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The Eastbourne Earls*

A Slightly Improved Collection of Regency Tales

This collection contains four books written by one author. I had read the first book before getting the collection. I thought the first book was problematic, but I always like to give authors a couple of chances to impress me. I know that writing is a skill that develops, and I wouldn’t want to miss an excellent author because of a not-so-good first or second book.

The four books included in this set are An Everlasting Love, A Healing Love, An Unexpected Love, and An Unconventional Love.

I can say that I see a little improvement in the second book, A Healing Love; the language is not as stiff and unnatural as it was in the first book, And Everlasting Love. Still, however, the book had a bit of a data dump at the beginning to set up the story, and other long narrative passages existed throughout the book probably which made it a little tedious at times. The rest of the books were similar in structure and issues. An Unexpected Love was very short and didn’t have much development.

Unfortunately, this volume–like the first book that I read by this author–is plagued with errors of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage. Commas are particularly problematic. One word had a letter left off it. Other words and phrases weren’t quite right. For instance, the author used a phrase *civil whiskers*; I believe she might have meant civil whispers. I even looked up the phrase to make sure I wasn’t missing some arcane Regency terminology, but I did not see reference to the phrase. At times, the language was still too stilted, yet at other times, it was too modern, like using the words *stressed* or *bother* to describe emotions or emotional states.

I am a nurse, so I do have to quibble with some of the things that were assumed or stated in A Healing Love. Nursing during the time of Regency was not the profession that is today. So nurse Lydia would not have seen herself in that light nor would she have acted in certain, professional ways. Even back in World War I (100 years after the Regency era), nurses were seen as little more than women who helped ill patients with bodily functions, assist with tasks like feeding or writing letters, and other low-level duties. Even today, a nurse doesn’t diagnose a patient’s condition; that’s what doctors do. So it seems strange when Lord Walcott asks her to do so, and with some hedging, she does it.