Engaged to the Earl

Avon. (Penhallow Dynasty, Bk. 4). Feb. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9780062852359. pap. $7.99;. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
his family’s expectations, Christopher Beck escapes England to spend several years abroad, working in unconventional positions before returning to London. Swept up into society by an acquaintance of the Penhallow brothers, he encounters Gwendolyn Penhallow, whom he hasn’t seen since they were children. Gwendolyn is engaged to the faultless Earl of Westenbury, but Christopher’s adventurous lifestyle awakens her free-spirited nature. The two spend more time together, until Gwendolyn realizes she prefers a maverick to the snobbery of the earl. There are several entertaining side characters central to the plot, but Gwendolyn’s newfound friend Lady Helen FitzClarence is petulant, and her behavior tends to subvert the romance.
VERDICT Although Berne’s (The Bride Takes a Groom) dialog for female characters is often melodramatic and may not appeal to every reader, followers of the series will enjoy seeing a prodigal son returning home to find his match.
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