Format: mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: September 9, 2013
Rose, the Countess Malmstoke, is trapped in a marriage from hell. Escape seems impossible—until her horse groom Will Fenmore offers to help her find a way out.
Will has loved Rose since she was brought to Creed Hall as a new bride, but their relationship has only ever been that of mistress and servant. Born worlds apart, Will knows he could never be her husband, but maybe he can be her salvation.
As they plan her escape to the American colonies, Rose learns to trust Will with her life and her heart, but trusting him with her body is another matter. Can she conquer her fear of the marriage bed? Is the future she dreams of—being Will’s wife—possible?
The Countess's Groom is a sweet but sexy novella that features a heroine trapped in an dangerous, abusive marriage and a hero who loves her from afar in his position as her horse groom. By all accounts Rose shouldn't even acknowledge Will but she can't help but be drawn to him. He is the exact opposite of her husband in every way. Where she is used to cruelty, he shows her kindness.
I liked Rose, she had every reason to despair and give up on life but she somehow found the strength to not only survive but take a dangerous risk in order to have a chance at a peaceful, happy life. While she fell in love with Will, she didn't sit back and let him save her, he helped her yes, but she was always in charge of her feelings and her decisions. She was admirable and brave in the face of her husband's abusive tirades.
Will was a different kind of hero. He wasn't a burst-down-the-door-with-guns-a-blazin' man. Part of the reason being that he was a mere servant and to confront Rose's husband would mean a beating at best, death at worst. Will was patient, kind and had a quiet strength about him that Rose needed. He loved her with a quiet intensity that strengthened Rose's resolve to take control of her life.
I really love historical romances where the two main characters are from different in social classes, it gives them more of an obstacle to overcome and challenges the author to make the romance and the ending, believable. Emily Larkin created a lovely, tragic character with Rose and a sturdy, sexy one with Will. The Countess's Groom is definitely a novella I would recommend to fans of historical romance.