Review: Joy to the Earl by Nicola Davidson

Reviewed by Caitlin

I’m a sucker for a virgin hero, and this is Nicola Davidson’s SECOND virgin hero! I am usually not a sucker for a holiday romance, but I’ll make an exception for an author I like.

Jack Reynolds is a farmer in Yorkshire. He’s 6’5″ and muscled from labor, but he has a bad limp. He is socially awkward and painfully shy, which means he’s made it to the age of 28 without having had sex. A few days before Christmas, Jack finds out he was actually the son of the Earl of Lynthorpe, given away because of his “deformity.” Now he’s the next in line to inherit the title. He’s not sure he should – he knows nothing about being an earl – but the law is the law, and primogeniture insists he must be the next earl.

Lady Rosalind Nelson is a widow who makes a living helping couples find passion in the bedroom – sort of like a Regency sex therapist (not the first time I’ve seen this – Darcy Burke’s The Duke of Desire comes to mind). I don’t know how realistic this is – it might have been a thing and I just didn’t know it – but it doesn’t matter, because I’m all about it heroine who knows her business in the boudoir.

Jack’s carriage to London crashes near Rosalind’s home, and Rosalind and her guests help bring him inside and nurse him. Jack hit his head and has amnesia, so he has no memory of becoming an earl. Rosalind and Jack are immediately smitten with each other, and Rosalind guesses pretty quickly that Jack is a virgin.

Jack obviously balks at this and insists he’s not. He avoids Rosalind out of embarrassment, finding various things to do around the estate to help out. At Christmas dinner, the cook accidentally uses an aphrodisiac, making everybody (except Rosalind’s daughter, thank god) horny AF. Faced with these overwhelming urges, Jack can no longer say no to Rosalind, and they consummate the damn thing.

Virgin Jack is so easy to please that he follows Rosalind’s every direction to make sure she enjoys herself. This attitude proves to Rosalind once and for all that he was previously innocent, and Jack finally admits it. It might only have been a few days, but the two are already thinking long-term about each other.

Then, of course, Jack remembers he’s an earl, and Rosalind thinks she’s been played. Will Jack convince her he’s genuine? Will she let him?

I always enjoy Nicola Davidson, and this was a very sweet, very cute book. I’m not a huge fan of the aphrodisiac food being the thing that finally brings them together – feels a little too deus ex machina for me – but I believed the two main characters loved each other and I rooted for them to get together. This might not be my favorite Davidson novel, but I would still recommend it.

Rating: B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Joy to the Earl
by Nicola Davidson
Release Date: August 8, 2018

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