Today, we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of one review, I am giving you two, and the opportunity to join a giveaway!
Courting the Countess
by Donna Hatch
Edition: PDF, 2016
Synopsis: When charming rake Tristan Barrett sweeps Lady Elizabeth off her feet, stealing both her heart and a kiss in a secluded garden, her brother challenges Tristan to a duel. The only way to save her brother and Tristan from harm—not to mention preserve her reputation—is to get married. But her father, the Duke of Pemberton, refuses to allow his daughter to marry anyone but a titled lord. The duke demands that Elizabeth marry Tristan’s older brother, Richard, the Earl of Averston. Now Elizabeth must give up Tristan to marry a man who despises her, a man who loves another, a man she’ll never love.
Richard fears Elizabeth is as untrustworthy as his mother, who ran off with another man. However, to protect his brother from a duel and their family name from further scandal, he agrees to the wedding, certain his new bride will betray him. Yet when Elizabeth turns his house upside down and worms her way into his reluctant heart, Richard suspects he can’t live without his new countess. Will she stay with him or is it too little, too late?
When Elizabeth falls for the charms of a known rake, she never expects her father will insist that she marry the man’s brother when her reputation is ruined. Richards hope to marry his childhood friend, Leticia, are dashed when he must consent to marry Elizabeth else his brother fight a duel. Will disappointment and broken hearts keep this pair from finding love?
From the start, I definitely sympathized with Elizabeth. She endured a great deal of abuse from her “mother”, so it made sense she would fall for someone who pays attention to her. The one point that did bore me was how long Elizabeth maintained her “love” for Tristan, making her marriage difficult from the start.
Richard was the perfect counterpoint to Elizabeth. He has his own trust issues, and communication with his new wife is difficult. In time, everything works out and we get the happily ever after we’ve come to expect from Donna Hatch.
Overall, this was an enjoyable book and I would recommend it to any regency fans who love a clean, sweet read.
AND NOW FOR THE SEQUEL!
Cynical and broken-hearted, Leticia banishes dreams of marriage. When her childhood friend, Tristan, wagers he can find her the perfect husband, she hopes the challenge will coax him to forgo his devil-may-care lifestyle. Meanwhile, Leticia throws herself into forming her charity school but meets opposition—even from the people she’s helping.
Guilt-ridden that his past mistakes robbed Leticia of true love, Tristan vows to set it right, but match-making has its pitfalls for a repentant scoundrel. When he finds two ‘perfect’ gentlemen to court her, he discovers his own deep feelings for the lady.
Though Tristan seems to reform, Leticia doesn’t dare risk heartbreak with a notorious rake. When opposition for the school takes a deadly turn, can Tristan protect her from a madman bent on destroying their dreams and their lives?
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Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.
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Leticia expected to marry Richard, a serious, perfect gentleman. Seeing him happily married to someone else breaks her heart, but she carries on. Tristan, feeling guilty for his part in shattering his childhood friend’s hopes for the future, sets out to find her a husband. Can past feelings be overcome when new feelings begin to bloom?
Having first met Leticia in book one, I wasn’t overly impressed with her character. She improves somewhat in this book, however I can’t say that she is a favorite. She spends a great deal of time mourning the future she lost with Richard. To take her mind off her loss, she throws herself into helping organize a school, which brings her into danger. Is her determination to go on bravery or ignorance?
Tristan was not as enjoyable as his brother. There are frequent mentions of his “connection” he made with Elizabeth in the first book, but I never really saw it. His desire to change was done believably, though.
As far as Regency romances, this is enjoyable enough, though not an immediate favorite of mine. Still, fans of Donna Hatch will definitely enjoy it.