Counting on a Countess
by Eva Leigh
Series: The London Underground #2
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
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 monthto
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 to keep her smuggling operation afloat. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees. After all, her secrets could land her in prison and an attentive, love-struck spouse could destroy everything.
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.
In many ways, the second London Underground book is a cautionary tale of the dangers of marrying someone you barely know. Kit and Tamsyn both go into their relationship wanting the same thing–money–but each has their own need for it and their own secrets to hide. Even as they’re growing to care for each other, each constantly goes back to the earlier conversations they’d had (Kit telling her he wouldn’t be capable of fidelity, for example, and saying that once she’d given him an heir they could both pursue their own separate amorous entanglements, for example) and keep their budding feelings to themselves rather than mention them to the other.
And did I mention they have secrets? Honestly, at times reading this book was exhausting, watching them tiptoe around each other and knowing how each felt all the while knowing that they were hurtling themselves toward heartbreak…
Through it all, though, both Kit and Tamsyn were sympathetic characters who you can’t help but hope will somehow manage to find an HEA in spite of themselves. They do, thank goodness, but OMG does Ms. Leigh make them work for it! I have to admit that there is a stretch of the book where I wasn’t Tamsyn’s biggest fan–in getting upset at what she discovers about Kit she really does expose herself as something of a hypocrite, even taking her difficult childhood into account–but when we finally see the reasons behind what she’s been doing for eight years (when she finally tells Kit!) I’ll admit she almost had me willing to jump into the fray beside her…even as I hoped that there’d somehow be a different way to do things.
Fortunately, Ms. Leigh had an even better solution in mind, giving everyone an HEA that was much more palatable than the one I was afraid we’d have to be happy with.
Now all we need is Langdon’s story! 😉
(Counting on a Countess is second in the series but works fine as a standalone.)
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About Eva Leigh:
EVA LEIGH is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ‘80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.
Tour Wide Giveaway!
To celebrate the release of COUNTING ON A COUNTESS, we’re giving away three paperback copies of FROM DUKE TILL DAWN by Eva Leigh!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Three winners will each receive a paperback copy of From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 4/6/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!