Thursday, February 5, 2015

Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen

The Basics:
Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Book One in the Covent Garden Cubs series
Historical Romance
Published February 3, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

I've read Shana Galen before (and reviewed her books here and here) and enjoyed her. I grabbed this one based entirely on the cover, author recognition and publisher.


His heart may be the last thing she ever steals...
Marlowe is a pickpocket, a housebreaker-and a better actress than any professional on the stage. She runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London's Seven Dials. It's a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she's alone, she allows herself to think of a time before-a dimly remembered life when she was called Elizabeth.

Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother, a hired investigator, ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion. He teaches her to navigate the social morass of the ton, but Marlowe will not escape so easily. Instead, Dane is drawn into her dangerous world, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.
My thoughts:

One of the the things I love about historical romance as a genre is the opportunity to immerse in a romanticized version of the past. We're rarely exposed to the negatives of earlier historical periods - hygiene being an example that really strikes me as one of the most obvious and pertinent to a romance. Earls Just Want to Have Fun immerses the reader not only in the pretty dresses and social niceties of the upper class but also in the grimy, dangerous, impoverished lower class world. I was a little surprised by how receptive I was to this!

I think what makes it all work so well is that Marlowe really sells it. Her wonderment when she's exposed to Dane's lifestyle is endearing and also familiar because I think it's how most of us would feel if we were suddenly invited to live in the home of, say, a celebrity or billionaire... or a duke. 

What didn't work for me so well was all the lingo of the Covent Garden gang. It adds great flavour to the story - but it was so dense at times that very occasionally I had to really think through what was meant by the catch phrases and codes. This irked me (possibly because I have an inflated sense of my own intelligence) and detracted from my enjoyment of the story. I wish that the rule for accents had been applied here (a little goes a long way!).  

I was also a little hesitant about this book because of how it starts. Not only do we start with a child abduction, but then Marlowe herself is captured by Dane and his brother in the name of re-connecting her to the parents of the missing girl. I was so very indignant on Marlowe's behalf - being physically detained against her will, being forced to comply and then lectured about her behaviour. 

I really liked Marlowe - she's very strong, very unaware of her own appeal, very endearing. She clearly yearns for a family, a better life, even for Dane despite how frustrating she finds him. For his part, Dane had his moments, and I appreciated his growth across the book. But he certainly wasn't a love interest that I immediately fell for and couldn't wait to see paired off with an appropriate woman.  

Earls Just Want to Have Fun is all about the back and forth between Marlowe and Dane as their worlds collide and they both have to reconcile their preconceptions with the reality of how the 'other half' lives. I really enjoyed

Bottom line:

Earls Just Want to Have Fun was a lot of fun once I had read through the set-up. It's absolutely worth sticking with if you're feeling at all hesitant during the opening! It's a lot grimier than most historical romance, and I recommend it for fans of the genre looking for something a little different.

4 stars
For fans of historical romance, preconceived notions being upset

But don't just take my word for it! I grabbed a few links to other blog reviews of Earls Just Want to Have Fun:

Badass Book Reviews

Jackson D'Lynne

Fresh Fiction for Today's Readers

Ramblings From This Chick

1 comment:

  1. YEAH! This is on my Wishlist and I am thrilled to hear that it is pretty good :)