Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book Review: The Return of the Earl by Sandra Shwab

The Return of the Earl
by Sandra Schwab


Can they overcome the betrayals of the past for a second chance at love?

On the Continent they call him the Ice Prince, icy of manner, icy of heart. Now, after thirteen years of exile, Con returns home to England and to Harrowcot Hall, a place haunted by memories of a long-lost friendship and past betrayals, a place where all of his dreams shattered and died.

But the past is over and done with, and can no longer touch him -- or so Con thinks. He certainly does not expect to come face to face with Bryn Ellison again, the man whom he once loved beyond everything and who repudiated their bond in the cruelest way imaginable.

As snow and frost close in on Harrowcot Hall, Con's icy demeanor starts to melt while he grapples with old hurts and newly awakened passions. Will he give in to the lure of the past against his better judgement?

This book contains a very grumpy earl, a dashing stablemaster, some ravishment in various places, several garden follies, a lot of snow, and a horse called Lancelot.

4 Stars!

I love historical romances and if they are MM on top of it? It’s like Christmas all over again. So of course, I was going to ask to review this one.

Con, the Earl of Stanbury, Viscount Conway, is back at his family’s home after a 13-year-exile. He’s moody, grumpy and arrogant, all good reasons for him to be known as the Ice Prince in the continent. The last place he wants to be is at Harrowcot Hall, but his secretary convinces him that he needs to settle all his affairs there and then move on if he wants to. The last thing he expects is to find Bryn, the stablemaster’s son and his ex-lover still there, now as the new stablemaster, throwing Con out for a loop.

Aside from a few phrases here and there that didn’t quite make sense to me, the book was very well-written, the descriptions and the imagery transported me back in time and made me feel as if I was seeing it all happening before me.

I didn’t quite like Con up until after the 60% mark or so, grumpy didn’t even begin to cover what he was. Temperamental and moody as all hell, maybe? *shrugs* There were a few times where I wished I could’ve slapped some sense into him, especially where Bryn was concerned. It didn’t quite make sense to me that he would believe his father so readily when the man had never been all that good of a father to him. Or that Con could be so arrogant as to prefer to run away and not apologize for his beliefs. Yes, he made up for it, but by then I was more than fed up by his behavior.

I loved Bryn, he seemed like such a sweet, reliable, strong man. I would’ve liked to read more of his POV than just the Prologue, too. Con and Bryn had great chemistry, at least once Con pulled his head out of his a** and started behaving like a man and not a moody teenager, that is.

Overall, this was a delightful read (when I didn’t want to strangle Con). Very well-written and researched. I think the author did a great job at portraying the era the book is set in and I will likely read it again in the future. Very recommendable!

*** Copy provided to the reviewer via NetGalley for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***

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