The Untamed Earl
by Taylor Jones, historical (2007)
Leisure, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-8439-5845-4


Reading this book is like listening to someone who thinks she has a good joke to tell me, but before she reaches the punchline, she is laughing so hard to herself in between snorts of mirth that I am completely bewildered by what she is trying to tell me. Taylor Jones has many jokes to share with me in this supposedly humorous historical romp The Untamed Earl but for the life of me I am too busy scratching my head at the bizarre snorts coming from her, figuratively speaking of course.

Is this book a sequel? I understand that the author has written one book for Leisure prior to this one, Radiant, back in 2005 and who knows, the main characters here may have interacted in that book. Maybe they have struck some kind of arrangement or understanding, which explains why at the start of this book heroine Estella Hancock thinks it will be so fun to pull a prank on hero Godolphin, Lord Seabrook, by inviting him to meet her for a "ravishment" and have the two of them discovered in a compromising situation. I can only wonder what kind of brain damage Estella must have suffered from if she can believe that such a prank will be funny. Let's just say that Estella is shocked when she and Godolphin are married. It's just a harmless prank, after all! The thing is, Godolphin is not angry at all, which makes me wonder about any "understanding" these two may have had in the past.

The rest of the story deals with some bizarre attempt at the two of them to discover some kind of plot that may implicate her father and plenty of really childish nonsense on Estella's part to get herself out of the situation she has dug herself into. It is bad enough that I have no idea what the author is thinking when she has Estella pulling that prank on Godolphin, but the rest of the story is even more bizarre. Estella does a lot of really dumb things that don't make sense, probably just so that the author can make me laugh or something. She is easily one of the most idiotic creatures I have come across and it is pure agony to watch her bumble from one stupid misadventure into another. Then again, Godolphin has his shares of dumb moments but at least he's not the one running around like Calamity Jane on drugs.

This book is really bizarre. Really, I can't make sense of this horribly disjointed story at all and the rampant idiocy and ridiculous behaviors all over the place only make things worse. I really don't know what else to say about this book other than maybe the author should try again, but in the mean time maybe we should all pretend that this book has never existed.

Rating: 42


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