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Counting on a Countess: The London Underground Mass Market Paperback – March 27, 2018
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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“Tamsyn and Kit are a match in charm, wit, and intelligence. Their passion ignites the pages, and their journey to love and trust will touch the hearts of readers.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Leigh proves that the most intriguing part of London is its underground; a place where a smuggler and a nobleman can make the perfect match. Always original, sensual, absorbing and fast paced, Leigh’s novels explore the dark and dangerous aspects of the era. Readers will be clambering for more of her emotional, well-told tales that can be enjoyed over and over again.” (RT Book Reviews (top pick))
“Eva Leigh is proving herself as vital a voice in the genre as those with slightly lengthier book lists to their credit. Leigh consistently crafts whip-smart heroines and irresistible heroes delivered in packages bursting with wicked wit, feminist leanings, and sex positivity... For any who question whether historical romance is outdated or can be feminist, look no further than Eva Leigh’s work – while maintaining assiduous historical accuracy, she delivers intoxicating yarns that bulldoze tropes and flip gender expectations on their head.” (Entertainment Weekly)
From the Back Cover
For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s strategy. . .
Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers . . . until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one month to inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.
Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds to keep her smuggling operation afloat. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees. After all, her secrets could land her in prison and an attentive, love-struck spouse could destroy everything.
But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality, and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time.
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When their reasons for wedding are blown open: the fortune, the smuggling, they come apart and then fight their way back together. The ending is a surprise, a very clever (you won't see it coming) rescue of two lives and two firery hearts.
Tamsyn Pearce is the daughter of a Baronet, with a manor house in Cornwall, an Aunt and Uncle who have taken up residence, and a desperate need to care for the small fishing village of the estate. Now some 26 years of age, she has been the organizer of a smuggling operation, established when she was 16 to provide for the village. Now, with the house falling down, her uncle threatening to sell and Tamsyn’s options bleak, she’s off to London to sell the latest cache of French Brandy and Lace. She’s also on the hunt for a husband for a purely business relationship: she’s in need of the name, protection and the money to buy her family home.
These two are perfect for one another: Tamsyn’s beauty, her calm and forthright manner and curiosity spark something in Kit that has been long missing: and she’s quite amenable to a marriage of convenience: acquiring the title and freedom (after an heir) that Kit can provide. Never expecting real friendship, let alone love: the two are drawn to one another, even as situations change in unexpected ways. Growth, true feeling and tough decisions about one another, love, life’s journey and honesty all come into play here: showing maturity, heart, and both coming into their own in admitting their need for one another, and then finding a way to overcome obstacles in their desire to provide for others.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Our hero in this second installment is Christopher "Kit" Ellingsworth, who has returned home a war hero and been awarded an earldom for his service in the fight against Napoleon. Kit has the reputation of being a spendthrift and womanizer, and his new title hasn't added a penny to his coffers. But Kit's laissez faire lifestyle is really his way of coping with the horrors of war, and this vulnerability drew me into Kit's character and created a good emotional connection with his character. When Kit's mentor, Lord Somersby, dies and leaves him a fortune with some very unusual conditions, Kit's dreams are within reach if he can only find a willing and supportive wife.
Tamsyn Pearce has grown up in the wilds of Cornwall, and hasn't had the best life since the death of her parents when she was young. Tamsyn took up the mantle of responsibility at a young age, becoming a smuggler to support her impoverished fishing village. Now she's in London to sell her illicit wares and find herself a rich husband that will leave her to her own devices in the country. I really struggled with Tamsyn's character.
So this is where my heroine hater tendencies come out I suppose. I was definitely more forgiving of Kit's behavior than I was Tamsyn's. Because I had a connection to him, and I knew what was going on in his head, I didn't view his behavior to be as bad as Tamsyn's deception. I also didn't like how Tamsyn reacted and was somewhat sanctimonious given her own behavior, particularly when she knew how her war veteran husband could be impacted by her illegal activity.
The romance between these two was a fairly slow burn. While they married very quickly, the courtship began after the marriage and carried throughout most of the book. I felt like Tamsyn's secrets were a bigger obstacle to the relationship, and Kit was more invested in the relationship. I felt like this in the last book, From Duke Til Dawn, as well. So I think this series/trope may not necessarily be for me... but I am so dang interested in Langdon and Amina that I am sure I will keep reading.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Avon.
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