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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 16 reviews
on June 16, 2011
The hero in this book was wonderful. He's gentle, perceptive, handsome, solicitous--everything one could hope for! I thought he handled the heroine, who has quite a bit of emotional baggage, superbly. He really draws her out of her shell in scenes that are sweet and tender. The heroine was likable for the most part--she's got real sass and though her life was falling apart, she gave as good as she got. The supporting cast were excellent. I'm now inspired to read the stories of Lady Silverton and Lady Trask. And the love scenes were blazing, as previous reviewers have pointed out.

The problem was that I just never fully related to the heroine's dilemma. This book is very character-driven, since there's not much plot going on. So if the heroine is struggling with a mad sister, why not show her interacting with the sister, instead of only merely letting her talk about Rachel incessantly? I didn't see the source of this stubborn loyalty to a character we never meet nor understand why she would choose duty over her own happiness. I know how powerful family loyalty can be, but in this case, it felt contrived. Her constant Jekyll and Hyde act got a little tiresome--she desires him, flirts with him, boldly engages him, then becomes timid and indecisive and annoyingly bitchy. It's apparent that the author wanted moral courage, or her lack thereof, to be a central theme. But we only saw lots of instances of her being cowardly--sometimes to the point where she was repulsive rather than sympathetic. There was not really a final act of great courage that showed her growth as a character, especially compared to the wealth of the hero's moral courage. I concede that she showed SOME courage in the book's climax, but it was not for the sake of the hero, which felt like a letdown. She's truly got some interesting problems that were worth exploring. I just felt the execution was a little clumsy.

Also: I really can't recommend naming a heroine Bathsheba. It made me want to giggle during all the sex scenes! :)
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on April 22, 2012
This is the first of Kelly's books that I've read. I enjoy her voice and I particularly liked the hero that she created for this story. I had one tiny quibble with one of his choices, but that didn't keep the romance from being very satisfying. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in this series.
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on February 20, 2012
This is my first Vanessa Kelly book, and it certainly won't be the last. This is not your traditional, predictable historical romance with balls and teas and carriage rides. This is gritty, real life and features two characters I would never have expected in a story with a Countess on the cover. The heroine is a widow who, at first blush, is extremely unlikeable. She's arrogant, sharp-tongued, and rude. The only reason the ton puts up with her is because she's so beautiful and because of her title. Kelly does an incredible job of redeeming this character in a realistic way. The character stays true to herself throughout the novel. She doesn't do a one-hundred-eighty degree shift and completely change. Instead, she gradually grows and changes because of the experiences she endures. She learns to care about others, and the reader learns to care about her, and to understand what made her the woman she became. She is a deeply flawed character. I love that the author doesn't try to totally redeem the heroine and make her turn out to be perfect. She remains a flawed character throughout, but what she goes through does change her and make her a better person, flaws and all.

The hero isn't an Earl or a Duke. He doesn't even have a title. He's a doctor, in today's terms, an obstetrician. Kelly takes us into the gritty world of the very poor, showing us their very real plight through the eyes of a man who cares deeply for the people he treats. He risks his life and his reputation to save society's throwaways. It is precisely his gift as a doctor, his ability to read people's expressions and body language to understand and diagnose them, that enables him to see past the aloof, arrogant exterior of the heroine. He is the only person who sees the scared, vulnerable woman beneath the shell. He is the perfect match for the heroine, in every way.

The love story between these two complex characters is incredibly emotional and riveting. There are so many layers to these characters and they are so compelling that I still can't stop thinking about them even after finishing the novel. In spite of all the baggage and secrets both characters have, the resolution of the conflict does not rely on any gimmicks or frustrating misunderstandings. The author resolves each conflict realistically, using the hero's keen sense of understanding of human nature to help him see the truth, rather than let silly assumptions stand in the way between the characters.

If you enjoy deep, emotional, complex characters and an original plot with two unusual characters, you will love My Favorite Countess. This is one of the best historical romances I have ever read.
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on June 20, 2014
Good read! Different type if historical romance but I liked the book very much. Would buy again or more if her books
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on June 19, 2011
Bathsheba is not your typical, cookie-cutter heroine and this is why I absolutely loved her! This book was a breath of fresh air for me. Sheba is gorgeous, but she's also quick-witted and sharp-tongued. I kept turning the pages to see what she'd say next. John, who is also not the stereotypical hero, is a brilliant match for Sheba, drawing her out and reeling her in. I couldn't wait for them to work through their issues because they both deserved a happy ending.

This book is beautifully written with fantastic descriptions and situations. I truly enjoyed it from start to finish!
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on May 15, 2011
The last few historical romances I've read have been so boring, (thinking of a lady most likely by Julia Quinn amongst others), I was seriously considering giving up the genre. Pages and pages of pointless boring dialogue just to make you believe the hero and heroine are really in love by the time they get to the bedroom. Sometimes it just feel like the author is trying to fill up pages. Somehow I found my favorite countess and to my surprise right from the first page I was completely captivated by the plot. I loved that the hero was a doctor, I mean come on ladies, how many of you have ever had a fantasy about your cute doctor (not me of course)? Perfect. The heroine was funny and likeable, and the love scenes are amazingly hot, but not excessive. I absolutely loved it, anf could not put it down. It's the kind of book you read over and over and over...
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on July 2, 2011
First and foremost, Bathsheba is the worst name for a heroine EVER! Ugh!!
Now that I've got that off my chest....

I REALLY like reading stories with strong, gutsy, and flawed heroines, so I was primed to read this book after reading the summary and other reviews touting the heroine as: "difficult, demanding, and at times, quite fierce." I'm not sure who they were talking about, because she certainly wasn't found in this book.

Yes, she tosses out a few blatantly rude, but witty remarks to people who deserve it. But for the most part, she's pretty weak and insipid. Frightened to be around sick people, she holds a handkerchief to her nose, on the verge of swooning, when touring the hospital ....or even when the hero (who's a doc) talks about his job. She's horrified to be around the poor and "coarse". A child in the slums gives her violets and she can't bear to hold them because she's afraid of getting a disease. I just wanted her to be of less tiresome, heartier stuff, and frankly, ...smarter.

Yes, her late husband was a despot, - every historical romance heroine's first husband is (if she's not an unmarried naive virgin), but she didn't come out of the experience stronger, or... if flawed, in a new and interesting way that might make for dramatic reading.

I'm really not quite sure why the hero falls in love with her other than she's beautiful and apparently good in the sack. I actually skimmed the sex scenes because... I just didn't care. John is a caring man who likes to talk things out, but he came across as a little bit of a door mat, because Bethsheba is so nauseatingly fickle and he just... took it, over an over. Always so understanding and patiently waiting for her to come around. We knew he'd always be there for her so...It just became dull.

The plot is pretty soft as well. Bathsheba is flat broke, used to living as a countess, and has a mentally challenged sister whose been stashed away out of sight but whose care is expensive. So Bathsheba has to find a rich husband. She refuses to marry John the doctor, even though he's pretty darn rich himself, I'm not really sure why. She loves him, but he's not rich enough? She fears his compassion & desire to treat the poor & disenfranchised will turn into an obsession? Regardless, she decides this "obsession" of being a good and caring doctor somehow is equal to her late husbands obsession with sick kinky sex. Not sure I follow that logic but whatever. It made me find her even more insipid and tiresome.

For the most part, not much happens in this story, but to be honest, I've been skimming a lot of the last half of the book - much of which has been the sex - (Again, not a prude, I like a good sex scene as much as anyone. I'm just not invested in their romance) and have not completed the last 10-15 pages or so.

I did like the part where Bathsheba bonds with & helps the pregnant wife of a "Stanton" who I guess is a family she caused major trouble for in a previous novel. Bathsheba gets the Stanton wife to seek John as her OBGYN - who of course diagnoses the problems in her pregnancy correctly. This results Stanton firing her previous old blood letting, but powerful "doctor to the elite" which in turn makes trouble for John, who is a young upstart, progressive doc for the time period. Anyway, that part was interesting.

But this is a very small part of the overall story - I wish they'd expanded on it - but it wasn't enough to grip my interest. Overall I found the book a little plodding, the characters forgettable and my mind wandering, skimming while I tapped the forward arrow on my kindle.
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