I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Counting On a Countess
Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers . . . until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one month to inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.
Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds to keep her smuggling operation afloat. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees. After all, her secrets could land her in prison and an attentive, love-struck spouse could destroy everything.
But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time.
While marriage of convenience is not my favorite of tropes, I found that Counting On a Countess by Eva Leigh to be the perfect example of how to write one. That being said, I wasn’t too enthralled with either of the two main characters. Both Tamsyn and Kit have selfish motives in marrying each other and while they both agreed on the marriage, I could not justify their reasons.
Tamsyn is a smuggler.
What an awesome sounding background right? Well…I just wished the story kind of maintained that excitement that was introduced in the beginning. I loved the premise of her smuggling to help her little village. But that excitement kind of petered out in the middle of the story and picked up again towards the end.
Kit is a former soldier gone rakehell.
Ah Kit, the quintessential PTSD suffering, “going to drown my sorrows in female pleasures” Elligsworth. He has to marry to be able to use a financial windfall that a friend has bequeathed upon him. So what does he want to do with said money? The reason kind of draws out as the story unfolded, so it was not quite a hundred percent clear. It’s like we had to drag it out of him. And what did I think of it? All I said was “Hmmm, really?”
So Tamsyn has a secret (of course she didn’t tell him about her smuggling) and Kit has a secret. Two secrets don’t make a right and the whole marriage begins to strain in certain parts.
My favorite parts.
The last half of the book was exciting and I actually had a giggle there towards the end. The smuggler reveal and Tamsyn’s relatives were what made the story good. Even Kit’s character actually shone there at the end. I just wished it was like that throughout the whole book.
This was my first Eva Leigh book and I can say that I would be interested in reading more from the series.