Published by Avon on March 27th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
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 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.
I’m going to be married to this man? Mercy.
They pulled back in unison and her eyes flew open. His gaze was clouded with dazed pleasure and astonishment.
It seemed he’d also been shocked by the heat of their kiss and the speed of its intensity. He, a known rake and libertine, looked aroused by what surely had to be one of the chastest kisses he’d experienced in a long while.
Except it hadn’t been chaste. It had been brief, but their tongues lightly touching had been profoundly erotic, hinting at greater pleasure to come.
He cleared his throat. “That was . . . a welcome revelation.”
Her thoughts whirled while her body clamored for more. Hellfire—if this quick kiss had affected her so much, what would happen when they went to bed together? What if she liked it? What if she loved it, and her heart followed her body’s devotion?
Tamsyn was about to join with this man for the rest of her life. Aside from a few facts, she knew almost nothing about him. He was basically a stranger. Yet in three days, they would share a bed. They would share everything. According to the law, she would belong to him, and her own identity would dissolve.
Was this the right choice? She’d gotten what she wanted, but she couldn’t help the fear that poked its sharp fangs into her heart.
I have no idea what I’m getting myself into.
To celebrate the release of COUNTING ON A COUNTESS, Avon Romance is giving away 3 paperback copies of
FROM DUKE TILL DAWN by Eva Leigh!
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Counting on a Countess is the second book in The London Underground series by Eva Leigh. Although part of a series it can be read as a standalone book.
Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth earned himself the title of Earl of Blakemere when he was at war. Now a veteran and at home, he spends all his time making merry in order to bury his nightmares from the war. His ultimate dream is to design and operate a pleasure garden in London. He wants to experience the pleasure that would bring but also bring happiness to others. The problem is that he doesn’t have the funds to fulfil that dream. That is until a wealthy mentor surprisingly leaves a fortune to Kit in his will. The only stipulation being that Kit must marry before he is entitled to the money, and he only has one month to find a wife!
Tamsyn Pearce is from Cornwall and is in London to find a buyer for smuggled goods. She’s been a smuggler for many years in order to keep her village from becoming destitute. Her home is built in the perfect position for the smuggling operation but her uncle owns it and is planning on selling it which would put the whole operation in jeopardy. She needs to keep selling smuggled goods so that she can at least have enough money to offer a deposit on the house so that she can eventually buy it. When she can’t find a buyer for her latest haul of goods she is devastated and realises that her best chance of keeping her house would be for her to marry.
How fortunate that it is that Tamsyn is brought to the attention of Kit. After a very short courtship they wed, she knows why he needs to marry her, for the inheritance, but he has no idea why she needs to marry him. Still, they go ahead with it and are both in for another shock from Kit’s dearly departed mentor. He won’t allow the funds to go to the couple unless Tamsyn is in control of the purse strings. It’s the man’s way of making sure that Kit doesn’t go through the money like water as he is known to do.
That is where the story really takes off. Tamsyn has to keep her smuggling secret because Kit is as law-abiding a person as there could be, and he has no idea that she wants to use some of the inheritance to buy her family home. Kit, of course, wants to build the pleasure garden which he just knows Tamsyn will see as a frivolous waste of money. His best bet is to try to woo her so that when he does ask her for the money she won’t be able to tell him no. What he doesn’t expect is the during the wooing of her he starts to have genuine feelings towards her. She too starts feeling for him too but both keep that a secret just as much as they keep their agendas secret. What will happen when those secrets are exposed. Will Kit have his dream come true, and what of Tamsyn, can she keep her village flourishing by smuggling without Kit finding out and reporting her to the authorities?
There is such a lot going on in this story, it’s one of those books that you don’t want to put down until you find out what happens next. Throughout the story, it was wonderful to see how Kit and Tamsyn fall in love, but it was also a constant worry about how they could possibly have a future when they are such different people with such different plans. They are both such headstrong characters that I honestly couldn’t see how they would be able to have their happy ever after. I really enjoyed how the author chose to conclude the story, especially with the scenes involving Tamsyn’s horrid aunt and uncle. It was a very satisfying moment!
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader’s copy of this book.