Monday, July 26, 2021

Review & Giveaway - - Not the Kind of Earl You Marry

Not the Kind of Earl You Marry
by Kate Pembrooke
The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair - Book 1
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: July 27, 2021
Reviewed by PJ

The one woman in London who doesn’t want to marry him is now his fiancée.

William Atherton, Earl of Norwood, is as shocked as the rest of London to discover his betrothal via an announcement in the morning paper. Furious at what appears to be a shrewd marriage trap, William tracks down his alleged fiancée before her plans can affect his campaign for a coveted political post. But then William realizes an engagement, however fake, may benefit them both . . .

Miss Charlotte Hurst may be a wallflower, but she’s no shrinking violet. She would never attempt such an underhanded scheme, especially not with a man as haughty or sought-after as Norwood. Yet his suggestion to play along with the betrothal has its merits . . . and the longer they pretend, the more undeniably real their feelings become. But when the true culprit behind their engagement is revealed, can their newfound happiness survive the scandal?

PJ's Thoughts:

A fresh new voice on the historical romance scene, Kate Pembrooke brings readers a debut novel filled with witty banter, fun chemistry, a bit of a mystery, and one of my favorite tropes. I love a fake engagement story and this one - with an intriguing twist - pulled me in from page one, promising a fun ride that kept me smiling and happily flipping pages. 

Charlotte and William are both good people; interesting, likable characters who are well formed and easy to root for. I appreciated William's willingness to quickly apologize and take responsibility for misguided actions. I enjoyed the delicious friction that developed between him and Charlotte as their fake relationship progressed and, eventually, feelings came into play. And I loved how the author used well-placed splashes of humor to unveil more of William's and Charlotte's personalities, especially in the notes they exchanged and their interactions with William's aunt (she's a hoot).  

I liked that William's feelings began to deepen first while Charlotte remained determined that their "relationship" would be temporary. I  found Charlotte's evolution to be very realistic, appreciating that Pembrooke kept her on a gradual growth path, dealing with conflicting emotions along the way. It made her eventual decisions that much more realistic. I also enjoyed the female friendships she found with William's sisters, Serena (our next heroine), and the ladies of the Wednesday Afternoon Social Club. I want to be a member!

Not the Kind of Earl You Marry is a sparkling debut by Kate Pembrooke and a promising start to this new historical romance author's career. I recommend adding it to your summer reading list. I'm already looking forward to book two, Say You'll Be My Lady, scheduled to be released in February 2022. 


I love both writing and receiving handwritten letters but it seems to be a dying art. Do you still write letters? 

What's your favorite romance trope? 

What books are on your reading schedule this week?

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, July 28 will receive a print copy of Not the Kind of Earl You Marry.

*U.S. only
*Must be 18
*Void where prohibited


  1. I write letters because I enjoy corresponding since I was learned to when I was young. My mother wrote to relatives and friends and so do I. I enjoy it and will continue to send out letters. My favorite romance trope is reuniting after losing contact. I will be reading Hannah's War.

  2. Actually my department chair writes handwritten notes to the faculty AND staff (of which I'm the latter), usually encouraging us during a slump or praising us for our stick-with-it-ness. I love it. It makes me want to do more to write hand-notes to people and mail them. Who doesn't love that kind of mail? I bought a pack of cards at Target just for this reason.

    Favorite trope? Probably still a wallflower and a rake, though of late I am partial too to friends to lovers romances. I do adore a marriage of convenience. Probably the two tropes I'm not a fan of are billionaire tycoons (the modern type) and secret babies (also more than modern type.) Otherwise, YES, bring them! (And yes, I know Dukes usually are the billionaires of their period and I certainly read the hell out of them...I'm perverse! *LOL*)

  3. Many years ago in the olden days I wrote letters and notes to friends, cousins and family since that was how we communicated. No other method was available and we so looked forward to receiving lengthy and newsy letters in the mail. It was a wonderful and special joy for us. When I was a young girl I wrote to a close cousin for many years. When my parents moved far away I wrote to them several times each week. I long for those days. Romance trope would be love when it is a marriage of convenience.

  4. When I was younger I wrote letters a lot, but now I communicate through email and phone calls.

    Favorite trope? Enemies to lovers and second chances.

    Right now I am reading a fun contemporary "Riley Thorn and the Corpse in the Closet." This is the second book in a series by Lucy Score, and I recommend reading the first book before this one.

  5. I do still write to a very elderly cousin of mine in England. He doesn't have a computer or phone. Can you believe that in this day and age? He just won't get with the times. I've got boxes of letters that I've kept from all of my family and friends, and all of my husband's letters. I just can't bear to get rid of any of them. I really miss getting a nice handwritten letter in the mail.

    I'm currently reading Mary Balogh's latest book, "Someone to Cherish", (Harry's story) and loving it.

  6. There are several people who I write letters to on a regular basis. Unfortunately, none of them respond, but letters mean so much to me that I want to give that gift to others. I believe that letters mean so much to me because for several years, Mr Wonderful was in Viet Nam. Writing was all we had.
    There are so many tropes which make me happy. It is hard to choose just one. I love nearly any of them when there is humor between heroine and hero. I am more into the characters and their developments than plots. Of course that is assuming plotting is well done.

    I am reading Just Make Believe by Maggie Robinson with Someone to Cherish by Mary Balogh next in line.

    Hope everyone is well and safe and taking care.

  7. Don't write any letters! Looking forward to A Good Day for Chardonnay. My favorite tropes are romantic suspense, cozy mysteries, and contemporary romances.

  8. I send handwritten cards but don't write many letters.
    I love enemies to lovers trope.

  9. It's been a while since I've sent a written letter. I blame technology and cell phones. I did exchange written letters with a penpal who lived in England, I'd had since we were 12 or 13. I learned earlier this year she had passed away last October. I'm not sure I want to date myself, but that's over 50 years.

    This book sounds wonderful and I've loved the excerpt I've read from it. Thanks for the great review PJ.

  10. Sadly, no, I don't write letters any more. My favorite trope is friends to lovers. I'm finishing up an audiobook of The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne and finishing reading The Last Goodbye by Fiona Lucas.

  11. I write lots of letters to my grandmothers and friends. Nothing substitutes for a handwritten letter from a loved one.

  12. NOT THE KIND OF EARL YOU MARRY sounds like a delightful read. Thank you for the review and recommendation.
    I do write letters when I can. So often addresses are not available since everyone seems to be communicating on line. I have started letters several times lately to discover I couldn't find a usable address for them and had to resort to an email. Just not as personal.
    My favorite tropes are Beauty and the Beast and wounded hero/heroine which often overlap.
    I had planned to start CAVE DWELLERS by Christina McDowell, but my husband saw it and is enjoying it. I will likely write a couple of reviews and hope to start another book this weekend since I will be rereading parts of some of the books I am reviewing.

  13. I still write letters.

    I like Second Chance and Enemies to Lovers


  14. Sadly, I do not write handwritten letters anymore. My favorites are friends to lovers and beauty and the beast. As far as reading after I finish Penny Reid's latest, I have to decide between thr 6 new books that just hit my ereader.

  15. I do not write letters anymore but I would like to start back up. I have all the ones from my kids. My favorite is second chance romance and I am reading Francine Rivers - redeeming love. Thank you!

  16. I do still write letters. I was raised with the US mail being THE way to communicate (Some nearly 80 years ago) and still like to send and receive them.
    I like love stories with just a hint of mystery, or mystery stories with a hint of love.
    I am reading A Fiancee's Guide to First Wives and Murder. Sounds more mystery than love but it really is a love story.
    Thank you for the chance to win your new book.

  17. The Unknown above is me.. haha..