The Reluctant Countess
14 January 2013
Purchase: Random House
About the Book:
Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.
Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: The Escape Diaries, The Devil’s Thief, and The Magic.
It is easy to get swept up into a Regency era romance when the pacing and characters are so well defined, and Wendy Vella certainly accomplished that. Well researched for dress, manners and customs the background is perfectly suited to, and helps inform the plot of the story as it moves forward.
With a lyrical style of writing that helps to move the pacing along rapidly, and keep the reader interested in the story. The main pairing of Patrick and Sophie is delightful to watch and discover, seeing the growth in Patrick in the recognition of his emotional connection to Sophie and his utter confusion and discomfort with the depth of his emotions is palpable and highly entertaining. Throughout the majority of the book we dance about the topic of Sophie’s secret, one that to today’s eyes is minimal, but in the hotbed of London society and its constraints would have been ruinous to her life and reputation. It was slightly anti-climactic to discover the secret, with a modern eye it really was a “that’s it?” moment, but perfectly suited to both the story and the character.
There were enough story lines started in this book to be a start to a series surrounding Patrick and Sophie and the people in their circle, I would certainly read it, and will keep an eye out for this author’s future releases.
I received an eBook copy from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
A lover of all things romantic and a sucker for a happy ending. She has been married to her own dark brooding hero for twenty-eight years and shares her home with two wonderful children, two dogs, and anyone else who happens to visit. Born and raised in a rural area in the North Island of New Zealand, Wendy loves the beaches and lush green rolling hills of her homeland.