12 February 2013

C. J. Chase's :"The Reluctant Earl"

The Reluctant Earl

Love Inspired Historical, February 2012

5 stars~*****
Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Set in 1817, in England, this new release by C.J. Chase is on my Best of 2013 list already and the year has barely started! 

Julian DeChambelle,  the new Lord Chambelston, recently lost his father, who may have been murdered for political reasons. There's lots of suspense and intrigue in this novel. His sister has frozen out most of the family but now Julian seeks answers and comes to spend time with her and her family, including her husband Lord Sotherton.

Meanwhile, our heroine,  Leah Vance, has her own trials and tribulations. As governess she can't afford to pay for her mentally ill sister's care in the asylum. She's been spying on the Sotherton household for extra money. 

I love the bibliotherapy elements in this book, too. A returning character from C.J.'s last book is DeChambrelle's younger sister with Down Syndrome, who Leah takes under her wing.  And Leah's own sister, who suffered a head injury, receives the only available care at the time, which is pitiful.  

C.J. writes a tight plot and excellent characterization.  I love her hopeful and strong voice.  I can hardly wait for her next book and I am tempted to reread this book again, it was so well-written!

LIH books are so inexpensive, pick yourself up a copy of "The Reluctant Earl" for yourself and a friend through Amazon, CBD, Barnes and Noble, or at your local WalMart. A great Valentine's Day gift!


GIVEAWAY: A copy of "The Reluctant Earl" will be given away to TWO commenters on this post. Leave your email address and answer the question: Have you known anyone who required care in a psychiatric facility? What was the time frame and what were the conditions of the facility?

57 comments:

  1. Love your review of this wonderful book, CARRIE. The book is definitely a page-turner! I might also read it again.

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    1. For craft and story and voice and characterization and tight plot--you can't beat it for my 2013 picks so far!

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  2. Loved your review Carrie. Yes I had a grandparent back in the 50's never knew her. The place was a state mental place. I remember I was little and I only remember going once. The people there scared me to death. Moaning and groaning and screaming and grabbing at you. Left a mark on me. The place smelled bad real bad and the people were not well kept. In time of today it wouldn't be like that and looking back and listening what they said of my grandmother she shouldn't of been there. Her sons put her there cause she forgot who they was and got anger issues. Today's term would be Alhzheimer's. Then they were called insane. Now today my mother in law has it and is in good care facility.

    joeym11@frontier.com

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    1. Thanks, DIANA. Oh, that is sad. I grew up living next door to a state mental facility, where my father worked, and I went there all the time. So I had a different kind of experience. Glad your MIL is in a good place!!!

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  3. A great review Carrie! I'd love to win this one. My sister-in-law is being cared for in a nursing home that has a locked unit because she is in probably the middle stages of Alhzheimer's. The care there is good and actually other than a door that keeps the patients there you could be on any other hall. They also have an outside area where they can go when they choose. Knowing the history of psychiatric facilities [not] I am so thankful that care has become humane. Blessings! Darlene
    spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. DARLENE, I am glad your SIL is being cared for! The psych facility near my home, which is now closed, seemed to be a pretty good place and the people who worked there, including my dad, were country folk.

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  4. A wonderful review, CARRIE! This one is at the top of my TBR stack...can't wait to read it as I have heard only good things about this book. Thanks for the review!!

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    1. READ IT, DIANA!!! Haha wasn't really yelling. Ok, I was, lol! Hugs!

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    2. GOTTA GET MY NOSE OUT OF ANOTHER ONE FIRST, CARRIE!! lol I'm not like NOELA and TERESA who can read two books at the time...unless one is fiction and the other is non-fiction. My mind can only handle one plot at the time. ;)

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    3. DIANA I haven't been able to do that too much lately...well ok maybe I have done it once or twice. :)

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  5. i would love to win a copy, it looks like a great read
    Shirley Blanchard
    jcisforme@aol.com

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    1. CONGRATS SHIRLEY, you are our first winner! But you forgot to answer the question!!!

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  6. Haha CARRIE, you can't yell at me to read it as I don't have it. Although you probably should yell at me to buy it! Your review is excellant and definitely has me interested!!

    Yes, I have heard of a couple experiences from people, and it wasn't good at all. Even today, though enormously better than what it used to be, still leaves a LOT to be desired.

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    1. I'm curious how things were handled in Australia.

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  7. I love the name Julian! The book sounds like a good Regency from an author I would like to try.
    Susan
    jksfamily5@gmail.com

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    1. Me, too! The wonderful historian at Shirley Plantation is named Julian! Yes, read this!

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  8. CARRIE I love your reviews, they are always so insightful! I have this on my table taunting me to read it and I should be able to do that as soon as I finish the one I'm reading now. I can't wait.

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  9. We live about 45 minutes from a state psychiatric facility that was pretty terrifying in its early years. People say you could hear folks screaming in the middle of the night. My husband did some electrical work there many years later and had to go into the basement where he saw chains and the like hanging from stone walls where they had restrained patients. Quite creepy! The current patients really tug at your heart strings. They sort of wander around, grabbing out for you, shouting and such. So sad.

    The few years our daughter lived in the ICF, we were one of very few families that ever visited and took an active role in our loved ones life. Some were left there and no family ever came back. They were just sent there to live out their life and die. Breaks my heart!

    I love books set in the Regency Era. This one sounds like I would enjoy it but may be a little difficult to read at this time. I don't know but throw my name in the hat anyway. I have her debut book and enjoyed it.

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    1. That is so sad, ANNE. Like in nursing homes, too. Makes your heart feel sick to see that! Hugs!!!

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  10. I would love to be entered in the giveaway. The Reluctant Earl sounds like an excellent book and no I don't know anyone who needed care in a psychiatric facility. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133@yahoo.com

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  11. I only know one person who stayed in a psychiatric facility but I don't know any of the details. Now-a-days, at least here in
    California, there aren't very many psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric care isn't as available even in an outpatient setting for those who need it.

    enter me please.

    winterrose (at) comcast (dot) net

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  12. Loved the interview... I have a loved one who suffers from skitso-affective disorder, schizophrenia with bi-polar manic depression. Stays are sometimes necessary for him but since he is a VA patient he gets to stay on the phyc wing of the VA hospital. He shows signs of early Alzheimers and his forgetting who we are is at times very hard on us. Everyday type forgetting of things going on or dates and such is hard on us. The conditions of the hospital today are very nice, clean and everyone is helpful. Its a subject close to home for me.

    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacres7@gmail.com

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    1. Praying for you, LINDA! And for your loved one! Hugs!!!

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  13. Love your review, Carrie, and was smiling big by the five stars you gave this book :) I have also been deciding which books make my best list for 2013 despite it being so early in the year. However, it's rare to find 5 star worthy books so it's easy for us booklovers to pinpoint which ones deserve to be on our lists. I've heard of this book and the title is definitely intriguing, thank you for your wonderful comments :)
    You bless me OWG sisters, hugs to you all!
    (not an entry)

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    1. EXACTLY, KARA--I think we are picky!!!Hugs!!!

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  14. No I have not.

    Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a)

    amada_chavez{AT}yahoo{DOT}com

    :)

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  15. Is a group home considered a psychiatric facility? If so, I have several family members in one. Do they have mental institutions anymore that aren't considered group homes? I think I am inadequately informed to know if I know the answer to this question! :(

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  16. Carrie, thank you for such a lovely review.

    For everyone else, Carrie is going to be posting a very personal story of my family's experience with mental illness -- um, Friday, right, Carrie? We've told a few friends and relatives, but we've never gone public on the Internet (where every word lives forever) before. But we decided that perhaps our experience could help others.

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    1. We are praying for you, CJ, and I believe people will be blessed by your testimony. Thank you for sharing and we plead the blood of Jesus and His protection against the enemy--who can't stand it when we share of God's glory in our lives.

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  17. I love stories set in different time periods. Our son was hospitalized 2 different times in a childrens psy. hospital for rage and violence issues. It was horrible leaving him there but good for the rest of the family to feel what a quite household was like. It was a clean facility and we had no complaints other than we felt like the evil ones when visiting. It's a hard choice to make!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. Those are hard choices to make. I was a psychologist for 25 years and had a number of clients hospitalized. Safety for the client and for others has to be considered.

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  18. Thanks Carrie for this review. Love to visit with this group on OWG. Great gals! I went to a Mental Hosp. once to visit a young girl who had a cutting problem, so she was there for treatment. She had started because of a molestation earlier in her life. It seemed like a wel cared for place where they were able to visit with others in their group. She was only there for 2 or 3 weeks. I visit a lock-down Alyzheimers home with my church Homebound group where there is a woman that belonged to our church. Has been there for several years. She always smiles and acts like she remembers us, but I really don't think she does. But, we don't want to just forget her. It is a sad place to visit. Makes you feel down. Lots are in chairs, with a tray across it like a highchair, so they don't get out. I think most are sedated some to cause less trouble. I could not work in a place like that. Sad! Hope to win this book. A new author to me. Maxie OWG

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    1. If you keep going there, your church member may have some fragments of memory of you, which is good. I agree, it is sad, but could be a lot worse. CJ Chase is a great author, Maxie!

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    1. You might not have known! ;) Have a blessed day!

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  20. No can't say I've known anyone

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  21. I've never known anyone like that. But this book sounds very good! I love reading and finding new authors to me. :)
    booksbyjoiatcopelandlcandotcom

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    1. JOI, This is a great read! Have a blessed day!

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  22. I've never known anyone who needed care in a psychiatric facility.

    THE RELUCTANT EARL looks like a wonderful read thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. It is a FANTASTIC read, MARY!!! Have a blessed day!

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  23. No, I've never known anyone or had any family members in a psychiatric facility that I can think of.
    I'm sure it would be a very hard situation for any family to face.

    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  24. Take me out of the drawing because I just had to purchase the book and make sure I got my copy :)

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    1. Good move, ANNE!!! You'll love this book and the cover is gorgeous!

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    2. I bought the Kindle edition. I was too impatient to wait and started reading it right away. I am hooked!

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  25. Carrie, you have me convinced. Sounds like a wonderful book. Yes, I've known a few people in a psychiatric hospital. 2 different hospitals, both seemed to provide excellent care. Thank you for your wonderful post as always. Blessings, Susan Fryman susanngarrylee@yahoo.com

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  26. Question: Have you known anyone who required care in a psychiatric facility? What was the time frame and what were the conditions of the facility?
    Yes, I have known someone who went to a psychiatric ward at a hospital. It was in the 1970s and the conditions were physically good, but it seemed like a holding tank. The doctors were not very present.

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  27. No i have never known any one who required care in a psychiatric facility
    Shirley Blanchard
    jcisforme@aol.com

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  28. No, I've never known anyone who required the use of a psychiatric facility. Just nursing homes, actually, and I'm grateful that both my great-grandmothers were able to find quality facilities in that regard (well, at least as nice as possible, even if it's not quite home).

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    inspiringdaring (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  29. I haven't known anyone with a mental illness. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  30. I know someone that was in a facility for counseling. It was in a country setting, so it had a restful atmosphere.
    Thanks for a chance to win, The Reluctant Earl.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com
    OWG

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