Image credit-Megan-Seek My Scribbles
For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s the 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…
My 4* Review of ‘Counting on a Countess’…
An enticing medley of Regency London Society and Cornish smugglers provides an exciting setting for this ‘Marriage of Convenience’ historical romance with a strong feminist theme.
Kit, the Earl of Blakemere is a veteran of Waterloo, he is a consummate rake, who has to marry. Tamsyn is forced to earn money in an unorthodox way when her parents die, and her uncle refuses to support the estate’s villagers. She needs a rich husband to buy back the estate.
Kit and Tamsyn meet at a society ball and the physical attraction is strong, but will a ‘Marriage of Convenience’ succeed when they are both keeping secrets and their emotions are starting to mirror their passion for each other?
This is an exciting story, with complex characters and contemporary exploration of historical themes. Kit has lasting effects from his war service, recognised in today’s society as Post Traumatic Stress. Tamsyn is a society lady, with feminist views and actions, not accepted in Regency society.
The attraction is passionate, the story well-paced and varied, the characters multi-layered and believable, with an adrenaline-fueled satisfying ending.
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Q&A Eva Leigh #CountingOnACountess #BlogTour #MillsandBoon
What do you find inspirational about Regency England?
I love that there was a mix of different classes, genders, races, and sexualities—particularly in London—and we as readers and authors get to explore the dynamics of shifting borders. The social constructs were more fluid than I believe we realize, and I love playing with that.
Would you have liked to have lived in this era? Why?
Nope! I don’t fancy being considered a man’s property. I’d rather write about hidden pockets of resistance in that world.
How do your stories differ from other Regency romance novels?
Honestly, I don’t like to compare myself or my books to other authors or their works. I like that we each provide different stories, different facets, different characters. My books often consider people who don’t quite conform to societal expectations, and I have a very strong feminist sensibility which plays out in the pages of my work.
Do you draw your characters from real life or are they purely a product of your imagination?
I take inspiration from history and do a substantial amount of research to learn about people such as confidence artists or smugglers. The characters are born from what I learn and my own imagination.
Can you tell us a little about the ‘Scandalous Ladies of London’ series?
Regency London existed beyond the ballrooms and private clubs of the elite. As the television series “Taboo” explores, there were thousands of liminal figures in this world, and I wanted to explore it. In particular, women were a major part of this in-between world, and I thought, Wouldn’t it be fascinating to make my heroines shady? Also, I love an across-the-tracks romance.
What sort of books do you enjoy reading and why?
Naturally, I love romance, so that constitutes a considerable amount of my reading. Historical, contemporary, erotic, and the occasional paranormal. I’m getting into reading more Young Adult fiction because of the breadth of characters, settings, and topics. It’s really amazing to see marginalized voices finally getting heard—though we have a long way to go as far as representation and #ownvoices are concerned.
What are you currently writing?
It’s very exciting because I’m currently working on the first book in a new series inspired by classic American ‘80s movies. The heroes all meet during “detention” at Eton—which, yes, is loosely based on The Breakfast Club! I’m really loving writing the first book in the series because I get to be a little silly, a little funny, and also discuss important topics like gender roles, biases in the sciences, and the need for ecological conservation. The usual Eva Leigh book! 😉
Image credit – Megan- Seek My Scribbles
Also in ‘The Scandalous Ladies of London’ series is ‘From Duke Till Dawn‘.
‘It’s not my habit to seduce impoverished widows…’
The Duke of Greyland lost his heart – and a princely sum – to a charming, beautiful and destitute widow who, after one passionate night, vanished without a trace. Cassandra Blair grew up on the city streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a rich mark – to be fleeced and forgotten – only she’d never forgotten him.
Years later, chance brings them together again, in a London gaming hell. Grayland is desperate to have her… never suspecting everything about his lover was a lie. But finding herself in dire financial straits, at risk of losing everything, Cassandra has no choice but to beg the man she betrayed for help.
The proud Duke will assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid! But can the real Cassandra – the smart, streetwise survivor – steal his heart all over again?
Book one in ‘The Scandalous Ladies of London’ series.
My 4* Review of ‘From Duke Till Dawn’…
A different trope from the usual Regency romance, this story has some originality, an anti-heroine character rather than an anti-hero. The story creates an interesting relationship between the Duke and the con- artist, but even though she fools him once, Cassandra ultimately needs his help and position to survive, which detracts from her independence.
The Duke of Greyland lacks the arrogance customarily associated with his rank in Regency romance. He has many appealing traits, not least his passionate nature and support of those less fortunate than he. However, he does lack authenticity.
This story scores highly for sensuality, the connection between the Duke and Cassandra is hot, and the love scene leaves little to the imagination. They explain why the Duke acts as he does and their deepening emotional attachment underlines every kiss.
Overall this is a lovely story, which superficially explores the seedier side of Regency England while delivering a passionate love story.
I received a copy of this book from Mills&Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Image credit- Megan- Seek My Scribbles