Book-by-book, Glynis Robinson is debunking my prejudices about the Regency romance genre, and I found this second instalment in the trilogy to be an effervescent, quaffable read with a sassy, intelligent leading lady.
regency romance | historical fiction
back cover blurb
Can a country girl adapt to life as a Countess in London?
When Sophy Hawthorne married the fifth Earl of Hale, she had no idea what she was letting herself in for. She is thrust into a society riddled with jealousies, infidelities and gossip. The Earl is used to it all, and assumes his wife will always know what to do. They both make mistakes.
The second book in the House of Hale series follows the fortunes of this loving but mis-matched couple as they navigate the shoals of marriage and the society around them.
Author - GL Robinson | Published by - Amazon on 17th October 2020 | Pages - 181 (ebook)
I would like to thank Glynis for sending me an advance manuscript copy of The Earl & His Lady in return for an honest review.
The Earl & His Lady is the second book in the House of Hale trilogy, and picks up more-or-less immediately where book 2, The Earl & The Mud Covered Maiden, left us.
We join Sophy and Lysander in the first flush of happiness following their marriage at the end of the first book. Having overcome considerable adversity, they’re very much enjoying each other’s company; inseparable as they start to carve out a life as the Earl and Countess. Cosseted in their peaceful country home, Hale Court, it’s a pleasure to see Sophy’s character blossom under Lysander’s unquestionable love for her.
Once having to watch every penny, Sophy is now living a fairytale life. But she has a lot to learn, and her first test is to step into the role of the lady of grand country house. Sophy is a charming, natural girl whose lack of pretension makes her likeable, both to the reader and to the incumbent staff of Hale Court. All she meet warm to her immediately, even Lysander’s curmudgeonly family.
Lysander’s caddish days are clearly behind him; he’s besotted and he wants the world to know it so he arranges a lavish gathering at Hale House, their London mansion. Adjusting to city life isn’t easy for Sophy, and she finds herself at odds with the strictures of society expectations, struggling to navigate the cruelly censorious cliques of women and their equally repugnant husbands. Never has the class divide between Sophy and Lysander been more pronounced; sparking mis-steps and cross-words as the young couple strive to carve-out their unconventional position within the ‘establishment’.
I really enjoyed catching up with Sophy and Lysander; it was lovely to read how their relationship is developing, and I was heartened to see Sophy’s independence and sparkiness hasn’t diminished. The plot is artfully driven forwards by the humour of Lysander’s best friend Charles, and the boo-hiss moments when Virginie Beaufort spitefully endeavours to enhance Sophy’s unease.
The author has dotted the story with recaps from the first book meaning you could feasibly read this as a standalone story … but I personally think you’d be missing out if you didn’t read The Earl & The Mud Covered Maiden first. The characters have grown and evolved considerably throughout the two novels, and an understanding of Sophy’s backstory makes this latest instalment all the more endearing.
The author has poured a rich and vast knowledge of the period into her books. Her attention to detail, and her talent for filling the pages with colourful, lively descriptions brings the settings to full and vivid life in her readers’ minds. Regency romances are not usually my first choice of books, but Glynis is rather effectively changing my mind! Her decision to write an intelligent and strong-minded female lead character bring fresh, modern overtones to an otherwise period-perfect plot, making for a pleasingly engaging page-turner.
If you wish to be on the mailing list for early information, including a sneak preview of the final instalment in the House of Hale trilogy, here’s the place to go next … https://romancenovelsbyglrobinson.com
about GL Robinson
GL Robinson was born and educated in the south of England, but has
lived for over forty years in the USA with her American husband. She
tried and failed to adopt an American accent, so people still call her The
English Lady! She is a retired French professor, and loves flowers in the garden, eating with friends and talking with her grandchildren. She has published two children’s travel books for ages 8-11 inspired by one of them.
She was inspired to start writing after the unexpected death of her dear sister in July 2018. They were educated in a convent boarding school and would giggle at historical Romances after lights-out under the covers. They were, and are, a life-long passion for them both. All her Regency Romances are dedicated to her sister.
For more information about the author, to listen to her read from her books, receive a free short story, or get sneak previews about upcoming books, please go to visit romancenovelsbyglrobinson.com
She loves to hear from her readers!