Secrets of a Proper Countess by Lecia Cornwall

Setting: Regency


Lady Isobel Maitland cannot afford to be caught doing anything even remotely scandalous, or she risks losing everything she holds dear. But one night, in a dark garden at a masquerade ball, Isobel gives in to temptation and lets an innocent flirtation with the notorious Marquess of Blackwood turn into passion.

The Marquess is no stranger to seduction or intrigue, and his rake’s reputation disguises a deadly mission. When his mystery lover flees before he can learn her name, he knows he must find her. But all clues lead toward the prim and dowdy Isobel Maitland. It appears the lady has secrets of her own, secrets that Blackwood would dearly love to uncover . . .

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This is a brilliant first novel! I was thoroughly intrigued by the plot and found myself staying up just to finish it! The story itself isn’t exactly new but the way it was done was exciting and I love how the hero has a double life! 😀

Phineas was an interesting hero-he pretends to be a scoundrel but is secretly a spy working for the British government. I would have liked a little bit more insight to his character as at times, I just wasn’t sure if he was just pretending to be a rogue or actually was one. I also thought he took too long to realize Isobel was the masked woman he was searching for.

Isobel was a very relate-able heroine and easy to like. She is basically treated like a slave by her in-laws and she has to disguise her true self in order to keep her son safe. She basically had everything thrown in her way but she held herself up with courage and determination. She represented a lot of the obstacles we women face and it was great to see her happy ending. She deserved it! I thought she was awesome 😀

The two meet very early on in the book and then the rest of the book is about Phineas trying to find out who the masked woman at the ball really is. I LOVED the sexual tension between these two! I love the subterfuge and how some conversations have double meanings! I also loved how Phineas was drawn by Isobel normally (when he thinks she’s a prim and dowdy widow) and he can’t understand why 😉 Juicy!!! And my, were those sexy scenes steamy! I would have liked it though if they had more of a chance to develop a stronger relationship-it did seem like most of their relationship was physical.

The book started off pretty predictable and dull but by the third chapter, things got pretty exciting. I liked the mystery subplot and thought it added to the book. I loved how slimy the in laws were-made me root for Isobel all the more!

The writing was nothing spectacular but I liked the pacing and thought overall this was a great debut, with an exciting plot and likable leads and sexy romance 😉 Can’t wait for the next book!

Sensuality Rating: Pretty Hot (Love scenes are quite long and explicit)

Verdict: Great debut! Definitely worth a read! 😀

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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