The Countess by Lynsay Sands

Setting: Regency

*The first book in the Madison Sisters trilogy*

Summary:

The fairy tale courtship did not turn into a happily ever after…

Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters’ debuts as well. So Christiana decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing’s happened…

Until the real earl appears. Richard Fairgrave had every intention of confronting his villainous twin who robbed him of his name and title…only to discover that he’d died. Quietly assuming his identity, Richard must now deal with a maddening desire for his ravishing inherited “wife”—certainly a gold digger and possibly a murderess. And Christiana must deal with an unwanted new “husband”…and they both must figure out what to do before the ice melts!

Click cover for excerpt and more info!

Review:

I loved this funny, fast-paced read from this author I hadn’t read before! Though the plot was at times implausible and there were some anachronisms, the premise was fresh, fun, original and very well pulled off!

The story concerns Christiana, the eldest of the Madison sisters whose cruel husband drops dead one day in his study. She decides to put him away and pretend nothing happened but when she spots him at the ball that evening, her troubles are just beginning! Turns out he’s the one she was meant to be married to and the cruel husband is his evil twin! Naturally, the two en d up falling in love but must also deal with what to do with the twin’s body and the threat of a possible murderer!

I liked Christiana and found her easily relatable. Right from the beginning, you feel sorry for her and what she had to endure and you’re almost rooting for her to find happiness! However, it was a bit silly how long it took her to figure out that the man she met at the ball isn’t her husband-he was so clearly different!

The hero on the other hand (the real one not the fake evil twin!) was sweet, considerate and very sexy! None of that typical arrogance seen in most heroes-this one was sincere and honest. He made the perfect match for Christiana and was the right man to heal all her wounds (in more ways than one :P)

The tension was hot and the story was very intriguing. I stayed up more than one late night just to finish it off! Lynsay Sands has a very easy-to-read and humorous writing style and boy, does she know how to write a love scene! 😀 The plot was at times a bit implausible but hey, this is fiction after all, though if you like your stories more realistic, you might not like this one as much.

I also enjoyed the mystery subplot and it kept me guessing right up till the end. The only flaws in this book was that sometimes the characters acted in very modern ways and more than once during a scene, I would think, a Regency lady wouldn’t do that or say that! This kind of spoiled the magic for me slightly. Then there would be times in a love scene when a heroine’s undergarments would magically disappear and she would be completely bare under her gown!

But apart from those flaws, I still found the book to be a great read, perfect if you want something funny , upbeat and wonderfully romantic to escape into on a boring afternoon. If you’re a bit of a history stickler, than this one’s not for you.

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

Verdict: Prefect escapist fun!

Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars

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