|The Reluctant Earl|
by C.J. Chase
Love Inspired Historical, February 2012
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!
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?