ARC: Surrender to the Earl by Gayle Callen

Posted on 07/16/2013 in Book Review / 3 Comments

ARC: Surrender to the Earl by Gayle CallenSurrender to the Earl by Gayle Callen
Series: Brides of Redemption #2
Published by Avon Books on 5/28/2013
Genres: Adult, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

A pretend engagement turns into passion between an unlikely pair in the second book of USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen's new Victorian series.


She wanted a favor, not a fiancé.


Audrey Blake's impromptu plan-asking a visitor to help her take ownership of her rightful property-is unraveling in spectacular fashion. Robbed of her sight by a childhood fever, Audrey has been kept in virtual seclusion by her family. And now the enigmatic Robert Henslow, Earl of Knightsbridge, has complicated her scheme to gain independence, insisting they pretend to be engaged.


Duty brought Robert to Audrey's doorstep. As for what makes him propose marriage…it might be guilt. Compassion. Or something far more urgent and unexpected. Their counterfeit union was supposed to be for Audrey's benefit. Yet it's Robert who yearns to prove to the intriguing Audrey how much they both have to gain by making it real-and convincing her to submit to the most blissful passion.

I must admit a Romance with a blind heroine totally drew me in.  This was something different for the time period this is written for and for most romances in general.  Most romances characters have flaws but very few have physical flaws.  In fact in all my years of reading I can only think of a handful of books that were romances with women as main characters with those types of flaws.  Even then out of those I can only think of one that had a character whose physical flaw stayed with them the whole book and wasn’t magically “fixed” part way though by some male.  I know that there are most likely more out there but I haven’t read them.  So, yay, I was excited for something that seemed different.

Turns out that it wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped.  This ended up being a book that for me a review is hard to write.  I didn’t dislike it, in fact I did enjoy it.  However it wasn’t anything that really stuck with me.  I just didn’t get the emotional connection with the characters that I get when I read books that stick with me

For me this book falls into what I consider fluff.  It held my interest long enough for me to read the book, but didn’t stay with me much longer than that.  I can recommend it if you are looking for something that will keep you entertained without making you think.  Personally this would be a good plane or beach read.  If it got dropped in the water or left behind you wouldn’t be torn about finding something else to read.

Audrey has finally figured out how to get out from underneath her family’s rule.  Her first husband has left her some property that if she can get to she will be able to live her life how she wants.  In comes the Earl of Knightsbridge, Robert.  With his help she gets away and starts a new life.  However rules of society make it so that Robert becomes her fiancé to do this much to her horror.  She has sworn off marriage since her first husband was a big douche.

Here is where the book falls into the predictable romance pattern with a few twists to give it a little more oomph in the plot area.  They slowly fall in love and earn each other’s trust since they both come with baggage to the relationship with some mystery going ons with the servants and a family reconciliation thrown in for good measure.  Again good but I just didn’t feel as drawn into the story and characters as I had hoped I would.

This was my first book by this author and while it is part of a series it makes a fine stand alone book.  I can honestly say I don’t know if I will read anything else by her.  If a copy of one comes my way I won’t say no to it but it wouldn’t be put on the top of the TBR pile.

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Amanda @ BookShelfery

Associate Reviewer/Minion
I'm a mother, a wife and a scientist. I read just about anything you put in front of me. I would say that my favourites are horror and romance. No wait, it's YA and dystopian novels. Umm, actually this week its mystery and paranormals. You know what, I really don't have a favourite genre, for me it varies by month, by week, or by day. Deep down I'm a nerdhuffer to my core. \r\n\r\nWhat? Nerdhuffer? What is that, you ask...\r\n\r\nDo you love the written word? Do you love those hard copies that sit in libraries full of the smell of glue, paper, and ink? Do you love those new copies that you stalk the book store for at midnight on its release to go home and read till 6AM even though you have to get up to go to work 7? Do you cherish an e-reader so that you can access a whole world of books whether you are at home, at the store, in the airport, or even... the bathroom? (What, you read in there too. Don't deny it, we're all friends here.) Did you just shake your head yes to any of those questions? Well then, my friends you are a nerdhuffer. Be proud, go forth in your addiction. I'll meet you at the bookstore to teach you the secret handshake. I'll be the one on the floor getting high off the pile of books at my feet.

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