Engaged to the Earl: The Penhallow Dynasty
In this Regency romance, two beautiful people fall in love at first sight and get engaged, only to discover they are not suited. Or at least Gwendolyn Penhallow does, for she is not only beautiful and a member of a highly respected family, but, more importantly, honest and kind. The Earl of Westenbury? Not so much.
By contrast, Gwennie’s childhood friend Christopher Beck is kind, to people and animals both, even if he is not an aristocrat. And unlike the earl, he can be relied upon.
The process by which the pair learn the valuable life lessons that enable them to find happiness together is involving, and it provides an opportunity to comment upon snobbery and various human foibles. There is too a complementary subplot involving Gwennie’s spoiled and selfish cousin Helen. She too falls in love at first sight, but with less success. What distinguishes the book, however, is the characterization, which is marked by the deft use of irony. Jane Austen would approve.