her darkest, most sensuous story yet, as a delectable but desperate governess runs headlong into the path of a notorious rake...
Women rarely refuse the wicked Earl of Hepplewood, whose daring exploits are only whispered about. But when his new governess answers his proposition with a slap, then stalks out, references in hand, Hepplewood finds more than his face is burning.
Isabella Aldridge has brains, bravado, and beauty—but the latter is no use to a servant. Her circumstances are desperate, and with Hepplewood's words ringing in her ears, Isabella realizes she must barter her most marketable asset . . . her body.
But when fate sends Isabella back into Hepplewood's arms, the earl must make an impossible choice—draw Isabella down into his sensual darkness, or behave with honor for the first time in his life.
Isabella Aldridge has been raising two girls that shes related to because they had no one else to turn to. Isabella is determined to support them, even though they are barely scraping by, and she needs a change and soon. When she goes in for a interview for a governess position, she is faced with the Earl of Hepplewood. Anthony lives a life of debauchery and doesn’t mind being wicked and when the lovely Isabella comes into his office, he attempts to seduce her but she flees from him. Isabella is shocked and angry with Anthony, all she wants is to be able to do what she loves, and not feel like a plaything…even though for the first time Anthony makes her feel desire and temptation. When she realizes that she will have no choice but to be a man’s mistress because she has two young girls who are relying on her…she ends up back with Anthony, and is shocked that she will have to submit to him. But Anthony will have to decide on a future with Isabella or to leave the only woman that has shown him love.
The Earl’s Mistress is the first book I have ever read from this author, but over the years I have heard and read some amazing things about this author, so I was going into this one with high hopes but it wasn’t what I expected at all. I think I was expecting the type of historical romance that I have about in her other books, but there were certain elements to the story that really blew me away. I wanted to love this one…and the plot was solid and consistent, and the story really pulls the reader in but I almost felt like I was reading a portion of Fifty Shades. Now I am super super picky about any bdsm elements and I just can’t stand it in historical romances. I feel like in contemporaries it fits it sometimes, but in a time period where that wasn’t the norm at all, It didn’t feel very realistic at all. If it wasn’t for the setting of the story I would almost think it was more of a contemporary romance. And there are times when the bondage element in historical’s is light enough not to effect the plot…but this one did for me. I just couldn’t like it enough because the bdsm element was way stronger than you would think. It just didn’t fit the profile of the characters much and it left me out of sync.
Even though I would have loved to give this book a higher rating because it did have a great writing style and if the bdsm element hadn’t been there or had a light tone, I probably would have adored it more, but it just threw me off and I almost wanted to just skip it and read the ending. But I figured I needed to trudge my way through this one. There was some other elements that I did like about it though. I loved Isabella as a character–for the most part. She was a bit indecisive but it made sense, and I loved her perseverance and strength and she had such a fierce fighting spirit that was contagious. So if you like the bdsm elements than you will love this one. If you don’t than I would caution you on this one. It might not be for everyone, especially if you are looking for a authentic historical. Despite my experience with this one, I do plan on reading some of her earlier books and see how they compare.
Overall a story that is rich in writing, excitement it the plot, and characters that you can delve into.