Customer Reviews: Countess So Shameless (A Scandal in London Novel)
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VINE VOICEon November 4, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having read Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, Judith McNaughton and more as a teenage girl it was fun to read a bodice ripper at fifty seven years old. Especially because Lianna LeFey does her counterparts proud with "Countess so Shameless." She is a deliciously decadent writer that makes romance enjoyable and fun again. And she didn't use the words "Holy Crap" once.(hope you know which current juggernaut trio I am referring to)

Melisande Compton, Countess of Wilmington, is called to the Versailles at 14 with parents to be entrusted with a secret. Overcome, she runs to the gardens to ponder her predicament when a scoundrel of man bumps into her. Instant lust ignites, but is quickly fire hosed by the parents that insist she return to England to marry their pick, David. Neither David or Melly will agree to the betrothal being best childhood friends but nothing more. This decision alights so many delightfully interesting problems for Melisande's life the reader is sucked with vacumm strenth into the pages.

The dialogue is rich and cheeky. Descriptions warm and lusty. The plot thickens over till it is boiling out of control while the reader is hastily turning the pages. Suspense reigns and LeFey with her expertise plays tricks with the plot.

I actually felt 15 once more, reading this in two nights. Such fun; such nice writing; such a wanton experience. Yep, my spark is still lighting.

I wish, Ms. LeFey, well as this is her first endeavor. Though gothic romance is not my usual read anymore, I like to know their is someone out there that is keeping the lusty fires flaming! Fun, fun, fun!
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VINE VOICEon October 11, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was pleasantly surprised by this new author. LeFey understands what makes a good historical. While it didn't blow me out of the water, it did keep me reading. The storyline is unusual in that the heroine is very confident of her role as an unmarried (and not going to marry) woman. She's been given the right to keep her title since she is the god daughter of the English king. Her secret is that she also has a closer tie to the French king. This causes believable problems in her world.

I adored the hero. His own rakish background is nearly his downfall but he comes up to scratch quite nicely. I liked that he was the one who felt more off-balance in this romantic dance between the two.

Overall the language was period although there was one notable lapse that had me running to look up the first usage date. It was a squeaker. But if you love the Georgette Heyer-style (and I do), you will love this book. The sex is very well written but not overdone. This story is more about how the two lovers transition from the "let's just be lovers" to "we will get married". There's a great villain who almost seems pitiable at one point, but then LeFey reveals his truly ugly self. Fabulous story telling.

I do recommend this one for those looking for a new historical voice. I hope to read more by LeFey as well.
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VINE VOICEon December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Melisande Compton meets Lord Alessandro Orsini at Versailles when she is 15 years old. She and Orsini are instantly attracted, but she is taken to England by her parents to make an arranged marriage. Neither she nor her prospective husband want to marry the other. They are close childhood friends who see each other like brother and sister, so the marriage never comes off. Instead, both remain unmarried for the next five years when Melisande meets Alessandro again. By now, she has been made a countess in her own right, as her father had no male heirs and petitioned the king to allow it. Orsini is a duke and in the diplomatic service of the Vatican, assigned to England. Once they meet, sparks fly again and Melisande resolves to take Orsini as a lover - albeit discreetly. Unknown to most people, Melisande is actually the illegitimate daughter of Louis XV and his first, wellborn mistress, who was married off to an English lord when she became pregnant. Melisande's life and personal ambitions have been affected by this, so she is not looking for love, or even necessarily marriage, only passion.
The book seemed overly plotted, and the characters more stereotypical than original or well fleshed out. I found Melisande somewhat too hardbitten for my taste, but it's hard to find fault when the attitude is probably fairly accurate for the time period. Alessandro was also a rather thinly drawn character, so didn't seem particularly swoon worthy. While Melisande and Alessandro do feel more than just passion for each other, it's not seen very much outside the bedroom. There plenty of sex, and it's fairly well-done. A pleasant enough story if you like Georgian romances.
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on February 4, 2013
This is a very good bood to add to your library. I have really enjoyed each page and look forward to reading more books by this author. The story came alive on each page and could not put the book down until the last paqe. Please keep up the good work.
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on February 12, 2013
After reading countless Regency romances, it was refreshing to read one set in an earlier time. The story was entertaining, the characters well-defined, and the bad guy truly evil. The novel was a great way to warm a couple of winter evenings.
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VINE VOICEon November 6, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This work shows evidence of thorough research, without being stodgy. Characters are very well developed, even the 'minor' ones. A very satisfying read.

Die-hard historical romance writers tend to craft a series of novels around the same people, or around people who are the same but have difference names. Stories run to a formula: romance with a bit of suspense tossed in, usually depicting the hero as a part-time spy.

Several authors will stage cameo appearances of historical figures, such as Beau Brummel or Benjamin Franklin, or Priny. If you have to ask who these people are, you're in the wrong review. These are staple background figures in historical Regency and Georgian romance novels.

LeFey manages to introduce a royal and make him out to be an intelligent being, even pivotal to the plot. I don't believe I've ever seen that done before. In fact, all the characters are well drawn. None are inconsequential props. I look forward to exploring other works by LeFey in future.
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on July 25, 2013
When I first started reading this book, I loved it, liked the characters starting out. After awhile, it became a repeat of info, heroine seemed self absorbed. Tedious read, boring, wanted more of a story.
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on May 27, 2014
This was a great story!! You could feel the sexual tension between the characters. She have you some if Melly's story right away and held onto a few things until the very end. I loved the high spirited Melly and Alessandro made me melt! They were a pair made for each other. There was a great side story as well:).
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on August 28, 2016
After stealing a kiss from Italian rogue Duke Alessandro Orsini during a brief chance encounter with him in the gardens of Versailles, Lady Melisande is simultaneously awakened to passion and ruined for all other men. Upon her return to England a few days later, her parents demand that she marry the man she has been betrothed to since childhood, but Melisande refuses, and no other man is able to stir her passions either. Alessandro, previously a committed rake, cannot forget Melisande, because he doesn't know her full name, he is unable to find her despite five years of fruitless searching until his diplomatic travels lead him to England. Both Melisande and Alessandro are stunned when they are reunited at a society event, but their attraction is still immediately apparent. Melisande and Alessandro embark upon a torrid love affair under the guise of a fake engagement, but can they keep their hearts from becoming engaged as well? Can Alessandro protect Melisande from the jealous enemies she has made and from the secrets she hides?

This Georgian-era romance features a torrid love affair, scandal, betrayal, secrets, and jealousy, with a dash of political intrigue. It is a window into the world of London high society during that time period. The characters were not especially well developed and seemed fairly uni-dimensional, especially the supporting ones. Charlotte, for example, is an empty-headed child. Lord Harrington is evil personified with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. While these kinds of stereotypical characters serve as great foils, their overuse ultimately detracts from the richness of an otherwise vividly drawn picture of Georgian London. However, the plot is lively and executed well, making this an entertaining read. Of additional note is the performance quality of the audiobook version of this novel. I listened to this book on audible, and in my opinion, the artist who recorded this book did a superb job. The different voices she uses for each of the main characters enhances the reader's experience without being a distraction, and she does a wonderful job making the pages come alive. If I continue with the series, I plan to continue it on audible.
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on May 22, 2014
It's nice to read a book with both the man and the woman's sides and the woman even having some say in her future. The kings even were more true to life, rather than completely evil.

I really enjoyed it.
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