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Released: June 29th 2021
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Misfits of Mayfair #2
“I enjoyed the relationships being built and can recognize Bethany Bennet’s talent in crafting them.”~ Under the Covers
West End Earl is the second book in Bethany Bennet’s series Misfits of Mayfair, picking up a few months after the events of Any Rogue Will Do.
The book follows Calvin, the Earl of Carlyle, as he discovers the secret his friend and land steward Adam Hardwick has been keeping from him. Ophelia Hardwick has spent the last ten years masquerading as a man to protect herself from her uncle. As the land steward for the Earl of Carlyle, she’s found safety and freedom. Ophelia’s situation would be perfect—if only she wasn’t hopelessly attracted to her employer. When secrets are exposed, mistakes made, and attractions acted upon, the story takes a lot of twists and turns. Although this is considered a sequel, much like other historical romance series, you do not need to read the previous book to understand the events of this one.
Right off the bat, the attraction between our two main characters was off the charts. Ophelia has been attracted to her employer ever since she met him, and while Calvin has been only seeing her as a friend, everything changes once he learns her secret. I loved the fact that he was so accepting of her and that knowing her secret immediately changed their chemistry from friends to lovers. I wasn’t expecting the romance to start so early in the book, since I’m a big fan of slow-burn, yearning-filled romances, but I can appreciate a fast-paced romance when done right. Bethany Bennet successfully makes Ophelia’s and Calvin’s chemistry good enough to last the entire 400 pages without feeling tiring or repetitive.
I also enjoyed the new side characters introduced in this installment, especially Calvin’s sister, Emma. I thought her storyline was surprising and I am excited to see how her own love story will unfold in the next book of the series. Her friendship with Ophelia is one of camaraderie and trust. Seeing them interact was always fun and endearing.
The only reason this wasn’t a five-star read for me was the conflict and resolution of the plot. I’m no stranger to the “miscommunication” trope, but in the case of this book, it felt very out of place and unnecessary. To me, it felt like it happened out of nowhere, and did not feel like we were being led to it by the author. Because of this, I lost interest in the romance after the resolution and was ready to finish the story by that time.
Regardless, I do recommend this book and the series since I enjoyed the relationships being built and can recognize Bethany Bennet’s talent in crafting them. I can’t wait to see what she does with Emma’s story and the no doubt amazing romance she will give her (it’s what Emma deserves!).
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