For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s strategy…
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. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees.
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…
|Title:||Counting on a Countess|
|Series:||The London Underground aka The Scandalous Ladies of London (Book 2)|
|Category / Genre(s):||Harlequin / Mills & Boon|
|Trope(s):||Marriage of Convenience|
|Point of View:|
|Release Date:||24th December, 2018|
Great characters, great chemistry, great story
This is the second book in the London Underground series by Eva Leigh – coming after From Duke ’Til(l) Dawn. The series follows 3 friends, Alex, Kit and Langdon as they all (hopefully) get their happily ever afters. While Alex and Cassie from the first book do pop up in this book, it’s a very brief cameo and each book, so far, can easily be read as a standalone. Interestingly – and in a genius move I can’t help but applaud – Ms Leigh also included cameos of Maggie and Cam from a previous book of hers. They’ve intrigued me enough to firstly search out the book they were from (Scandal Takes the Stage) and to pop it on my list for future reading. As I said, bravo!
Anyway, back to this particular book. We’ve got Kit – the debonair, wastrel third son who’s a newly minted earl. Or not so minted as the case may be. Until he gets bequeathed a sizeable fortune if only he can find a wife within 30 days. And despite never having been discriminating with his partners, suddenly Kit finds himself dismissing every single eligible girl as wifely material. Until he meets Tamsyn. I suppose with both of them it’s almost insta love – but it’s done so well that you really believe it. Even with the rakish Kit – who incidentally is one of my favourite types of characters – an amiable, carefree (and handsome, obviously!) rogue with hidden depths only our heroine can see.
Tamsyn is also a good character although I had a wee bit more trouble with her than I did Kit. It’s the smuggling you see. After Kit and Tamsyn started developing feelings for each other, it made me feel quite uncomfortable that she was keeping such a big secret from him. That was probably the point, to worry if the pair could overcome the obstacles, but I wanted her to tell him rather than have him discover it.
The pair’s chemistry was palpable and by the time they eventually got to the bedroom shenanigans – which was teased for some considerable time – I was as desperate and horny as they were! But it was worth it in the end.
Smuggling aside, I liked the fact that there wasn’t any faux drama and that both characters were open and mature enough to just be honest with each other about their feelings – after the understandable grumpiness and silence. The whole book felt emotionally true to life and felt believable.
While the writing flowed well and was involving, interesting and kept those pages turning easily – I have one teeny tiny thing that irked me throughout the whole book. Gotten. I HATE that word! I even looked up its history just to appease the rage over having to read it about 17 times in this book. (Yep – I counted!) Apparently it was widely used in the UK up until about the 1500s but it’s not used now and it wasn’t used in the Regency. To my British ears, it comes across as a continually jarring Americanism in a book that otherwise does very well to avoid any anachronisms and feels true to the period. I know that writers write for a modern audience but if you’re going to change sidewalk to pavement and fall to autumn in books set in the UK, I feel you should change this word, too. (Steps down from the soapbox.)
But apart from my mini rant above, I couldn’t help but smile at Kit and Tamsyn’s love story and enjoyed their journey on finding themselves and each other. An enjoyable and likeable book – one I would happily recommend. 4 stars.
Eva Leigh is a romance author who has always loved the Regency era. She writes novels chock-full of determined women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, spending too much time on the Internet, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.
Eva also writes in multiple romance genres as RITA-award nominated Zoë Archer.