Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: The Actor and the Earl by Rebecca Cohen

The Actor And The Earl by Rebecca Cohen
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 216pgs
3.5 Pants Off

Elizabethan actor Sebastian Hewel takes his bow at the proscenium only to embark on the role of a lifetime. When his twin sister, Bronwyn, reneges on the arrangement to marry Earl Anthony Crofton, Sebastian reluctantly takes her place. At nineteen, Sebastian knows his days as a leading lady are numbered, but with this last performance, he hopes to restore his family’s name and pay off his late father’s debts. Never mind the danger of losing his head should he be discovered.

He didn’t expect Anthony to be so charming and alluring—not to mention shrewd. While he applauds Sebastian’s plan, Anthony offers a mutually beneficial arrangement instead. Sebastian will need every drop of talent he has to survive with both his head and his heart intact, because this is the best part he’s ever had.

Sebastian Hewel is an actor, who plays the female role in all the plays he does. He's good at it, but knows that he's getting older and soon his chances for landing roles will run out. When his cousin Claire shows up in his dressing room, she suggests a proposition that could cost him his head (quite literally). Seems his twin is to get married to Earl Anthony Crofton, but she ran off with some blacksmith, and Sebastian is to impersonate her. Pulling it off would mean the debt of his father would be paid off, so now Sebastian must get ready to play the role of his life.

What Sebastian can't quite figure out why Anthony would want to marry his sister, she is quite plain and the Earl could do a lot better. Sebastian hopes he can pull through with the wedding, but his secret gets blown to hell & high water when Anthony calls him out on his impersonation. Seems he isn't quite the actor he thought, and Anthony wants him to keep the farce going. He is to be his wife for few years, live a life of luxury, and indulge in some carnal delights with the sexy Earl. What Sebastian never expected was to fall in love and be battling some serious jealously cus Anthony was some kind of slutty.

Yes, I did enjoy reading this book, and it was entertaining but I could have done with Anthony not catching on so soon to the whole not being a woman thing. It was unexpected, and took away some of the wow factor. There is no villain that tries to destroy Anthony and Sebastian’s life; they manage that all on their own. These guys are hot one minute and cold the next (mainly Anthony, he pulls all kinds of douche moves). I feel like he should have been more appreciative of Sebastian the man was playing two roles he must have been exhausted.

As I said no conflicts or crazy, just that overall historical vibe of "I love him, but he doesn't love me" kinda thing and the ton can‘t understand why the Earl took such a plain looking wife. The MCs were lukewarm together, not hot but not cold. They had some nice scenes, but should really work on communication. While reading I kept waiting for other shoe to drop, like how long can they keep the ruse going? I feel like they will forever be hiding.

Should You Read It? Yes, it’s a nice historical romance with a happy ending. It really reminded me of reading an M/F historical (trust me I have read hundreds of those). The rake has to go proving himself, after accidentally messing up that one time, separation, and boom forgiveness. Kudos to the cross-dressing, I really enjoy when men dress up.

3.5 Pants Off

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