Book Review: Rules for Engaging the Earl by Janna McGregor Review by Traci Kenworth
Get ready for lost wills, broody dukes, and scorching hot kissing all over London in Rules for Engaging the Earl by Janna MacGregor.
Constance Lysander needs a husband. Or, so society says. She’s about to give birth to her late husband’s child―a man who left her with zero money, and two other wives she didn’t know about. Thankfully, she has her Aunt by her side, and the two other wives have become close friends. But still―with a baby on the way, her shipping business to run, and an enemy skulking about, she has no time to find the perfect match.
Enter Jonathan, Earl of Sykeston. Returned war hero and Constance’s childhood best friend, his reentry into society has been harsh. Maligned for an injury he received in the line of duty, Jonathan prefers to stay out of sight. It’s the only way to keep his heart from completely crumbling. But when a missive from Constance requests his presence―to their marriage ceremony―Jonathan is on board. His feelings for Constance run deep, and he’ll do anything to make her happy, though it means risking his already bruised heart.
With Constance, Jonathan, and the new baby all together, it’s clear the wounds―both on the surface and in their relationship―run deep. But when the nights come, their wounds begin to heal, and both come to realize that their marriage of convenience is so much more than just a bargain.
Review of the story: Jonathan is set to go off to war. He has arrived to say goodbye to his childhood friend, Constance, who promises to wait for him, but he tells her to go on with her life without him. They share a kiss. Years go by and Constance finds herself one of three wives of her former husband who has died. A scoundrel, he left her pregnant and without money just as the other two. The three have formed a friendship. She summons Jonathan who has returned a disabled war hero to her home to marry.
Though he has been disgraced by those he relied on to build a business for the army due to his injury, he finds himself still enamored by Constance. They wed and he tells her he will send for her, but circumstances dissuade him when his former commander tells him charges of treason and desertion are about to be filed against him for failing to go through with his mission. He attempts to find the man he was to assassinate who was unarmed at the time. The commander makes Jonathan feel a fool and he retreats to his estate and isolates himself.
Unbeknown to him, his butler sends letters to Constance in Jonathan’s name asking her to come with her baby. Constance arrives to find Jonathan in a disheveled state. Though still attracted to her, he tries to discourage her as she and the baby would be dragged down by his charges as well. However, Constance moves in and begins to bring him out of his shell.
With her support, he becomes a better man again. But when a shared enemy brings charges against Constance, will Jonathan be able to stand for her in return?
My Thoughts: I was charmed by this book from the start. It reminded me of those days when I’d sit and read books from start to finish as quickly as possible. From the beginning, both Jonathan and Constance are characters who you care about and want to see find happiness. Unfortunately, it’s a long path for both. Jonathan keeps getting triggered by his PTSD (although not known as such in those days) and Constance for her terrible history with men especially when it comes to sticking with her. Still, they’re both motivated by their friendship and childhood to keep trying.
I loved that these characters never gave up on each other. I love that they pushed each other in good ways. They became a family despite the odds. Some things I didn’t like were how it seemed the people in Constance’s life seemed rude and inconsiderate to Jonathan. And even though she should’ve known that he didn’t entertain guests, she didn’t forewarn her friends of such and so caused strife.
Usually, here, the reviewer will reveal the rating system they follow. I’ve decided to do mine based on readability, enjoyability, and their ability to draw the reader in. I also looked for: how the couple rated as a couple themselves and whether their setting seemed accurate or weak. So, here goes. On the readability, enjoyability and draw: three stars. On couple and setting two stars with a total of five stars out of five stars.
As I explained, the story was charming and thoroughly engrossing. I had no trouble following the story even though it’s a second book in a series. Constance and Jonathan make an extremely likable pair and you root for both throughout the story. The setting drew you into the historical period and taught me a bit about the male attire of that era.
Some products you might want to check out. I receive a small compensation from the site for displaying them.
- Rules for Engaging the Earl by Janna McGregor https://amzn.to/3LJdzz4
- Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score https://amzn.to/3NXE8mf
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover https://amzn.to/3KofJns
- It All Comes Back to You by Beth Duke https://amzn.to/36WjLFn
- Cottage By the Sea by Debbie Macomber https://amzn.to/3NVHxBW
These are some links you might like:
- The Killzone.com https://killzoneblog.com/2022/04/the-novella-compact-utility-vehicle-or-sports-car.html
The novella is an interesting part of fiction history and the current fiction panorama. It played a role in the development of other forms of current fiction and is being used more in today’s fast-paced publishing environment.
A review of The Kill Zone’s archives (for novella) revealed three articles by James Scott Bell, Joe Moore, and Jordan Dane. It’s been 6-10 years since those posts, so let’s take another look at the Novella.
The word “novella” is the feminine form of “novello,” Italian (masculine) for “new.”
The novella has been described as “a short novel or a long short story.” Its length is listed as 10,000 – 40,000 words (some sources say 20,000 – 50,000 or even 15,000 – 60,000). The novella usually has a single plotline, is focused on one character, and “can be read in a single day.” It may or may not be divided into chapters, and white space is traditionally used to divide sections.
2. WritersHelpingWriters https://writershelpingwriters.net/2022/04/fear-thesaurus-entry-goverment/
Fears can be a struggle for everyone, an unfortunate part of the human experience. Whether they’re a result of learned behavior as a child, are related to a mental condition, or stem from a past wounding event, some fears can be debilitating, influencing a character’s behaviors, habits, beliefs, and personality traits. The compulsion to avoid what they fear will drive characters away from certain people, events, and situations and hold them back in life.
In your story, this primary fear (or group of fears) will constantly challenge the goal the character is pursuing, tempting them to retreat, settle, and give up on what they want most. Because this fear must be addressed for them to achieve success, balance, and fulfillment, it plays a pivotal part in both character arc and the overall story.
3. Syl’s65blog https://syl65.wordpress.com/2022/04/08/just-unfold/
It goes without reason
That kindness and love
Can live in all seasons
Cut and dry
Black and white
In my previous post I showed you the finished Tukti graphic (shown on the left). In this post, I want to show you a few of the techniques I used to create the graphic.
I call this style of making graphics ‘digital collage’, but real digital collage involves taking whole photos, making them very small and then building an over-arching image out of them. Think tiled mosaic. If you zoom in far enough, you can still see each image in its entirety.
My version of digital collage is rather different. I cut snippets of shape and colour and texture out of photos and then build up a multi-layered image out of all those snippets.
To give you some idea of what I mean, these are some of the 40 snippets I used to create the Tukti: