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26 July 2021

Book Review: Captivating the Cynical Earl by Catherine Tinley *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of Captivating the Cynical Earl by Catherine Tinley ahead of the blog tour.

It's a Monday, so it's time for a Mills & Boon! I couldn't resist requesting this one. Look at that brooding face on the cover, the sparkle in the heroines eye. Such a tease for the story within.

Captivating the Cynical Earl by Catherine Tinley Mills & Boon historical book cover

The cool, aloof earl

And the enchanting lady

For Jack Beresford, Earl of Hawkenden, emotional entanglements are the path to pain.

But when his brother brings his new wife and her best friend to his country home, everything changes. 

Lady Cecily Thornhill is both vibrant and beautiful, and Jack finds himself increasingly captivated by her sunny nature.

Yet he must resist her charms, for in a month she’ll be gone - unless his frozen heart thaws before then…

Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

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!

Captivating the Cynical Earl by Catherine Tinley blog tour banner

Catherine Tinley is an award winning author of historical romance. She writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her first book, Waltzing with the Earl, won the Rita Award for Best Historical Romance 2018, while Rags-to-Riches Wife won the RoNA Award for Best Historical Romance 2021.

She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, Sure Start, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, cats, and dog and can be reached at on facebook, twitter, and instagram.


  1. Honestly, this main character sounds like my worst nightmare! It's great that his character development was so good though because if he was just as cynical by the end of the book I would have screamed haha! Great review :) x

  2. Ah gotta love some character development. This sounds like a fun read - I got a bit of a taste for these kind of romances when I started reading the Bridgerton books, so an author I shall have to watch out for. Great review.

  3. Oooh this sounds good! I love anything with a forced proximity narrative, never fails to entertain. Love the idea of the protagonist's development too, grump to sunshine is always nice to read. Lovely review!

  4. This sounds right up my street. This genre is my go-to for summer reads in the garden, I was obsessed with Bridgerton!

  5. Oooh this sounds like such a good book, I've got so many on my TBR list at the moment though! :(

  6. This sounds so good! I love that there's romance and good character development - it sounds perfect for me! Thanks for sharing x


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