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My Earl of Depravity*

Farce or Real Romance Novel?

Rebecca is a blacksmith’s daughter, and she immediately catches the fancy of passing Sir William Courtenay, Earl of Devon. Her ethereal beauty entrances him. He enters into a correspondence with her and decides that he wants to train her to be a proper lady so she will improve her lot in life.

I had barely started reading this book when I went back to the book review site where I downloaded it to double-check what genre/categories the author considered it to be. I thought it might be humor or farce. But no, the author listed the categories of this to be historical fiction, historical romance, and sweet romance. Since the author wants me to take this book at face value, I have to say it is a rather odd, poorly written book. The language was so over-the-top I actually did think it was farce or satire of the genre. The insta love on the part of the earl was unbelievable. The author doesn’t seem to have a sense of the proper way to do English addresses regarding titles. For instance, William’s valet called him “Your Grace,” which is the way that one addresses a duke, not an earl. Even in the title she has given him, he wouldn’t be called a “sir” (that’s for knights and barons); he would be referred to as a lord if he is an earl. The author doesn’t seem to appreciate the difference between a lady and a Lady. Since there is an actual Duke of Devonshire, it seems odd to have an Earl of Devon; she could have made up any sort of name or the earldom, which most fiction writers do and would have been better. Some of what happens in the “training of a lady” portion is just flat-out wrong as well. The way that the author depicts the accent and dialect of the lower-class blacksmith and his daughter I believe some would find offensive.

I think the author was trying to go for a My Fair Lady/Pygmalion vibe with a romantic twist. It fell far short of the mark.