Book Review: The Mad Earl’s Bride by Loretta Chase

The Mad Earl’s Bride by Loretta ChaseTitle: The Mad Earl’s Bride
Author: Loretta Chase
Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality Rating: Sensual
Source: review copy provided by publisher via Edelweiss
Published: June 4, 2013 by Avon Impulse

Gwendolyn Adams is about to propose to an earl. On his deathbed.

Gwendolyn Adams isn't shocked at being asked to save a handsome earl's dying line, even when she learns the prospective bridegroom is seriously ill and possibly insane. She's quite a good nurse, after all, and her family is famous for producing healthy male children. Those stories about his riding the moors half-naked on a pale white horse? Extremely intriguing—especially after she gets her first look at the gorgeous lunatic.

The Earl of Rawnsley wants only to lose what's left of his mind in peace and privacy. But his busybody relatives have saddled him with a surprise bride and orders to sire an heir forthwith. (And they say he's mad?) But with Gwendolyn, his health is returning, and his resistance ... crumbling. Is it possible that love is the finest madness of all?

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Stellar novella with great leads and strong romance. My only complaint is I don’t get to spend longer with these lovely characters and sexy romance.

The Set Up: Dorian is the Earl of Rawnsley and is convinced he’s going insane like his mother did and he wants to be left alone to do it. But his busybody relatives order him to marry Gwendolyn to beget an heir before he passes. Gwen is willing to marry Dorian so she becomes a woman of influence and money to build a hospital. But Dorian may not be as close to death as he thinks and Gwen isn’t willing to let Dorian go without a fight.

Why I Read this Book: Avon Addict here!

What I Liked: I love both characters here. Gwen is a unique historical heroine in that she’s essentially a scientist. She knows her mind and that she’s interested in medicine and treating patients with care and compassion. It’s rare in romance that I love a heroine but I really loved Gwen for her compassion but also her honesty. She treats Dorian with respect as a human when everyone thinks he’s losing his mind but she doesn’t patronize him or treat him as a child. She’s warm, loving and honest at all times and I loved that. Dorian is perfect for her because he’s supportive and understands her unique way of looking at the world and his illness. He wants desperately to build a life with Gwen and to watch his heartbreak as he faces his “death” is romance gold.

Given that this is a novella, I worried that the romance was going to be shortchanged but it wasn’t. The sexual and emotional intimacy were both perfect for the characters and their relationship development.

What I Also Liked: Historical romance fans no doubt have read this author’s romance classic, Lord of Scoundrels, which has Bertie, the heroine’s charming but simple brother. He makes funny cameos in this novella too and offers perfect levity to what otherwise may be a dark book.

Finally, I enjoyed the plot of Dorian’s illness. I’m sure other readers will figure it out early on as I did but I still found it enjoyable to get Dorian and Gwen past this to their HEA.

What I Didn’t Like: As with all great novellas, I wanted this to be longer. I loved these characters and their romance so much that I would love to spend another hundred pages with them.

IMO: Historical romance fans should absolutely read this lovely novella and will no doubt devour it as I did.


J9’s Rating:
4 1/2 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


  1. Replies
    1. It is imo! Hit the spot for me

  2. I love Loretta Chase's other books, but I wasn't sure if I would like this one with it being a novella. I think I probably will read it soon because I like the others so much, and I'm glad to hear you really liked it, it bodes well :)


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