“The Countess” by Lynsay Sands or “Weekend at Bernie’s” Regency Style!

STORY: The fairy tale courtship did not turn into a happily ever after…

Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters’ debuts as well. So Christiana decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing’s happened…

Until the real earl appears. Richard Fairgrave had every intention of confronting his villainous twin who robbed him of his name and title…only to discover that he’d died. Quietly assuming his identity, Richard must now deal with a maddening desire for his ravishing inherited “wife”—certainly a gold digger and possibly a murderess. And Christiana must deal with an unwanted new “husband”…and they both must figure out what to do before the ice melts!

REVIEW: This blurb is just irritating as well as deceiving. It leads me to believe that Richard has assumed the dead brother’s place without Christiana knowing it, and he believes her a “gold digger”. WRONG! But I am way ahead of myself.

First, I never read any of Lynsay’s Vampire books. I sort of lost interest in those after Ann Rice’s Vampire series, but I have read her two Historical Romances, “The Switch” and “Love is Blind” which I liked a lot. I do like the humor and wit she weaves through her stories. It truly is Laugh-Out-Loud reading.

With this story, Lynsay is introducing us to three sisters who were left a dower from their Grandmother, and this book displays the same charm, humor and wit I’ve come to expect of her. Still, it was a bit disappointing. I can’t put my finger on it but there you have it. It was too simple, too predicting and just too lighthearted. Our Heroine was too meek and she let her husband mentally abuse her for the past year of their marriage. He kept all of her friends and family away from her and slowly subdued her will and her spirit. In my opinion the Author didn’t take this story far enough for me. Maybe that’s why I just didn’t connect with Christiasna. Later on, once she gets her back bone, we’re even more confused about why she just gave up on herself for a year.

On the other hand we have Richard, Earl of Radnor, the REAL one, who was a straight forward chap and knew where he’s going and what he’s about. He was a total opposite of the “pretender”. He was patient, kind, passionate and his concern for Christiana’s well-being and for her reputation was genuine. I liked him very much. We also get to meet his friends and I’m really looking forward to their story.

Now we come to the plot: Who killed the “pretender”? Richard figured out quite quickly that it wasn’t Christiana, and while they all are surprised by the big “reveal”, we are not. Well, I wasn’t, but I won’t tell you. Suffice it to say it was revealed by a whimper and not a bang…

I have to say that the most fun I had reading this book was when Richard discovers the body of his brother and tries to smuggle it out and then in the house. It truly was “Weekend at Bernie’s” Regency Style!

To recommend this book or not? Hmmmm…..Yes, I’ll recommend it, if for nothing else, but for those LOL scenes and I have to say that Suzette’s story has intrigued me. “The Heiress” will be coming out February 22nd, and I will buy it.

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