Publisher: Loveswept for Random House
Date of Publication: Out now.
Review Copy obtained from: Netgalley
Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn't add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.
If you're a fan of Romance novels and feel like you've read everything the genre has to offer, then this book is definitely for you.
It breaks the formula. You know the one, where the female protagonist is this vulnerable lady and along comes her Prince Charming/Sexy Highlander/Brooding Earl and rocks her world, transforming her into a Strong Woman, capable of speaking her mind, be in control, etc, ect.
The Reluctant Countess, Sophie, is a vulnerable young woman, yes. But she has a sense of responsibility and loyalty that makes her tough and fierce long before her Brooding Earl came in the picture. Of course, romance is important (and abundant), but I cannot stress enough how much I loved Sophie for being tough and brave long before Patrick showed up. When I learned her reasons for doing what she did, I loved her even more.
About Patrick... Oh, boy. He's the perfect match for Sophie. He lets her be who she is in spite of what every one thinks. He is afraid she'll be in danger, but he lets her make her own choices. Free will is hot, you guys.
There are plenty of funny moments, as well as perfectly developed secondary characters I wish I could see more of (I'm looking at you, Amelia and Stephen.)
In occasions, the story developed a bit slowly, but even then it was filled with humor and romance. It was also a little bit predictable in the beginning, but about half way something happened that made me wonder: "Where did that come from?" And from then on, adventure also makes an appearance.
If you like stories with well-developed characters, humor, adventure and romance, you will enjoy The Reluctant Countess immensely.