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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: The Countess by Lynsay Sands

The Countess
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: January 25, 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: E-ARC
Challenge: 2011 Historical Romance
Rating: 5 STARS

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 she 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 had robbed him of his name and title . . . only to discover that he had 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!

Christiana has been married to who she thought was Richard Fairgrave, the Earl of Radnor for the past year. The year has been filled with so much emotional abuse that she is just a shell of the free spirit she once was. One day her sisters show up and tell her that their father has once again gambled away all their money and that Suzette needs to find a husband quick so that she can tap into her dower to save them from ruin. Unfortunately, Richard dies (poisoned by someone) before they can put in motion any plans. Now the sisters have to try and hide the body so that they don't have to go into mourning for a year. I never laughed so hard!

Now enter the real Richard Fairgrave! His twin brother, George, had thought he killed him and then he took over his life. Richard escaped and now has returned to seek his revenge...only to find out George is dead! Kind of puts a crimp in his revenge plans. He also finds out that he is married to Christiana. Bonus! Richard's best friend Daniel convinces him to just step into George's shoes to avoid scandal on Christiana and her sisters. Now it is their turn to figure out what to do with the body!

When the real Richard Fairgrave shows up at the ball that the girls are attending, they are besides themselves thinking he has come back from the dead! Early on Richard reveals to Christiana who he really is and together they try to figure out how to avoid scandal and find out who has killed George. At the same time, they are growing closer to each other and eventually give into their own temptation...:)

This book had me laughing out loud many times! I have been a fan of Lynsay Sands for a long time and have enjoyed her Argeneau and Rogue Hunter series immensely. Her historical romance books are just as good. There are several things going on at once in this book and the interactions between the characters are wicked fun! Even to just read this book to see how many times George's body is moved is worth it! It also sets up for Ms. Sands next book The Heiress which features Richard's friend Daniel and Christiana's sister Suzette. Can't wait!

E-ARC received free from publisher via NetGalley.
I have received no compensation for this review and my opinions are my own. 
Summary taken from Goodreads