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Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite
At its heart, Earl of Dryden: Chronicles of a Bluestocking by Tammy Andresen is a story about two people who recognize the horrific obstacles they face and learn to trust each other enough to fill the void in their lives. Fin may be an Earl, but his past reeks of wicked vices. Wanting to redeem himself, he is told by his solicitor to marry well. But how could he risk sending someone down the same path he may take again? Beautiful Chloe Finch lost her ability to speak shortly after her mother died. Her aunt views it as rebellion and attempts to curb this wayward girl, but it only makes matters worse. Fin's kindness and confidence give her back her voice. Can Fin trust himself enough to let Chloe help his cause?
One of the strongest factors of Earl of Dryden is Tammy Andresen's character development. You feel the dread of Fin's past weighing him down and his fear of involving innocent Chloe. And you experience the horror Chloe must have felt by the things said and done to her. Andresen is a master at building the intensity of the scene while unfolding the plot. She keeps up the pace while the characters uncover key information about their dilemmas. Overall, this novel is short but powerful, written by an author who is accomplished in historical romance. You experience the depth of the characters, the magnitude of their freedom, and the insight it took for it all to fall into place. This is an excellent taste of how the author pulls you into the story before releasing you at the end.