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

Advertisements

New Romances Coming February 2011

Enjoy a preview of next month’s delicious selection of romances! *UPDATED*

1) Once Upon a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle (Feb 1)

Summary:

Lady Victoria Jane Emerson left behind her girlish notions of romance when Jonathan deserted her without a backward glance. Now the time has come when she must finally choose a husband, and she has vowed to marry someone who will never break her heart.

Jonathan Pierce Thatcher, Viscount Remington, has returned home, free of all his family’s debts. Only to discover that by some miracle he has been chosen to vie for the hand of his beloved Victoria. To convince his only love to once again believe in the magic of love and the promise of desire will be his greatest challenge yet. And one he cannot fail!

*Book 2 in Scandal series*

Excerpt and more info:

http://www.delilahmarvelle.com/site

 

2) The Seduction Of His Wife by Tiffany Clare (Feb 1)

Summary:

Emma Hallaway has not seen her husband in twelve years—and that’s fine with her. As a young girl, she’d agreed to a simple marriage of convenience, allowing her to pursue her private passion for painting. And though unknown to the rest of polite society, Emma is now one of the most daring and sought-after artists in London. However, when her secret is threatened to be exposed, Emma is forced to open her heart—and her home—to a total stranger: her husband…

Richard Mansfield, Earl of Asbury, is all too familiar with danger. As a matter of fact, it is hard on his heels when he returns to England. Still, even he is shocked to learn of his wife’s scandalous double life as an artist. But once he sees the vibrant grown woman she has become—so passionate, so strong, and so alluring—his undeniable attraction to Emma stuns him. Suddenly Richard is determined to turn their sham of a marriage into a true and lasting love. But how exactly does a gentleman seduce his own wife?

Excerpt and more info:

http://www.tiffanyclare.com/bookshelf/the-seduction-of-his-wife/#excerpt

 

3) After Dark with a Scoundrel by Alexandra Hawkins (Feb 1)

Summary:

Young, tender, and highly impressionable, Lady Regan can’t help but be intrigued by her brother’s wayward friends—the wickedly charming Lords of Vice. One man in particular, the dashing Lord Hugh Mordare, known simply as “Dare” among the ton, utterly captivates her—in spite of his reputation as a notorious womanizer. But when she steals an innocent kiss from Dare, Regan is swiftly packed off to boarding school, safely away from danger…and desire.

Young, tender, and highly impressionable, Lady Regan can’t help but be intrigued by her brother’s wayward friends—the wickedly charming Lords of Vice. One man in particular, the dashing Lord Hugh Mordare, known simply as “Dare” among the ton, utterly captivates her—in spite of his reputation as a notorious womanizer. But when she steals an innocent kiss from Dare, Regan is swiftly packed off to boarding school, safely away from danger…and desire.

*Book 3 in Lords of Vice series*

Excerpt and more info:

http://www.alexandrahawkins.com/

 

4) What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long (Feb 22)

Summary:

For years, he’s been an object of fear, fascination…and fantasy. But of all the wicked rumors that forever dog the formidable Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge, the ton knows one thing for certain: only fools dare cross him. And when Ian Eversea does just that, Moncrieffe knows the perfect revenge: he’ll seduce Ian’s innocent sister, Genevieve—the only member of the powerful and wealthy Eversea family as yet untouched by scandal. First he’ll capture her heart…and then he’ll break it.

But everything about Genevieve is unexpected: the passion simmering beneath her cool control, the sharp wit tempered by a gentleness that coaxes out his deepest secrets… And though Genevieve has heard the whispers about the duke’s dark past, and knows she trifles with him at her peril, one incendiary kiss tempts her deeper into a world of extraordinary sensuality. Until Genevieve is faced with a fateful choice…is there anything she won’t do for a duke?

*Book 5 in Pennyroyal Green series*

Excerpt and more info:

http://www.julieannelong.com/internal/books_whatsnext.htm#excerpt

 

5) The Heiress by Lynsay Sands (Feb 22)

Summary:

Suzette is not like other heiresses; she wants a poor husband. A gentleman who will be so grateful for her dowry that he will allow her access to her dowry so she can help pay off her father’s gambling debts. When this alluring beauty encounters Daniel Woodward—handsome, titled, single…and even more impoverished than she could have hoped for—it seems Suzette’s wildest dream has come true.

But Daniel has not been truthful. Tired of being accosted by an endless stream of vapid coquettes and their fortune-hunting mothers, Daniel has decided to plead poverty to stop them in their tracks. Yet here is a most refreshing and delectable lady who claims to be thrilled by his penury. Now all Daniel has to do to find true happiness is to keep a little white lie alive…while avoiding a dastardly villain who’s determined to prevent this union by any means necessary.

*Book 2 in Madison Sisters series*

Excerpt and more info:

http://www.lynsaysands.net/books/historical/heiress.html

 

6) Seducing the Governess by Margo Maguire (Feb 22)

Summary:

A Proper Governess Should Never. . .

Assist a handsome stranger, alone on an unfamiliar road . . . unless the rake happens to be her new employer.

Take a position in a crumbling manor . . . especially if the household staff has been replaced by unruly former soldiers.

Allow her young charge entrance to her heart . . . for once done, it will be impossible to maintain proper distance.

Permit her charge’s uncle a breathtaking kiss under a star-lit sky . . . henceforth she will most certainly lose composure whenever he is near.

And above all, she should never, ever fall completely, irreversibly in love with her employer . . . for nothing good can possibly come of it.

More info:

http://www.margomaguire.com/index.html

Happy Reading!

%d bloggers like this: