challenging emotional hopeful medium-paced
- Plot- or character-driven? Character
- Strong character development? Yes
- Loveable characters? No
- Diverse cast of characters? No
- Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated
5 Word Review: Cynicism, family, friendship, secrets, love.
One Hot Cross Bun, please.
I know, I know, it's in the title. The Cynical Earl. But oh boy is Jack cynical. About everything. Business, family, love... I mean everything. I don't think I was quite prepared for the levels of cynicism, but it worked so darn well with the character, and made his development *chef's kiss*.
Cecily has a little cynicism herself, but she is also a bit of a ray of sunshine. She's hopeful even with her distrust, and she's a good and loyal person. If I'm honest, most of her cynicism is aimed at her mother and society, for when it comes to the love of her friend she on board and supportive. She's also headstrong and trying to to her best for those she loves.
Jack is just... Cynical about it all. He doesn't understand the concept of love, thinks that it's a fool's game. He's brooding and grumpy, but he's had a tough life. He focuses on his business and shuns pretty much all else. And he doesn't have the best opinion of women, and debutantes especially, at the beginning. He's a hot cross bun of the best type, because he comes to understand that perhaps his thinking was wrong. We love to see growth like this.
Also, look at the brooding on the cover! Such scowling from Jack, such lightness from Cecily. Honestly the cover is perfect for this book, and I think it captures the essence of the pair fantastically.
I loved that this felt like a slow burn, even when it wasn't. The forced proximity made everything so intense, made their passion burn that much faster. I like the way the story undulated between battles of wit and slow country life, society parties and intimate evenings. The mixed pace made it a delight to read, I loved the writing style. And the end? Well, that is about as fast paced as it could be!
I loved this cynical, brooding romance, the slow melting of the characters. I'd happily read it again and will be seeking out more of Catherine Tinley's work!
Minor: Blood and Death of parent