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Book Review: The Iron Earl

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

Evalyn needs an escape and Lachlan the Earl of Who-Gives-A-Fuck is her ticket out. After pursuing him for hours, she finally convinces (read blackmails) him into taking her with him when he leaves.

She was looking for an escape, she didn’t expect to lose her heart.

I normally don’t encourage people to judge a book by its cover… but for this one I’ll make an exception.

Like seriously… The cover is laughably bad. But not in that “I’m a poor indie who isn’t able to afford a graphic designer” but in that “I’m a rich indie who is too cheap to pay someone what they’re worth and instead fired up MS Paint.” Let me break it down - we’ve got the random floating pixelated and blurry castle just plopped on top of a landscape. Badly photo-shopped clouds plopped on top of that. A floating head cut off of a model. A random blob of flesh colored paint for the chest. An uneven cadet blue gown brought to you by drawing by hand, the fill feature, and smudge tool… that randomly cuts off so she’s floating in midair like a half-formed ghost. A picture of fabric used as a cloak and then shaped into form via the smudge tool. Off-centered title text. Off-centered flourishes. Cut-off flourishes… Basically as one person I showed the cover to said “It’s faster to list what isn’t wrong with this.” Because they’re not wrong!

Here’s the reason I’m annoyed as fuck over this. K.J. Jackson earns over 10K a month on Amazon - she’s had multiple bestsellers. This is not her first release. This is not her last. She can afford to pay someone $300-500 for a cover. And this is not the work of a professional graphic designer.

That same level of shoddy work is present in the text of the book.

First let’s hit the technical. There were grammar errors all over this book. From comma faults, to wrong words, to homophones. Worse, it was clear that this book was riding on the coattails of Outlander only without the time travel and the likable characters… more on that in a bit. This felt like it was right out of the 1740s rather than the stated date of 1816. The historiography was off… in both directions. The characters used a lot of modern terminology in their speech (I’m more lenient in description) as well as anachronistic words and phrases… specifically AMERICAN words and phrases. Like “Snuck” and “thrown for a loop.”

Then we get to the characters. Eva is too stupid to live. She makes so many assumptions and bad decisions and then doesn’t communicate. Worse, the author has jumped on the “we have to make the heroine an abuse victim and then have the hero heal her with his magic cock!” train. I hate that train. It smells worse than an empty subway car in NYC.

And of course, Lachlan is an alpha asshole. I mean his first words to the heroine when she says “I’ll do anything!” are “Oh will you?” with a leering grin on his face. That’s the kind of response I expect from a villain… not the hero.

I couldn’t finish the book. I don’t recommend you start it.

One star

If this is your jam, you can get it here.

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