Jordan Lennox is a member of the Inferno Club, a group of spies for the government masquerading as reckless, scandalous noblemen. His work caused him to leave Mara Bryce without explanation, without promises, twelve years ago, but he’s been pining after her ever since. On Mara’s side, things are largely the same, except she has endured a hateful marriage in the meantime. Her husband passed away, leaving her with a little boy, who is unquestionably the light of her life. When Jordan returns to England, neither he nor Mara can resist one another, no matter what’s happened over the years. In the meantime, the exchange for Drake’s return, carried on from previous books, has been completed, but none of the men are prepared for his complete memory loss or shocking switch of allegiance.
When it comes to Gaelen Foley, hope springs eternal. I requested this book from Netgalley on the back of positive early reviews, fingers crossed that the Gaelen Foley I used to know and love would finally be back. Someday, I will stop trying. There are good parts about this book, but there are also bad parts, and the whole thing feels rushed.
First, the good. I found the spy story genuinely interesting for much of this time around, which is strange because I hadn’t enjoyed it previously. I would have loved an entire book devoted to Drake at this point, especially after they return him to his parents’ house and he encounters the servant girl from his past, Emily. There was an enticing story there, I think, and while it is followed up a little bit throughout this one, it’s definitely put off for the next one, again. I like the overall idea of a story that spans an entire series, but I’m struggling with these. I just feel like not enough time is devoted to either thing. It’s a problem I had with Eloisa James’s Desperate Duchesses series in the beginning, with too many characters and not enough time devoted to any of them, but that series wrapped up spectacularly well. This one hasn’t given me the same indications.
I liked the idea of the romance as well, but too often it felt like the modern appeal was simply piggybacking on the past flashbacks, especially in the beginning. Their hatred and anger about the past twelve years dissolved in about an instant, even without explanations. It didn’t really help that I didn’t like them, mainly because the book was split in two, but also because their characters were inconsistent. The quick flash from hatred to adoration is part of that, but Mara goes from enjoying her hard-earned widowhood to ridiculously eager to be with Jordan in another five seconds flat. There was very little actual romance, mostly just stilted conversations and a quick hop into bed. I like the idea of childhood sweethearts reuniting as older and wiser people, but there has to be some substance there.
In short, My Irresistible Earl was disappointing. I’m beginning to think I’ll never have another Prince Charming! But didn’t I say that with the last one in this series?
If you’re looking for a fabulous romance, why not try Sarah MacLean? I loved Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake.
I am an Amazon Associate. I received this book for review from Netgalley.com.