To Marry an Earl (Book Review)

At a Glance

  • Author: Karen Thornell
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications
  • On-Sale Date: Sept. 1, 2021
  • Synopsis: After several years of successfully avoiding marriage, Kate is horrified to learn that her father is auctioning her off to the highest-bidding suitor. She soon finds herself betrothed to an earl, who she believes to be a total stranger.
  • Recommendation: Reader Discretion; See Content Advisory

Christian Themes

  • Sacrificial Love
    • “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13)
    • “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25)

I received a complimentary copy of the ebook from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Note: This is the second title I have read from Covenant Communications and I recently learned that this is an LDS publisher. I’m honestly not sure to what extent that has shaped the content of the books I reviewed— NetGalley groups them with Christian titles and both books have read like other titles I’ve encountered— but I am not a member of the LDS church, nor do I uphold their doctrines.

Spiritual Elements

As far as I can recall, there are no references to faith/ relationship with God. At most, the characters attended church. With that said, there were some Christian themes (addressed below), though they weren’t specifically “packaged” as Christian.

What I Liked

  • Something I did like is that the main character, Kate, is not wasting away, longing to get married. In fact, Kate actively avoids getting married, and would prefer to be single.
  • As an unmarried woman, Kate strives for purity and appropriateness in her interactions with her male friend.
  • I like that Kate undergoes clear character development along the way, and I also feel that the overarching message had more to do with love being a choice (vs. “marriage is what fulfills you.”).
  • The plot line was engaging, with some intriguing twists.
  • I certainly enjoyed the mystery component.
  • Overall, I feel that the book portrays a mostly healthy romantic relationship— except that it’s missing the spiritual component.

Content Concerns

  • This isn’t so much a “concern,” but I would have really liked to see more spiritual themes. I liked the progression of the romance and the character development that occurred alongside it, but would have liked to have read about the ultimate source of love, God.
  • For a regency novel, there were more kissing scenes than I expected, which was a bit disappointing, to me.

Overall Impression

This was certainly and interesting and enjoyable read, but I would categorize it as “clean,” rather than as Christian. As mentioned in previous posts, I am now looking for books that are strongly Christian, as well as being clean.

Published by Stephanie Agnes-Crockett

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

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