Review: The Mad Earl's Bride
So the setup is this: Dorian thinks he is dying of a brain disease. His mother had the same ghostly visions and blinding headaches, mere months before she started pulling out her hair, got institutionalized and died. If her story is anything to go by, he hasn't got long and there is some crazy in his future. The thing is, though, Dorian is the Earl of Rawnsley and when he dies, his line dies with him. That idea is actually ok with him, but a well meaning acquaintance takes matters into his own hands and sets Dorian up with a bride.
Gwen is fascinated by the mysteries of the body and the mind. She would have been a doctor had she only been born man. So she figures she can accomplish two things by marrying Dorian: studying his illness up close and, once he dies, use his money to help open a hospital for the poor. Finding himself drawn to the unusual redhead, Dorian agrees to the marriage. From there, it's only a hop, skip, and a jump for the marriage of convenience to become the real-deal.
With my deep-seeded love of tortured heroes, I was all ready for to hear about his misery, and how he was going to protect Gwen from loving him and whatnot. But it was... meh. I was bored a few times and had to fight the urge to skim. And then came my Issues. First, I had some trouble believing Gwen's family would marry her off to a guy they think is truly crazy. Then, I thought the nature of Dorian's illness was painfully obvious from the very beginning (you probably could figure it out from the review) --making the big reveal anticlimactic. On top of that, he's a guy that goes from guzzling laudanum to stopping cold turkey with absolutely no effects. I was just like... wha?
I will say that despite his maudlin tendencies, I liked Dorian. He treated Gwen well and I believed he did everything in his power to make her happy. Plus, Gwen was independent and (marrying a crazy stranger aside) smart. The sex was pretty good and ending was satisfying, albeit more than a little predictable.
This novella was previously published as part of the anthology Three Weddings and a Kiss.
*ARC Provided by Avon
The Mad Earl's Brideby Loretta ChaseRelease Date: June 4, 2013Publisher: Avon