Adeline is a happy widow. Her former husband was a controlling, abusive type who constantly criticized her for not giving him a child. His death in a shipwreck has left her financially independent, and she’s using her money for a good cause, setting up a small school for the orphaned daughters of the sailors who perished in the same shipwreck. Now, if only the bothersome earl next door would just make himself scarce…
Honestly, I found myself wishing Lyon would do just that. The first few times he saw Adeline, he was an absolute turnip to her. I couldn’t figure out why she would allow him to be on intimate terms with her at all, and then once they were, he seemed to manage to get worse. So many times she’d say she didn’t want something and he’d just ignore her wishes and do it anyway because He Knew What Was Best, which is just the most aggravating trait in romance heroes. Any man who behaved like that in real life would be lucky to escape with only a flea in his ear.
Adeline was delightful, determined and wilful, strong in personality despite having taken some serious knocks in her life. Several scenes where she told Lyon exactly what she thought of him had me silently applauding, but the problem was Lyon never really changed. Sure, he accepted maybe he’d over-reacted once he was apprised of the true situation, but why over-react in the first place? He was an entitled prig who, most annoyingly, had everything fall out just the way he wanted it without having to do any work for it whatsoever, whereas Adeline was left with really no option other than to compromise her own principles.
Lyon wasn’t fit to kiss Adeline’s shoes. I can’t give this any more than two stars.
The Earl Next Door is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.