What just happened here? This book had such promise. It was supposed to be a second chance at love story. It was supposed to be about a young man who went off to war to make himself worthy of his love and came back traumatized. It was supposed be about a woman still in love with the first man to win her heart, vowing to win him back to recapture what they once had. And it was all of those things. I should be in tortured hero nirvana. And yet… I am not.
Warning: This review contains spoilers.
It started well enough, Kat’s father has denied Edward’s request for her hand in marriage. He is beneath her station, but she doesn’t care. She begs him to elope, but he leaves to become a soldier, hoping to return a man that her father could approve of. Six year pass and Kat is convinced he will never return, so she finally accepts an offer of marriage, only for Edward to return the night of her betrothal. She quickly realizes that her feelings for him are still there and offers to cry off from her engagement, but he fears his PTSD (though it’s not called that) makes him unfit as a husband. And it all goes downhill from there.
You see, Kat doesn’t want to give up on him, so he has to do some unsavory stuff to turn her away. Staged betrayals and cheating abound. And poor Kat is right at the middle of it all. She tries to do the right thing, I feel, but between her true love and her intended, no one is really doing right by her. I didn’t enjoy all of the machinations and infidelity. I didn’t like watching Kat put herself out there over and over to be shot down.
Obviously, that doesn’t last forever. But I didn’t believe in the way the author turned the tide of the relationship. I felt like Edward changed his mind on a dime. He certainly did not give her the courting or treatment she deserved. And frankly, once she accepted his suit, I didn’t believe that either. Despite their great love, he was a total asshat to her and never even told her that it was a ruse. And she married him anyway… still believing all the horrible things he said to her. Then the ending felt like no ending at all. I tried to turn the page, figuring there must be a next chapter and it was just over.
It felt incomplete. And I was thoroughly unsatisfied. I didn’t like the way anyone behaved. I didn’t believe in the evolution of the relationship. And I didn’t like the end. I wish I could have loved it, but clearly, for me, this entirely missed the mark.
*ARC Provided by Entangled
Click to purchase: Amazon
Engaging the Earl
by Diana Quincy
Release Date: June 9, 2014