Monday, January 24, 2011

The Countess

Author: Lynsay Sands
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

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!

The Countess is the first in a new series by Lynsay Sands that comes out this month. The second, The Heiress, follows in February 2011. I really enjoyed this book. It was charming, sexy, romantic, funny and intriguing. While it is a historical romance, I didn’t feel bogged down in details of clothing style or the period that I feel, at times, overpowers other books of the genre. The book has some real laugh out loud moments, most involving the unexpected death of "Dicky".

Christiana is the typical first born heiress who has not “worldly”, which leads to a funny scene when discussing marriage consummation with a family friend. She has spent the last year being demeaned and emotionally abused by her husband, so her spirits have been broken and she has no self confidence anymore. I enjoyed seeing her come out of her shell and become the woman she was before she married. Richard is the hero that we all want to fall in love with because he is just so likable. The thing that appealed to me about this book was that there was no real angst between the couple. Their relationship flows pretty easily even though they are thrown into the relationship. They genuinely like and respect each other, almost from the first. The attraction is immediate and leads to some very steamy scenes. There is also a bit of mystery, the answer to which, I didn’t see coming.

I will add that the peripheral characters, especially the two sisters, are what really drew me into Richard and Christiana’s story. I personally can’t wait to read Suzette’s story, which is next in The Heiress. She was feisty, funny and unpredictable. I also hope that Lisa gets her own story as well. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good romance and fans of Ms. Sands will want to pick this up as well. You won’t be disappointed. 4 out of 5 stars.

-- Kari

* note: I read an Advanced Reader’s e-proof copy of The Countess supplied courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers. I was not approached or compensated in anyway for this review. By receiving a complimentary copy, I am in no way obligated to write a good or bad review. I am an honest reviewer and my reviews are based on my own opinion and only written by me.*

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