Friday, May 16, 2014

#24 [2014/CBR6] "A Notorious Countess Confesses" by Julie Anne Long

Julie Anne Long took a prominent position in my vacation reading, and A Notorious Countess Confesses (2012) was the second book of Long's that I read in a week. I enjoyed it on the whole, and there were some good scenes, but it probably isn't one of my favorites. To be fair, reading on vacation can be distracting. It's possible I would have been more absorbed into the story and characters without the distraction of traveling and sights, etc.

Anyway, Evie Duggan escapes to Pennyroyal Green from the Ton and London after her husband dies and she is labeled The Black Widow. Already infamous as a courtesan before her marriage, Evie has a hard time getting along in polite society. Things aren't any easier in Pennyroyal Green. Word travels quickly, and the pious women of Pennyroyal line up to snub Evie at their earliest convenience.

But Evie has an unexpected ally in Adam Sylvaine, Pennyroyal Green's vicar and cousin to the Everseas. Adam also happens to be gorgeous, penniless, yet still quite the catch in the county. The pews are full of doting women every Sunday. At first, Adam helps Evie because it's unfair and mean for the rest of the town to ostracize her. But, not unexpectedly, attraction grows between them.

In an effort to be part of the town and live a normal life with friends, Evie takes on some charitable projects with the other women. These should have ended in disaster, but Evie manages to make the best of them in admirable ways. As the book continues, Adam and Evie's different stations in society form the seemingly impenetrable the barrier between them. This part of the book was a little tiresome and expected. I've also found that I like books where the hero and heroine spend more time together. Evie and Adam could go weeks without even seeing each other. However, I did appreciate the very romantic scenes of their first kiss and when Adam runs to help Evie when her friend/maid is sick. Again, not my favorite of Long's books, but worth reading.

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