Thursday, August 25, 2016

ARC REVIEW The Mad Earl's Daughter by Lynne Barron

The Mad Earl's Daughter is a stand alone; so far, I hope more come from this crazy cast of characters. This was an amusing murder mystery with a CLUE-esk kind of result. Lynne Barron is great at leading me to believe one thing all the while setting out subtle clues about what's really going on and unless you catch on the end result will take you by surprise, and in the case of The Mad Earl's Daughter an amusing chase. As always I love Lynne's writing style and her stories are always so well thought out and complex, and when she goes erotica, damn.  I love insta-lust, especially when it plays out like this one did. Typically in the romances that I've read it's the guys that have a quirk or a "madness" I love that it's Annie who has it in this book. The fact that she's obsessive compulsive about things and has nervous habits it just adds realism to her character. Also the fact that Hugh is a swindler gone straight it's nice to have such imperfect characters that want their own HEA.

Hugh Forsythe is a solicitor and investigator, he is also for former shyster. Raised by a woman who slept her way into society and taught him all the best ways to con. Wanting to put all that behind him Hugh goes the straight and narrow. One day a young lady offers him a job, Hugh thinks that there's something hinky going on but the pay is too good to turn down. The case leads him to the doorstep of Annie Wellesley.

Annie wants more than anything to open a foundling home, she has it all planned out and all she needs now is the house ready, she owns two townhouse next to each other and is merging them into one. Annie's past is a mystery, she appeared eight years ago, and no one really knows or cares one way or another. Her family is very close, all her servants are her friends as well as her family and their loyalty is so steadfast she need not worry about loose lips. They know her past and love her enough to protect her from anything that might harm her. Annie is hiding from her father, and she fears more than anything having to return to him she knows that if she gets married than her father will have no power over her. Annie's choice is the sexy carpenter Bert Forest aka Hugh Forsythe.

Hugh worked his way into Annie's house, knowing something wasn't right about his case he kept quiet to his client about finding her so soon. He never expected Annie to be as beautiful or caring as she is. One night they find themselves alone and well... Annie made her choice she wouldn't have slept with him otherwise. Hugh is a little slow on the uptake the more he learns about her the deeper he falls but the mystery of who she is is still shrouded in mystery and now it's obvious someone else is looking for her for the murder of a peer, Annie's ex-fiance. But is Annie really who she says she is? or is that even a lie too? Where is the ex-fiance? and will Hugh ever tell Annie the truth about who he really is? and more!

Overall, while it not my favorite (that still goes to My Darling Gunslinger) it was a joy to read. I loved the clue-esk ending so chaotic and humorous it really had me giggling and the end did make me cry, so sweet.        

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