The Actor and the Earl

The Actor and the Earl - Rebecca Cohen Did I read the same book as the other reviewers? Because to me it was bad, very bad and poorly executed. I was so eager to read it, and to turned out like this... An actor who dresses as a woman and has to marry an Earl? Said Earl knows his real gender and he is delighted by it? My kind of story.

But.... It has a couple of good points that, sadly, cannot diminish the real bad points:

Positive:

- The MC's name is Sebastian. Sebastian. Gorgeous name.

- Cross-dressing. One of my favorite genres in MM romances.

Really bad:

- Anthony, the "hero". Yikes. What an unpleasant "hero". He is supposed to be an Earl, but he behaves so vulgarly. No gentleman here. No, no. The way he eats, the way he behaves... He is the worst husband Sebastian could get. I am thankful that his twin sister did not have to marry this jerk. And why is a jerk? Mmm, let's see...

* He is a man-whore. Or "was". (yeah, right **eyeroll**) He slept with women, men, wives... He even slept with his best friend! That scene where Sebastian caught them in his studio almost made me vomit with disgust. Disgusting. And his reasons were even more disgusting.
* He is a filthy hypocrite He gets angry and "jealous" at Sebastian when he sees him with another man, but he can't keep his hands from his ex-lovers? Let alone, he likes to flirt. And I don't even want to know where he went when Sebastian visited Matthew and Anthony parted angry to London. My guess? To a brothel, most likely.
* He is not a man of honor what was that where he threatened Sebastian to tell the truth, only because he was "jealous"? So low of him.
* He is a horny bastard who does not regret anything right, he comes to apologize "deeply" to Sebastian; he had been very unhappy since Sebastian went away, so Anthony traveled from his state to London to ask Sebastian for forgiveness... with a bottle of lube in his pocket. A real hero **eyeroll**. And Sebastian? Just wait. I will get thru him eventually.
* I truly think he suffers from bipolar disorder. One moment he was all tender towards Sebastian, next second he was cold or angry. He never explained why, and at the next second he was apologizing. Or he yells at Sebastian when Sebastian says he is his husband, and next second, when Sebastian says Anthony is Bronwyn's husband, he gets angry again, saying Sebastian is his husband. Erm.

- No chemistry whatsoever. Not only between Anthony and Sebastian (oh my, why the hell they fall for each other is a mystery. Their sex scenes, fortunately short, were lacking passion, lust, etc.) but also between the other characters as well. Matthew and Sebastian "new friendship".. so forced. I could never felt the bond between them. Sebastian and Anthony's kid. The best relationship one could have been between Anthony and Bronwyn, only because Bronwyn hated him and called him pig, which, if I were her, would be doing exactly so. Only her feelings towards Anthony felt remotely real.

- Inconsistencies: one moment Sebastian receives a letter, he recognizes Anthony's handwriting before opening the seal, and the next moment, he gets a sonnet and cannot recognize Anthony's handwriting? OK, right **eyeroll*.

- I assume this happens in medieval times, because of the theaters, the Queen, etc. But people's way of talking is like it is a Contemporary story; they behave like 20th Century people. Like, some loyal servants at Anthony's house know his taste in women and men, and all is OK? Not one servant, not two... Several. Including Matthew. And they are all OK with it, like it is all normal and good for a man to have a male lover? Aha, right **eyeroll**.

- Sebastian. Oh Sebastian **shaking head with disappointment**. You did not live up to your namesake. Because he was so stupid, poor boy. How on Earth did he fall in love with Anthony? How on Earth did he forgive every single silliness Anthony made? Like, I don't know, bringing a freaking bottle of lube when he was asking your forgiveness!. Or, maybe the fact that he was willing to cheat on you till you interrupted him! Or, all his freaking changes of humor? There are too many unforgivable things that Anthony committed that are not worth to write anymore. There is a time where Sebastian says "I may have played a woman, but I am not one". Aha. So how come you are in my list of "chick with dicks", Sebastian? He is so TSTL he got himself into an abusive relationship. Anthony is a jerk, does not respect him, does not love him as he deserves and is constantly using and abusing him. But, oh right! he apologizes immediately **eyeroll**.

- The writing. So off. Nothing was well developed. One scene jumped to the other. From beginning (Sebastian out of nowhere has to dress like his twin sister) to the end (Edward and his lost lover **vomit**).

Not recommended. I've read better fanfictions than this.