To Seduce an Earl by Lori Brighton

On the outskirts of London in a meadow of lavender, sits a house of esteemed ill repute. But this is no house geared toward pleasing men. No, this house is for women who have come to seek their own delight. And for three young ladies it’s where they’ll find something completely unexpected…true love.
Grace Brisbane will do whatever it takes to save her dying mother, but with a stepbrother intent on gambling and drinking, their funds have run dry. What’s a girl to do when she’s left poor and destitute? Seduce an Earl, of course. Handsome and rich, the Earl of Rodrick is the perfect target. Unfortunately, Rodrick despises innocent virgins. There’s only one place where Grace can learn the secrets of seduction… Lavender Hills. The moment Grace spots Alex, the man who will teach her the ways of intimacy, she knows she must guard her heart. Alex is charming and gorgeous and completely inappropriate.
As a young man, Alex Weston is blackmailed into working at Lavender Hills in order to save his family from London ’s prisons. There could be worse ways to spend his days and nights. Still, seduction has become a chore and thoughts of freedom keep him up at night. Until he receives a new client, the sweet Grace Brisbane. He should be thinking only of his growing need to escape, instead he’s captivated by the lovely Grace. The more time they spend together, the more he realizes that their brief meetings aren’t enough. For while marriage between a lady and a whore could never happen, Alex knows in his heart that he is willing to accept nothing less.

This is my third review of one of Brighton's books, but unlike the first two which were requested review, I came upon this one for free on Amazon (kindle version).

It's a very quick read, it took me only a few hours to devour the first half of the book. It's a full on erotic novel, but it's got a fairly decent plot to support it. I'm generally not really a fan of erotica and found those parts.. well somewhat erotic obviously, but also awkward to read.

I enjoyed the tension built between Alex and Grace and liked seeing it from both of their views, but I did end up finding it a bit drawn out. The whole *whine whine no way can the other one love ME but I certainly won't just sit down and talk with the other about it* got quite frustrating. But then again, the book (like so many others) would be over way too quick if the characters were that logical. Also, I'm not a fan of instantly falling in love with someone - he's just spent pages whining about how he's sick of sex and women and then he sees her and WHAM - love at first sight.

To Seduce an Earl is the first of a trilogy and given the text above (the "back cover") it's pretty obvious what will happen next. It's in no way a book for you if you can't accept a bit (if not a lot) of historical inaccuracy;Victorian modesty seems to have left the building amongst other things - The editor may never have been in it. I found a handful errors and mistakes that could have been easily caught as well as some writing that really could have used some more work. Also, Brighton's attempt to make her characters have some sort of English accent seems to always fall back on making them say words like "tis" a lot (as in "this is"). The ending turned everything into a fairytale and my thoughts about it generally deteriorated the closer I got to the ending which could easily drag the whole thing down to just 1 or 2 stars. But, the book was free and the read overall enjoyable (at least the first half) - just leave your brain at the door before you go in.

 Approx 90 000 words / published in 2012
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2012


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