I Kissed an Earl Julie Anne Long
I’m reviewing these all out of order because I read them all out of order. The books stand alone, so you don’t have to read them in order, but you’ll find out that so-and-so recently married so-and-so, which is a technically a spoiler for the previous book, but... If you don’t realize the two main characters are going to get it together by the end of the book in this style of romance...
The odd thing about reading these in the order I read them in (which was solely determined by the order my ILLs arrived at the library) is that I read the three novels about the Redmonds first, and then the three about the Everseas. In order, the books alternate between the two rival families.)
ANYWAY, THE BOOK!
The newly minted Earl of Ardmay is a sea captain, and his new title was given in hopes he could catch a notorious pirate, one that recently killed Ardmay’s mentor and father-figure. Once Ardmay catches the pirate, the King will grant him the fortune and lands that such a title deserves, enough money for Ardmay to settle down and start the family and stability that he’s always longed for.
While talking to him at a ball the irrepresible Violet Redmond learns a few things about this pirate Ardmay’s chasing. His name is Le Chat, he looks almost identical to Violet’s brother Jonathan, and his ship is named Olivia. Of course, Violet’s mind immediately turns to her long-missing brother Lyon (for isn’t a Lion a Big Cat?) who disappeared after something happened with Olivia Eversea.
So, of course, she decides to stowaway on Ardmay’s ship because if Lyon has turned to piracy, he obviously has a really good reason and shouldn’t hang for it. (Plus, she just really wants to see Lyon. She misses him.) And of course Ardmay is *thrilled* to find a gentlewoman on his boat, intent on helping him catch a pirate, but only to free him. There are thrilling points of call, a big storm, and lots of swoony moments.
Overall, I loved this one with one reservation-- Ardmay is British/American and said to be a quarter Cherokee. This gives him his devastating cheekbones AND his “savage” ness. Being called savage is actually a childhood vulnerability for him. He doesn’t seem to personally know any Native Americans, so it’s not that, but the whole things is very problematic. True, the ton’s feelings on it are historically accurate and it’s only a few mentions, BUT. Just... why? It’s very unnecessary and, like I said, very problematic.
BUT! Despite that, LOVE. I love how Violent rushes in and tries to take charge of the situation to get what she wants without really thinking through the consequences. I also really appreciate her character growth-- while at sea she realizes that she’s always been protected by her family and her status-- something she’s never realized or appreciated before. Which means she needs to start thinking a little first.
I love that Ardmay is not a rogue. He doesn’t have time to deal with Violet, he has his mission and means to complete it. There’s not a love triangle.
The plot’s a bit insane (seriously? Stowing away?) But delightful.
AND! More clues to the Lyon/Olivia saga! (The last book in the series will be their story, yes? This is an undercurrent throughout the entire series, which has my interest very, very piqued.)
Book Provided by... my local library
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