Review: Romancing the Countess by Ashley March

Format: mass market, ebook
Pub Date: September 6, 2011
Publisher: Signet
Length: 320 pages
FTC: Review copy provided by the publisher

I'm not normally a fan of books that deal, even indirectly, with infidelity. It's just not a favorite theme of mine. Romancing the Countess surprised me, though, by the way it takes two characters linked by that ultimate betrayal and fashions a new, happier story for them.

I think this is one of those books that people will love or hate. It's hard to assign a grade to, at least for me, because it is so very angsty. Sebastian, in particular, is wounded by the discovery that the wife he loved so deeply was having an affair and died while trying to leave him. He's angry as well (with good reason) and I felt for him.

The writing is excellent. So good, that I felt Sebastian was damaged. Too wounded for me to believe he would recover so quickly from it to fall in love again. Especially with someone who could daily remind him of that betrayal.  This was a deep, well  done story, but because I'm unsure of the HEA, I'm lowering the grade just a little.

My Grade: B+

The Blurb:
Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, thought he'd married the perfect woman-until a fatal accident revealed her betrayal with his best friend. After their deaths, Sebastian is determined to avoid a scandal for the sake of his son. But his best friend's widow is just as determined to cast her mourning veil aside by hosting a party that will surely destroy both their reputations and expose all of his carefully kept secrets...
Leah George has carried the painful knowledge of her husband's affair for almost a year. All she wants now is to enjoy her independence and make a new life for herself-even if that means being ostracized by the Society whose rules she was raised to obey. Now that the rumors are flying, there's only one thing left for Sebastian to do: silence the scandal by enticing the improper widow into becoming a proper wife. But when it comes to matters of the heart, neither Sebastian nor Leah is prepared for the passion they discover in each other's arms....

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