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The Earl's Outrageous Lover

The Earl's Outrageous Lover - Elizabeth Lennox 1.5 stars

Jessica is in a spot of trouble. According to her father's will, she has to get married in a year, or she loses her inheritance and every single employer of her dad's ends up jobless. That's a lot of burden to place on a woman's back. Luckily, she has her father's buddy to help her. Until he breaks his leg and is unable to do his duty and the time is running out. But he does know someone who can help her.

Enter Edward Livingston, Earl of Locton. Edward wants nothing to do with Jessica. She is completely unsuitable for the life within the British aristocracy. Exhibit A: the red cowboy boots:

But, as he gets to know her, he realizes that she is everything he could ever want in a woman.

The book read a lot like a Harlequin Presents novel. From the selfish, arrogant, clueless hero prone to violent mood swings, the spineless heroine (whose "strength" is repeatedly mentioned) who is madly in love with the hero with no visible reason whatsoever, to the plot (and the dreaded marriage of convenience) and most of all: Of course, the hero proposes said marriage after he sleeps with the heroine who turn out to be *gasp* a virgin!

There were some good points in the story. The fist meeting had me chuckling, the chemistry between the characters was strong - it all looked promising. However, it all fell flat 20% in. The plot itself isn't bad, it's just that the character turned up to be such disappointing.

Jessica turned into a weepy, insecure woman who simply doesn't know what she wants. There was a lot of mention of her being brave to consider marrying simply for the benefit of her father's company, but she was still unwilling to actually try and make it work with a man.

As for Edward, well, his so called help, you know, when he was trying to find a husband for Jessica, one that she could be happy with - he was sabotaging her on purpose. And not like he intended to marry her at that point, he just pushed the most boring or self-centered men at her. That was really annoying.

The best part of the book - Edward forcing Jessica to change her dress, not letting her stifle her personality in order to fit in.

All in all, it would've been a much better read with more attention paid to the development of the characters. As things stand, the book just leaves the reader frustrated.

ARC received from the author via NetGalley