Title: Ruined & Redeemed: The Earl’s Fallen Wife
Author: Bree Wolf
Publisher: WOLF Publishing
Release Date: June 2017
Length: 376 pages
Series?: Love’s Second Chance Series: Tales of Damsels and Knights #2
Genre: Historical, Romance
LADY CHARLOTTE FRAMPTON is dead…at least, that is what everyone believes. Fleeing from her life-shattering past, Charlotte reinvents herself as Lotte and becomes the companion to a viscount’s sister. All she is hoping for is a simple and quiet life in the country, away from the demons that still plague her. However, her safe haven is threatened when a visitor arrives one day.
SEBASTIAN CAMPBELL, son to the EARL OF WESTON, failed in the most miserable way…and his sister had to pay the price. At his wits’ end, he seeks advice from an old friend, and as though fate chose to intervene at last, his path crosses that of a young woman with soulfully deep eyes. The pain and regret he sees in them echo within his own heart, and Sebastian knows without a doubt that he has found his other half.
Can Sebastian convince Charlotte that it is never too late for forgiveness and love?
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While the story was supposed to be suspenseful, the first many chapters of the book with Charlotte’s inner dialogue and thoughts, flashbacks, etc. were so confusing. As a reader, it was frustrating. What was she talking about? Where was this going? Was this really the book I thought it was?
Eventually things get less convoluted, except we as readers never get the full backstory fully revealed to us until much later.
Charlotte Frampton, daughter of an earl, committed a horrible crime two years prior, for which her parents institutionalized her for and told everyone she had died. Because she would never get out of the institution.
Until she does.
And now what? She can’t be Charlotte Frampton, daughter of an earl anymore. And what if someone recognizes her!? So she must create a new identity and develop amnesia. That’s how she winds up at Lord Ashwood’s estate under the care of the family and local doctor.
Sebastian, Earl of Campbell, is the strange and seemingly cold-hearted Lord Ashwood’s best (and only) friend. He is dead set on doing anything and everything to anger his father in revenge for marrying his younger sister off to a man not of her choosing while he planned and sent him out of the country. He will never forgive him. And will make what remains of his life hell. Even if it means destroying and ruining the family name. That’s why he initially chooses to marry “lost” and “confused” Charlotte Frampton. When he introduces her to his parents, that’s exactly what he leads with, too. So it was hard for me to buy his story of choosing Charlotte. He also gave a line about seeing she’d been through struggle and was strong in their first meeting.
There was a lot of crossed paths between Charlotte and Sebastian’s sister. I won’t go into those details, but there were SO many similarities.
After the plot really got moving along with the subplot of Baron Northfield, I felt deja vu. I felt like Wolf literally copied another book I’d read. And the more I read, the more convinced I was! And then I got pissed. I kept reading, but I was raging mad. And then I realized. This book’s timeline and events follow along with Once Upon a Devilishly Enchanting Kiss (The Whickertons in Love #1). That’s why all of the business with Northfield felt like I had already read it nearly word for word.
And with all the individuals involved in the business with Northfield, I was shocked at how easily so many who where permanently pained were able to just let go and assist Charlotte. Who a few times in the present time again raised concerns similar to the incidents two years prior. I think Wolf was trying to give Charlotte her own story, humanize her in a way, and it didn’t get there. She still seemed a touch psycho.