Thursday, January 12, 2017

Review & Tour: Why the Earl is After the Girl by Tabetha Waite

Title: Why the Earl is After the Girl
Author: Tabetha Waite
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: Ways of Love Series (Book One)
Publisher: Etopia Press
Format: ebook via Book Unleashed
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisSometimes love finds a way…

Miss Athena Hawthorne certainly hadn’t been looking for romance on that rainy day in London when her very existence crumbled before her. When she feels that life couldn’t get any worse, she stumbles into the very man that has the power to turn her unfortunate circumstances around.

When you least expect it… 

Orion Ashcroft, the Earl of Rockford, offers Athena the chance to gain her vengeance by granting her a respectable position as a governess. What she doesn’t know is that he is plotting his own revenge against her. He believes that she is responsible for the theft of a priceless, family heirloom and he is determined to see it restored – no matter the cost.

Tabetha grew up in a small town with big dreams of seeing her name in print ever since her fourth grade teacher said she liked reading her stories. Starting out putting pen to paper before graduating to an antique typewriter, she used to sit at the kitchen table and invent all manner of stories from fantasy to mystery. It wasn't until Tabetha was in high school did her grandmother mention reading the old Gothics of the sixties, along with the more modern Harlequins.

Once she opened these pages, Tabetha decided that romance was the genre for her. Combining her love of history, she started writing novels set in the American Civil War time period, but after learning of the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen, she fell in love with the beauty of England. "Why the Earl is After the Girl" is her debut novel and a dream come true. She is already busy writing the next book in her "Ways of Love" series, though she always makes time to respond to readers!

Tabetha lives in the Midwest with her husband and two daughters, and when she's not writing, she's working part time at the local community college as a lunch lady.

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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for honest review.** 

Romance, betrayal, conspiracy, and a missing fortune!

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Athena has just learned some heartbreaking news. After the recent death of her father, his memory is being put to shame with rumors of gambling and the loss of her inheritance. To make matters worse, she is suspected as being involved in the disappearance of another family's heirloom. It's just too bad that she doesn't know she's a suspect.

Rion made a promise to his grandmother on her deathbed. A promise to recover the missing family jewel that disappeared in the hands of Athena's father. Since dead men can't talk, Rion goes to the next best source of information: the daughter. But in order to keep his plan a secret, he hires Athena as governess to his sister's children in hopes of keeping an eye on the woman until he can prove her guilt.

While Athena is grateful for a job, she isn't sure what to make of Rion, the lord who turns from hot to cold in an instant. Despite his charm, she won't let anything come between her and finding out the truth about her father. The sparks begin to fly between Athena and Rion which puts a kink in both of their plans.

For the first 30% or so of this book, I think I wore a permanent smile. I was well on the way to declaring this my favorite historical romance of all time. I loved the back and forth between our couple and their inability to avoid their attraction to each other. The chemistry was off the charts, the dialogue was witty and hilarious at times, and the mystery of the missing jewel and money were intriguing.

But even though the story was progressing nicely toward a happy ending, I realized I was only a third of the way through. I continued on and the romance got more complicated, the mystery more confusing, and the main characters started to lose their shine. I don't mind a bit of hot-and-cold between couples to boost the sexual tension but at some point enough is enough. It became an almost childish game between our couple and I wanted to pull my hair out.

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This is one of those cases where I think the heavy plotline just overloaded the story. The characters were interesting enough without all of the excessive strife. The romance was spicy enough without the constant hot-and-cold stunts. The mystery would have been better with less kidnappings and escaping criminals. I could even forgive the crazy conspiracy revealed at the end had that been the only big twist in the book. 

However, by the end, I thought the author had shoveled in everything she could to enhance the story. Unfortunately, I feel that sometimes less really is more. This could have been a simple case of over-ambitiousness. Yes, I know that isn't a real word. But you know what I mean.

The silver lining is that despite my gripes, I didn't hate the book and I haven't given up on this author. The way the story was told captivated me. I really did like her characters and the budding romance sizzled. I would love to see future installments be a bit more character-driven with less focus on the mystery and secondary plot threads.

In closing... 
In all, still a good read and a series I will look forward to in the future. Three suns!

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