Engaged to the Earl: The Penhallow Dynasty

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Gwendolyn Penhallow believes she has everything she could possibly want. She’s in London for her Season, but is already engaged to the Earl of Westenbury, who is handsome, adoring, and the perfect man for her. Things get even better when her childhood friend Christopher Beck returns from his travels abroad. He’s handsome, unconventional, and a delight to be with, but his arrival coincides with (or maybe causes) some cracks to appear in paradise’s façade. All at once, Gwendolyn isn’t so sure she’s meant for the earl. But if not him, than who?

Engaged to the Earl is nothing like other romances I’ve read. Gwendolyn can be childish at times, but it’s part of her charm; she is a unique and relatable heroine. Christopher may be wealthy, but the narration focuses more on his history of working with his hands. The book has tropes I love: childhood friends returning to each find the other has suddenly become beautiful, uncertainty as to who one’s heart belongs to (even if readers are well aware of the ultimate conclusion), and a plot pushed more by affection than lust. At its best, the book is a sweet read full of lighthearted fun.

However, the secondary characters are too often one-dimensional and over-the-top. Also I found Helen, Gwendolyn’s supposed friend, to be vapid and rather dull. Some plotlines have half-hearted resolutions. What could have been a fresh new book in one of my favorite genres for the most part failed to connect with me.

Though the book had some delightful moments, it was far from my favorite of Lisa Berne’s novels.

Reviewed By:

Author Lisa Berne
Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Avon
Publish Date 2020-02-25
ISBN 9780062852359
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2020
Category Romance


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