Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: The Countess

Christianna got a bum-deal when she married Dicky. He made promises of love and devotion, but on the day they got married, he dropped his facade of a white knight. And in the year since, he has been unloving and cruel. He insults her at every turn; has cut her off from society and those she loves. And there is nothing she can do about it.  Until fortune smiles on Chrissy and Dickie drops dead.

It seems Chrissy’s father has some gambling debts he can’t pay off. So she and her sisters Lisa and Suzette hatch a plan to marry Suzette off to get ahold of her dowry. They plan to hide Dicky’s death just long enough to introduce Suzette to society before the family has to go into mourning.  What no one expects is for Dicky to come back from the dead.  Well, not exactly that. Dicky’s name is really George and (up until his death) he has been impersonating his twin brother Richard, who he had thought was dead. Now Richard is back to reclaim his identity and expose his brother. But Dicky/George’s death complicates his plan. So does the existence of Chrissy. She is Richard’s wife on paper and he eventually begins to consider the idea of sliding back into the life his brother has been living, with Chrissy at his side. Of course there are other issues to deal with, like Dicky/George’s murderer and a blackmail scheme, but that’s what makes it all interesting.

The first half of this book had me laughing out loud in parts. I kept telling myself that it was Historical Romance meets Weekend at Bernie’s. There were some very funny moments dealing with the handling of George’s dead body.  There were also some really steamy parts, which were pretty hot.  The romance was sweet and the groundwork was laid well for the sequel featuring Suzette. It’s not deep or historically accurate, but it clearly isn’t meant to be. It’s simply a fun and easy read… good for a little escapism and a surprising number of laughs. 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

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