GOOD EARL GONE BAD (Lords of Anarchy #2) by Manda Collins is a pleasant, adventurous historical romance. Though I was intrigued by the premise of the novel, I didn’t feel the emotional connection between Hermione and Jasper as strongly as I wanted to. The conflict in their relationship wasn’t very tense or suspenseful.
Hermione is supposed to be a liberated, outspoken woman and somewhat of a trailblazer as the first female driver in the Lords of Anarchy, but her behaviors are hardly outrageous. Though she announced in the prologue that she’s going to prove she belongs in the club by winning, she only drives once in the entire book–to meet with the driving club at the park, where her horses are immediately taken away from her. I wanted to see her race and show the world what a daring and extraordinary woman she is.
Unlike Hermione’s father, Jasper is a mathematical genius, who literally wins Hermione’s hand in marriage from her father in a card game. Though Hermione doesn’t approve of Jasper’s gambling, it isn’t a deal-breaker. Reflecting the aristocratic customs of the era, Hermione doesn’t expect to marry for love. She rails at her father for treating her like property, but after allowing Jasper to put his hand up her skirt, she acquiesces to a marriage by special license.
I felt that Jasper was more expressive of his emotions than Hermione. As a result, I found him to be more likable. I thought that the sex scenes could have been more passionate and emotional and that the writing seemed cautious and restrained. The mystery involving stolen horses is solved mostly behind the scenes and following a confession. The romance itself was very sweet, and I liked how Jasper and Hermione were protective of each other.
*I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley.