As promised for my March 11, 2021 post, today I am reviewing Earl of Brecken, book five in the Once Upon a Widow series, a historical romance by Aubrey Wynne. I wish I would have had the time to review this novel during Ms. Wynne’s book blitz, but my reading and reviewing schedule is very tight.
Title: Earl of Brecken (Wicked Earls’ Club)
Series: Once Upon A Widow, #5
Author: Aubrey Wynne
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance
A seductive Welsh earl on the brink of ruin. A wealthy cit in search of a hero.
Blurb: Miss Evelina Franklin reads too many romance novels. She’s certain a handsome duke—or dashing highwayman—is in her future. In the meantime, Evie entertains herself with the admirers vying for her fortune.
The Earl of Brecken needs cash. His late father left their Welsh estate in ruin, and his mother will not let him rest until it is restored to its former glory. Notorious for his seductive charm, he searches the ballrooms for a wealthy heiress. His choices are dismal until he meets Miss Franklin. Guileless and gorgeous with an enormous dowry, she seems the answer to his prayers. Until his conscience makes an unexpected appearance.
The Earl of Brecken is part of the Wicked Earls’ Club universe. I had no idea this series existed, and I was delight to see more books shelved at Goodreads. Anyhoo, as the blurb states, Madoc, Earl of Brecken, needs money while Miss Evelina Franklin is looking forward to her first season and is searching for the perfect hero.
The novel starts with backstory. I will admit I am not a fan of prologues, and unfortunately, this one was to showcase that the earl had a heart since he loves animals. As interesting as this was, showcasing the earl’s attributes could have happened easily in the novel. There is more slowing when the reader has to witness how the earl ended up in debt. Personally, I just wanted to get to the meat of the story.
The meat does happen, though. And when it does happen, there is wonderful chemistry between Madoc and Evelina. However, I was hoping for more juicy conflict that happens in romance between the lead characters. The two were perfect for each other in every sense, with Madoc hiding his secret of needing Evelina’s dowry for money. Evelina is a bit torn because her older sister—the scene stealing Fenella—naturally should marry first, but Fenella is having trouble accepting any man, and had also embarrassed herself last season.
I’m going to admit it’s not good when the secondary character steals the spotlight, because I adored Fenella, and will honestly admit, I wanted her to take center stage. I found her intriguing, especially since she was not looking for a hero. She was awkward, not “all the rage” in looks, and seemed to go through the motions of having to find a husband. So yes, I will be reading her book LOL.
Back to the review. See how Fenella even stole a paragraph in my review? LOL. The earl is also in search of the man who put his estate in ruins, which was a nice sub-plot that I enjoyed.
The setting is brilliantly done. I was there in London, and the author excels here. She is also brilliant with dialogue that is proper for the Regency period. Her research is impeccable. She feeds the reader with enough information to give one a nice glimpse to the Regency time period. The writing is strong with great visuals, visceral responses, and description. If not for the opening prologue and first chapter, the pacing was tight. It was the GMC for Evelina that could have used some help.
Still, this was a nice read. One that I enjoyed and do recommend. I am glad I took the time to read and review Earl of Brecken. It was wonderful to be introduced to a new author.
Have you read Earl of Brecken? If so, do you agree with my review? If you haven’t read the book, would you be willing to now?