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Friday, February 7, 2014

Review: The Countess Confessions by Jillian Hunter

Format: Bound Copy (Provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: February 4, 2014

All Emily Selwick wanted was to convince the man she had adored for years that she was the woman he ought to marry. She never expected that her ill-fated deception at a party would uncover a scheme against the Crown and ensnare her in the sensual trap of an enigmatic stranger.

Damien Boscastle, the Earl of Shalcross, knows he must marry Emily to defend her honor and keep his mission secret. But, by saving her reputation, he will draw her into his arms as well as a dangerous intrigue.

After a whirlwind courtship that leaves her breathless, Emily finds herself wed to a husband who vows not only to protect her from his menacing world—but to train his wife in the pleasures of passion.

This book was a surprise to me. I LOVE historical romance, it's one of my absolute favorites but I have such a hard time finding ones that I like. The Countess Confessions is one of the few that I liked and I have added a new to me author to my list.

From the moment I read the words "She never expected that her ill-fated deception at a party would uncover a scheme against the Crown" I knew I had to read this book. I'm such a sucker for historical spy romances it's not even funny, but again, the good ones are hard to find so I did start this one with no expectations what so ever.

Emily was an entertaining heroine, mostly because she did her own thinking which lead to some pretty interesting situations for her. Some might say she's a trouble maker, I just say she's living an interesting life for her time period. I liked that even when her plans didn't work out the way she wanted, she just kept moving forward, she didn't sit down and cry like a child about it. It didn't mean that she didn't get disappointed, just that she didn't throw a hissy fit over it. Her natural curiosity and dry humor also scored big points with me. I do like a historical heroine who can keep up intellectually and even out do the men in the book.

Damien was such a dashing hero with more to him that you would think. I do like my heroes brooding and serious but sometimes it's nice to change things up a bit and Damien does that nicely. He's got the right amount of danger, confidence and humor to make things interesting as he gets to know his unexpected but enjoyable bride.

As a couple, Damien and Emily were well matched, going from virtual strangers to accidental acquaintances to reluctantly married. All of which were handled with calm, rational thinking. While Emily almost too easily accepted that she had to marry Damien, she also made the choice to make the best of it and it really did turn out well for her. Those two have quite a bit of chemistry and I liked that it wasn't exactly explosive in the beginning but it was special and built up to explosive as time went on.

There's a nice amount of espionage and action going on in The Countess Confessions and it balances out the romance nicely. I don't like too much of one or the other so thankfully there's equal parts of both. There's quite a number of misleading scenes that can lead a reader to believe that they know who the villain is but be warned, you just might be surprised at who the mystery fiend really is.

Final Verdict: The Countess Confessions is a fun addition to my list of favorite spy romances, it showed me a new set of characters as well as a new to me author that I can't wait to read again.

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