Friday, January 4, 2013

On Triangle Trade: A Review of I Kissed an Earl by Julie Anne Long

I Kissed an Earl (Pennyroyal Green, #4)The first book that I finished in 2013 has a horrible puny title, but it was a surprisingly good story.

Violet Redmond longs for novelty and excitement but is trapped in a world of glittering ballrooms and social niceties. When she overhears talk that suggests her missing brother, Lyon, may have taken up piracy, she seizes the opportunity to board a ship and seek him out. Captain Flint isn't happy to have a stowaway aboard his ship, but at the same time he's drawn in by Violet's tenacity and fierce loyalty. And so, naturally, a romance ensues despite their contrary goals.

Initially I thought Violet might make an annoying heroine, sort of flighty and clueless with her "Whoa is me, life is such a drag," attitude. And there is some of that. Be warned. There are a few select Too Stupid to Live moments where you will groan a bit. On the flipside, though, she's smarter and more adaptable than you might imagine, and her personality is surprisingly charming.

Flinn is very likeable, and a very good match for Violet. He's a man who has elevated himself from nothing to earl, and he needs this one last act to finally have the life he's always wanted. This makes his cause seem at least somewhat sympathetic to the reader, when we might otherwise be tempted to side with Violet. 

Overall I'd say that Long's books (this being my fifth one) have a strong readability. They're just easy to get through and digest, and they're very pleasant. She puts at least some effort into making each story different in tone and plot, which makes up somewhat for the lack of surprising or challenging content. Overall, I continue to recommend the Pennyroyal series both as a whole and individually. 4 stars for this book.

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