The Mad Earl's Bride by Loretta Chase
Series: Scoundrels #3.5
Also in this series: Lord of Scoundrels, Lord of Scoundrels, The Mad Earl's Bride
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
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Originally appeared in the print anthology Three Weddings and a Kiss (1995).
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?
Dorian’s mother goes mad when he’s at university. He has a hard life but eventually becomes an Earl. This means nothing, however, because he knows he’s slowly going insane, just as his mother once did. He sees things and has horrible, debilitating pain in his head. He’s only been given 6 months to live and he wants to do that in peace. His personal physician, who once cared for his mother as well, has agreed to give him all the laudanum he requires to get him through his final days.
Enter Gwendolyn Adams. She is a woman on a mission. She is determined to build a hospital where she has a say in what is done and how it is run. She needs money and Dorian has it. In a few months he won’t be needing it any longer so it’s a perfect match. It’s a bit less mercenary than that but it’s basically how it is. Dorian agrees against his better judgement and the pair are wed.
Immediately Gwendolyn tries to figure Dorian out. She wants to be a doctor but in that day and age women weren’t thought to have a brain much less trusted as doctors. She did study under another doctor though who she learned a great deal from and tries to figure out how to save Dorian if possible. During that time she falls in love with the man. He is kind and loving and their perfect for each other in bed. She actually does help him through a couple of episodes and he starts to feel better than he has in ages.
Because he falls in love with Gwen as well he knows he has to make her dream of a hospital happen before he dies – but that take longer than he thinks.
This was a great book. Here we have a man who thinks he’s a lunatic and a woman who gathers and studies medical information. You wouldn’t think that they would ever suit each other much less fall in love but they definitely do that. I loved the mix of the emotional and the analytical that Chase put into the story. It really blended well and made for an intriguing read. I almost wished that the story was longer as I was so into it. Definitely not to be missed.
Rating: 4 out of 5.