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From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.   Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realiFrom rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.   Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.   Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.  Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: The Escape Diaries, The Devil’s Thief, and The Magic....

Title : The Reluctant Countess
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345540072
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 302 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Reluctant Countess Reviews

  • Jill
    2019-03-18 20:01

    3.5 starsDebutOnly two people alive know Sophie, Countess of Monmouth's secret, Sophie and her sister-in-law, Letty. For two years she has lived in fear, anxious that someone would expose her and put both her and Letty and also the heir to the earldom, Timothy's future and security in danger.Patrick, Earl of Coulter has good reason to suspect that Sophie is hiding something behind her cool and unattainable facade. Only days before her husband's death, Patrick had visited the ailing Earl. Sophie fears he will discover the truth. When Sophie starts receiving threats who can she turn to? And how will her past come back to haunt her?This is a pretty good debut, with an interesting plot and two likable leads. This is also a two-fer with a secondary romance between Stephen, Lord Sumner, Patrick's best friend and Miss Amelia Pette, Sophie's best friend. Their romance was very much in the background and I wonder if it will be explored further in another book.In a genre that's almost overpopulated with authors and overflowing with talent, an author of historical romance is going to have to stand out. Although this is a good story, with a fine mystery, the prose is fairly average and some of the characterisations are too modern. However, readers of historical romance who enjoy new authors will enjoy The Reluctant Countess which is a solid debut, without offering anything particularly new. Steam: 3ARC courtesy of Random House (Loveswept) via NetGalley

  • Caz
    2019-03-15 15:00

    This début novel from Wendy Vella was an enjoyable story and has much to recommend it. Her prose is competent, she has created some engaging characters and in the later part of the novel, she has begun to chart the progression of the deepening relationship between her two protagonists as well as the development of a secondary romance. The mystery surrounding Sophie’s true identity holds the attention but is not strung out for too long.On the negative side however, there are times when the overall feel is rather too ‘modern’ and there is some anachronistic language which really could have been avoided quite easily. And while I liked Vella’s portrayal of the relationship between Sophie and Patrick in the later stages, I thought it felt forced and progressed too quickly in the earlier part of the novel. For example, at the very beginning, Patrick is vowing to expose Sophie as a charlatan – although what business it is of his I’m not sure; but not long after that he is lusting after her like a randy goat and before we’ve passed the 25% mark, is having his way with her in a carriage. (And no, it’s not the fact that they’re having sex in the carriage that bothers me, it’s that they’re having sex at all!) . I’m not saying that physical attraction isn’t a very powerful thing – just that at the time the book is set young women, especially, were brought up almost in ignorance of sex and had to give great consideration to propriety and to maintaining an unblemished reputation. (And given the situation Sophie is in, she has to be doubly careful of her position in society). I find it hard to believe that, no matter how attractive the man in question (and of course, in these books they’re always devastating) a young woman would throw caution to the wind in that way. Even if he’d offered her marriage, which he hadn’t.Sophie begins the book being quite shy and insecure and although those qualities never leave her entirely, by the end she has grown up a bit and developed more confidence in herself. Patrick is often rather overbearing and dictatorial, but he softens up as the story progresses; his childhood wasn’t pleasant, but rather than being one of those men who therefore decides he must be unlovable, or is unable to love, he has decided that he wants someone in his life and that he wants to show his own family the love he never had – which was a refreshing change.All in all then, a promising début. I wouldn’t mind reading more from this author, although I would like to see a little more relationship development in future books.With thanks to Random House/Loveswept and NetGalley for the review copy.

  • Beth
    2019-02-19 18:34

    The Countess of Monmouth, Sophie, is known for being somewhat of an ice princess. Perfectly proper, never letting emotions show, she has been the talk of the season. Incredibly beautiful, she has captured the eye of many possible suitors but when the Earl of Coulter, Patrick, takes an interest in Sophie the ice begins to crack.Patrick, the Earl of Coulter is captivated by the widowed Countess of Monmout...but something deep inside tells him her story isn’t everything that it seems. Determined to discover Sophie’s secret he is relentless as he pursues the Countess. During his hunt, he discovers he’d much rather win her affections.Sophie soon discovers that her secrets may be crumbling around her and she must trust everything including her secrets to Patrick. Without Patrick’s help, Sophie might not only find herself in social ruin but her very life may be at stake.What a wonderful, beautifully written historical romance. Melting with the chemistry between Patrick and Sophie, I was pulled right into their story. Watching the struggles Sophie faces every day, makes your heart hurt for her desire to give her family a better life. Patrick is an amazing hero to have come to your rescue, from a difficult past you route for him all the way. With a spectacular core group of friends that surround them you can’t hope that we see more of these fabulous characters. The Reluctant Countess gets 5 Stars for this charming historical romance.Don’t miss a chance to win an e-book copy of The Reluctant Countess and Wendy Vella author interview during The Reluctant CountessBlog Tour @ Tome Tender on January 7, 2013.This ARC copy of The Reluctant Countess was given to me by Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell in exchange for an honest review. Publish Date January 14, 2013.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-09 14:38

    The Reluctant Countess is such a perfect name for this story! Sophie became the Countess of Monmouth under a bit of a scandalous way. . . just before the death of the Earl, so when she suddenly shows up in society, with a child, people are suspicious and no one more so than Patrick, Earl of Coutler (and naturally, Myles, the man who thought he would inherit the earldom). He is determined to find out the truth behind the ice beauty and how she came to be so high up in station. Little does he know how he will fall hard for Sophie and need to have her in his life permanently. I really enjoyed watching Sophie and Patrick fall for each other. Her secret is revealed at a time that I really appreciated (not dragged out for the whole story) and it helps move their relationship forward with no pretenses and that was such a nice change of pace! Patrick is determined and bold, looking for the love and laughter he was denied as the only child of his parents, molded to be the earl only. Sophie projects herself as cold and aloof when underneath she is strong, caring and willing to do whatever it takes to protect what is hers. There is a strong sense of family, honor and protection and it adds some wonderful secondary characters that you grow to love as well. I also liked how the story really just focused on their growing romance but the action came at a time when it was needed to move the story along without overshadowing a wonderful romance. Patrick is a bit heavy with his pet names, 'my sweet' 'sweetheart' etc, which is just a pet peeve of mine and Sophie also could have been a bit more expressive beyond 'oooh' but it did not detract from the story much for me. There is also a secondary romance between Sophie's best friend and Patrick's best friend that I wished was almost its own story because I felt like their was so much more to tell about that couple. Hopefully it will be. Overall, a grand debut filled with a lovely romance that has the right balance of heat and heart with just a dash of action to keep it interesting. 4 starseARC provided by LoveSwept (Random House) via netgalley

  • Mary - Buried Under Romance
    2019-02-25 16:57

    Posted on Buried Under RomanceThis was a fantastic read with endearing characters and a very engaging plot. From start to finish I was absolutely in love with the leads, Sophie and Patrick. When Sophie, the newly widowed Countess of Monmouth takes London ballrooms like a storm, every male is enchanted by her beauty and offset by her cold demeanor. She's not who she seems to be, and Patrick, the Earl of Coulter, has decided to uncover all of Sophie's secrets while trying to deny his blinding attraction to her...he couldn't.Every aspect of this novel, from the characters to the plot and the romance, was superb. They sexual attraction between Sophie and Patrick is enough to melt these pages, yet they are both loyal and caring characters. Sophie is very strong, coming from a unique background and hiding her identity to protect those important to her. Beyond her tough exterior, however, is a fragile heart of gold that Patrick vehemently protects. Patrick did not initially appeal to me, as his lust took over his brain a few times. However, how he begs for forgiveness from Sophie endears him to me, as a flawed yet conscientious hero, fitting to be with Sophie's flawed yet caring self. There's also a side romance between Sophie's friend Amelia and Patrick's friend Stephen, that provides great entertaining for the story. The ending with these four characters is also very well done, and packaged together is a story of acceptance and everlasting love. *I received an ARC from NetGalley.

  • Kathie (katmom)
    2019-03-17 15:36

    Sophie, the Countess of Monmouth is hiding a huge secret. Patrick, Earl of Coulter, wants to know what it is so that he can out her. Because she's rather "touch me not," isn't she? And a bit icy and aloof...in his opinion she really needs to come down a peg or three.But then again, he really likes her, dang it! There were a couple of times that I really wanted to smack Colt, but he had been working under a false assumption about her. And his shock was great when he realized that. I always like to see the Alpha male knocked back on his heels, and he sure was!I enjoyed this very much. It's a Cinderella story with a couple twists and turns. The supporting cast, Stephan, Letty, Amelia...I loved them, too. In fact, this entire story touched my heart a few times. Well done, Ms. Vella!Thank you, NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell - Loveswept, for giving me the opportunity to read THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS by Wendy Vella.

  • Kat ~ Forever Book Lover ♥
    2019-03-07 20:46

    You can find this review and more at Forever Book Lover.Just finished reading Reluctant Countess and just in time as I hear it debuts today. I read this book in less than one day, it was that good!! Awesome debut, Everything that I Love to find in a book. From rags to riches.A fairy tale romance - beauty, prince charming, villain and of course a happy ever after ending. What is not to love about this book.. I think what set this book apart from the rest of the historical romance books I have read lately, is the utter honesty between the characters. If there is a miscommunication or a secret that one may be keeping~ they talk about it in an open way, no hiding waiting for them to find out the secret on their own. It made for such a pleasant read, without that, well I can't talk for you but I simply want to slap them and tell them to fess up. The more they wait the more strain on the relationship. But Sophie and Patrick have an open dialogue between each other- quite refreshing. Our heroine is not one to be taken lightly either.. She has spunk and inner class, so she wasn't born into it but sometimes class is not by title and family name alone. Sophie gave purpose to Patrick's life, she had broken through the barrier he placed around his emotions, erected as a child, locked away until Sophie entered his life.There was such cute dialogue between the characters, finding myself chuckling out loud and highlighting the section, just to go back and read it again.. Some was very emotional... here is a sample of what you will find..."He told me once that he would marry only when he found someone who wanted him as an equal, not because of his title or wealth, but because she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, Patrick, not the Earl of Coulter" Stephen to Sophie "Hello, wife" Patrick said as he turned Sophie to face him.. ..."Hello, husband".... I simply loved the secondary characters- Stephen and Amelia. I hope this was just a tease and these two will have their own book. The author left us with a bit of a cliffhanger... Drats!!!This book moves up my favorite list.. once again an exciting debut from author Wendy Vella. I don't think we have seen "nothing" yet from this captivating author.

  • Julie
    2019-03-13 17:56

    Wendy Vella gives us a fresh look at Regency period romance. A little bit of a rags to riches tale or a little bit like a Cinderella story.Sophie is recently widowed with a young child. She travels to London with her sister -in -law for the season. But, Sophie has a secret past and is terrified she will be found out.Patrick knows there is something off kilter about the beautiful Countess and vows to uncover her secret. Once he begins to spend time with Sophie his dislike of her lessons considerably. Instead of trying to uncover a fraud, he must know her secret in order to protect her.There is instant chemistry between Sophie and Patrick. They each have an independent streak that causes them to constantly learn how to give and take. They also have insecurities that cause misunderstandings. But, I like the way they worked together to solve their problems.Of course Sophie has a few enemies and finds herself in danger. This brings about a tense scene or two. The secondary characters are also interesting and it is fun to see their relationship develop too.I would have liked to have the secondary romance explored more deeply in a second book instead of their romance being sort of rushed through.One other personal pet peeve of mine is the relaxation of the language used during this period. There were several lapses when a current day phrase was used and a bit too many times words were spoken, especially by women, that I just couldn't see being true of the period.( This isn't the only author I've noticed doing this .)Other than that, the story is solid and original. Keep an on this author. Overall I give this one B .This was an ARC copy I received from Netgalley. This is a Random House Love Swept Romance publication.

  • Kathy Davie
    2019-02-22 18:39

    This is an ARC provided by the publisher.A sweet romance set in Regency England.My TakeVella has a nice lyrical turn of phrase that makes this a sweet read. And she's obviously done some homework on dress, manners, and society for her novel. Her characterization was well-done with a nice range from the totally sweet and thoughtful Sophie to the completely wicked Jack. Patrick's character was different from the usual which made a nice change and Vella's depiction of many of the catty women in the ton...well, too true to life that was.I did enjoy the insight we had on Patrick's developing emotions with just the right amount of frustration and enough curiosity to continue to pursue Sophie. He seemed a little too quick to capitulate, but that's the worst I can say of him. I suspect this is the start of a series with Sumner being next. And I'll look forward to reading more Vella.Not much drama, although Vella does pull me in with wanting to know what the big secret is about Sophie and Letty. And, of course, there's the kidnappings that make life exciting. The whole bit with Sophie insisting on coming along was a somewhat irritating cliché, but at least Vella tarted it up a bit. Kind of hard to miss picking out Mary and Timothy when they're the only ones tied up. My Whines...I could hope for a more expressive reaction from Sophie than "ooooh". What's with the walking on her hands in a public park? I could see her doing it inside the house, but a park??Hmmm, when I finally learned the big secret, I was annoyed that it was such a nothing excuse for the drama about it. Sure, it could be considered scandalous, I suppose. But there's nothing illegal about it. The way Sophie and Lettie are carrying on, I figured it was a scam or something.Oops, Patrick has really blown it with that line about her previous line of work. I'm confused about how Myles is to get his comeuppance if Patrick and Sumner are letting him go. Or are they? It's rather confusing at the end.Vella does need to research the proper formatting for titles and how nobles are addressed.On the whole, it's a cute read with sweet happily ever afters.The StoryLord Carstairs died ten years ago and hadn't thought to provide for Letty, and fortunately, her brother Melton took her in. Together, the they forged a plan to provide for all of them.The only problem is that the late earl, Letty's brother, died three days after Patrick saw him. There was no wife, no son. Only the weasel of a nephew who would inherit his fortune. Not his title?Intrigued, Patrick pursues the lovely countess, but whether to unmask her or bed her, even he isn't sure.Then blackmailing notes arrive and Timmy is kidnapped. It seems a bit of Sophie's mysterious past has risen and all may yet be lost.The CharactersSophie, the former Sophie Beams, a maid at the Earl of Montmouth's country estate, is now the Countess of Monmouth. She and her son Timothy have traveled with Lady [Letitia] Carstairs, her friend and sister-in-law, to London for the season. Jenny is Sophie's maid. Robbie is the coachman.Patrick, the Earl of Coulter, and his friend, Sumner, used to spy for the Foreign Office. His town servants include Fletcher as butler and Scully as his coachman. The servants at his country estate include Ribble, the butler; Mrs. Pitt, the housekeeper; John the Coachman; and, Mrs. Gumbrill is the grumpy cook.Growing up as he did, Patrick has a deep-seated need to help the less-fortunate. It was Stephen's recommendation that he do so through parliament. I'll hope that Vella continues with another in this vein.Viscount [Stephen] Sumner hates it when his mother descends upon London with his sisters, the Sumner Fillies: Lucinda (already engaged to Lord Palmerton), Maia, and Jennifer.Dominic, the Duke of St. Brides, and his duchess are friends of Patrick's. The duchess is one of the few women he likes. Lord [Joseph] Hanley is another friend of both Patrick and Sumner.Miss Amelia Pette also collects dolls. Has, in fact, her own dollhouse. Amelia's mother, Minerva, is an old friend of Letty's, and they came out together. However, a horrible trauma years ago has turned Minerva into a reclusive bitch.Jack Spode is threatening Sophie. A man from her village who has gained his wealth through fair means and foul, he had intended to have her as payment for her drunken father's debts. Bailey is an informant whom Patrick and Sumner know.Viscount [Myles] Dumbly is Sophie's cousin by marriage. And he's a loathsome little tick. Lord Timpkins is boasting to all his friends that the countess has invited him to have his way with her. Heptaia Willis struck down Ginny, a maid, with his carriage and now he's complaining that she has made him late for his appointment.The CoverThe cover is all blues and flesh with a naked Patrick hoisting up the luscious Sophie in her blue satin dress against a tone-on-tone blue background of elegant swirls.The title is too true, for Sophie is very much The Reluctant Countess. Both times.

  • Nitzan Schwarz
    2019-03-19 16:53

    Originally posted on my blog. I received a copy for review purposes through Netgalley.My Rating: 2.5 starsI find it hard, close to impossible, to write a review for this book. I simply don't have much to say about it. We didn't click, in a way that I don't even know to explain much why. I didn't hate it - I didn't love it. It was okay. It's more of an issue of... not having an opinion, really. At first, it was really hard for me to get into the book. Later on it got better, I got more interested, but I never really felt much toward it. I thought the main characters, Sophie and Patrick, were fine. I didn't overly like them, I didn't overly hate them. I didn't connect to them, on any form of level. Their romance was okay, though again - I found myself more inclined toward indifference when it came to this book. I also didn't quite understand all that they did to make Sophie countess... I felt like this should've been explained better, or I don't know what. I mean, I get part of it, but I was never really convinced with the explanation. It just felt... lacking, to me.And I was not convinced by the villain. He was supposedly so horrible, but he didn't do anything to Sophie before? Wasn't she there for two years still? Or, he kidnapped a bunch of people but never left any guards on them? And with the fact he was so horrible and all that, the cops--they didn't notice him? I don't know. It just... smells. I thought the supportive characters were good, but could've been used better and to the fullest; they had a story of their own, and I thought the author could've written them a separate book or spent more time about their relationship in this book; the two or three snips I had into their lives didn't satisfy me, and then suddenly they were marrying. Personally, I might've been more interested in their story as a whole, even with only so little to go on in this book. I thought the writing was fine for the most part. I didn't like the way Vella wrote speech on certain parts ; all the ohhhhhhh and looovvee and stuff. Those kind of thing are cute when you're writing a blog or something, but they make me cringe in a book. But that's a very personal and subjective opinion.For a first time author, though (or at least, so says Goodreads), I think this was a good job and she shows potential. I didn't connect with the story itself, but I have no problem with her writing style and the way she built their relationship.

  • Lee Anne - OMG! It's TOOOOO Cold!
    2019-03-11 14:46

    This review will be published at http://romantichistoricallovers.wordp... on January 18, 2013I loved this book from the very beginning. Wendy Vella had me hooked from the very first sentence. “If only she had a small imperfection.” It was obvious that someone mesmerized Patrick and Stephen. I soon found out it was the Countess of Monmouth. Patrick was sure she was an imposter, a charlatan. He was determined to find out her secrets and expose her. He couldn’t believe she was married to his long time friend who died several years before.Sophia does indeed have secrets and she’ll do anything to protect those secrets. Her life depends on it, as does the life of her son and her friend. If her secrets are discovered and exposed, it will all fall apart and they’ll be left with nothing and no one to take care of them.Society calls her the ice queen. She comes across as being aloof and unapproachable. Little does society know, she’s reserved out of necessity. Society sees her beauty and quiet reserve as a reason for gossip and distrust.As Patrick sets out to discover Sophia’s secrets, he realizes there is more to her than he originally thought. He slowly comes to care for her and would do anything to protect her. He still wants to know her secrets, but this time so he can protect her. He no longer has any desire to expose her.When Sophia finds herself in danger and the life of her son in danger, she turns to Patrick and asks for help. He does indeed help her but in doing so, he learns her secrets. Will he still care for her once he knows everything?This was a wonderful story. It’s full of passion, romance, danger, and intrigue. It has all the elements of a wonderful story and Wendy Vella delivers on that promise! I laughed, I cried, I snickered and I cheered through the entire story! Sophia is a wonderful heroine. She’s strong, determined and imperfect. Patrick is her perfect counter-part. He’s sexy, determined, protective, and imperfect. When he messes up, he knows it and is not too proud to apologize. They get mad at each other, argue, storm off, but they always come back to each other. Neither one of them lets their pride get in the way. I loved it!Wendy Vella is a new to me author and I am so glad I picked up her book to read. I’m looking forward to more stories from her.I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks
    2019-02-20 17:49

    Patrick "Colt" the Earl of Coulter, thinks that the beautiful Sophie, Countess of Monmouth is a fraud and he intends to expose all of her secrets. Recently widowed, with a young son in tow, Sophie worries on a daily basis that she will be discovered, and attempts to keep herself at a distance to the aristocracy in London to the dismay of her sister-in-law, who wants to show her off. Nonetheless, there is an instant attraction between these two that becomes explosive quickly and confuses both the Earl and the Countess.When Sophie begins to receive messages of a threatening nature, she shies even further away from any relationship with the Earl, fearing that when her background comes to light he will toss her away in disgust. Until one night, that threat becomes a reality and little Timmy is kidnapped and the only one Sophie thinks that could help her turns out to be Patrick. From this moment on, there is no turning back for the wayward Sophie, who struggles with her past and present every minute of the day.When Patrick discovers who Sophie really is, he does the unthinkable, he helps her, proving Sophie wrong on so many levels. Through this life-altering event, Sophie begins to trust the Earl of Coulter and he beings to open his heart to the unusually strong Countess. Patrick's own strict and cold upbringing made him believe that love was an illusion until he sets his eyes on the mysterious Sophie.The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella, is a great story that shows that love surpasses all class stations and cannot be overcome. Sophie is a strong female, but also innocent with all that goes on around her. She constructs a chilly wall of indifference to attempt to show the world that what they say about her makes no difference, but Patrick sees right through that wall and has compassion for Sophie's plight, even though she isn't all she is made out to be. I really enjoyed this story and I do look forward to other books by Wendy Vella. The Reluctant Countess is a strong story with a feel good ending and a story of hope. ~KIMBERLY~EArc given by Netgalley for an honest review.4 Stars (Brilliant)

  • Dianne
    2019-03-01 16:43

    No need for smelling salts for this fresh Regency Romance! Wendy Vella has taken her paintbrush to a popular, often-done genre and colored it hot, fresh, amazing!Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, a young widow with a toddler takes London by storm with her beautiful face, cool demeanor and the mystery surrounding her background. Patrick, Earl of Coulter, is instantly attracted, yet repelled by this woman who no one has ever heard of. The electricity is sharp between these two strong personalities, neither willing to give an inch in their battle of wills. Sophie has much to lose if her secrets are ever discovered. Patrick wants to know everything about the first woman to truly steal his heart.Unlike so many Regency Romances, the heroine is not running willy-nilly, muddling things in an effort to be independent. Sophie faces everyone and everything head on with dignity and strength, well, all but anything regarding Patrick! Patrick, in turn, is not a wild rake running amok until he rushes headlong into Sophie. His conquests are not legion, and although he feels the need to protect Sophie, he doesn't go overboard.This is probably going to be one of my all time favorite historical romances, especially since 'the love stuff' was resolved before the last page, leaving time for the 'bad stuff' to play out in great detail and surprise! I absolutely loved the side story involving Sophie and Patrick's best friends, too!This ARC copy of The Reluctant Countess was given to me by NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell in exchange for an honest review. Publish Date January 14, 2013.

  • Shay Williams
    2019-02-21 15:54

    One of my favorite fairy tales has always been Cinderella and it is a theme that comes up quite frequently in romances. Some of the attempts are ones not worth printing and others are more then satisfactory drawing the reader deep into the tale. I am happy to say that THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS is one of the latter ones. I think what really caught me was the characters themselves. Sophie is a warm and caring woman with secrets of her own that are starting to come out with possibly deadly consequences. She is a woman that thinks of others first rather than herself. Patrick is a fitting mate for her as he is the same working hard in parliament to improve the lot of the working class and children. The secondary characters also have a lot of, well for lack of a better word, character. Letty, Sophie's sister-in-law, is very much enjoying being back in Society but she truly cares for Sophie. Amelia, Sophie's best friend, is a very smart and opinionated young lady who cares more about where a person's heart is at then a person's past. And Stephan, Patrick's best friend, is man who grew up surrounded by love and will do anything for those that he cares for. These characters add a lot to the plotline. If I have any complaint about the book is that we are left hanging about the future of these secondary characters. I am hoping that Ms. Vella will continue their stories in another book. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romantic suspense and I rate THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS at 4.1.*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed within are my own.

  • Sue Grimshaw
    2019-03-17 21:38

    The reason I love this story & chose this book for a Loveswept Original release is because of the great characters & fast pacing of the story - it really moved - I think Wendy created a unique Regency unlike anything published before - readers who enjoy Sabrina Jeffries wit, Anna Campbell's sexy style & Elizabeth Hoyt's delivery will want to read this story.From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.Just $2.99 #Loveswept

  • Khanh (the meanie)
    2019-03-03 16:54

    Sophie, the Countess of Monmouth, has a secret. Patrick, the Earl of Coulter, suspects that something is up. He sets out to investigate her secret, meanwhile fighting off enormous boners at her presence. Sophie's life is threatened, Patrick's macho instincts are aroused (among other things).It's a very simple book. The secret would have ruined Sophie and in the eyes of society at that current time, but Patrick seems surprisingly blasé about it. They fall in love too quickly, Patrick forgives her secret too easily, the villains are ridiculously easy to figure out. It's not a bad book, I enjoyed it, but it is too simplistic, the plot lines too easily resolves, and the secondary romance plot lacked credibility and explanation. Easy read, but lacked the complexity for a 4 or 5 star.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-19 14:50

    I very seldom read historical romance anymore. My taste has changed over the years. But...when I was offered the opportunity to read "The Reluctant Countess," I thought it would be worth a try. After all, it would probably be alright. I was proven wrong. I enjoyed this book tremendously! I loved the plot - lots of love, intrigue and mystery and feminine wiles thrown in to make things interesting. I also loved the characters. Sophie was a woman of values and was courageous and honest. Patrick was, of course, wonderfully handsome and rich. He was also genuine and honorable. I look forward to reading future books by this author. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House-Bantam Dell for the opportunity to read this book - and for getting me interested in historical romance again!

  • Amanda Mandigo
    2019-03-13 14:37

    I was given the chance to read this book through NetGalley. Let me start by saying I LOVED this book. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and will certainly look for her in the future. I loved the flow between Sophie and Patrick, the story between the beginning to their happy ever after at the end was perfect. With the side story between secondary characthers Amelia and Stephen only added to the story and made it go only too fast because I wanted to know what was going to happen. The suspense was an added benefit to keep the reader pulled in and I was able to finish this story in 6 hours even trying to finish up my Christmas shopping/cooking/running around. I hope you get the chance to pick up this book.

  • Connie
    2019-03-09 21:31

    Great story! Don't judge a book by its cover. The "Ton" labeled Sophie "The Ice Maiden", cold and aloof. But they have no idea the burdens she has to bear as well as the secrets she has to keep hidden. So many good people are depending on her. The chemistry between Sophie and Lord Patrick Coulter is hotter than hot, but even he may not be able to save Sophie from her dark and dangerous past.

  • Chris Mead
    2019-02-27 18:38

    Loved it!

  • Literati Literature Lovers
    2019-03-03 16:46

    Title: The Reluctant Countess A Loveswept Historical RomanceAuthor: Wendy VellaRating: 4.5/5Genre: Regency RomancePublisher: Random HouseISBN: 0345540077 (ISBN13: 9780345540072)SynopsisFrom Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.Before reading The Reluctant Countess A Loveswept Historical Romance by Wendy Vella, I had never read a modern written regency romance. It’s not that I was anti-regency romance, it just wasn’t something that I would necessarily think would appeal to my personal taste. So, when this ARC fell into my lap, I almost groaned; but I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed The Reluctant Countess. Vella writes a fun, fast paced story that was a pleasure to read. I, of course, do not have a genre specific background to compare it too; but the characters were very enjoyable.First, you have Sophie, Countess of Monmouth. She is the young beautiful widow of the Earl of Monmouth. She popped up two years ago and this is her first season in London society. Family obligations are the excuse she gives as to why she was never introduced to London society prior to this season. Sophie is quite old at twenty two for her first season, widow or not. Besides being the earl’s widow, she is also mother to their young son Timmy, the new Earl of Monmouth. She is welcomed into London Society, escorted by her high birth sister-in-law Letty, the dead earl’s blood sister. These two ladies are very devoted to one another. Sophie is beautiful, but aloof, and has been dubbed the ice maiden by the ton (Britain’s High Society). She twirls around the peerage dance floors, but doesn’t engage the males in small talk, in fact she hardly talks at all. The females are jealous of her beauty, and the males want to bed her. Oh, whatever is a widow to do?What I liked about Sophie is she isn’t the simpering damsel, as I had first envisioned. She is a spirited heroine with a backbone, but she is living in a society where there are very set rules and guidelines. Sophie is written as a genuine character, flaws and all. I found her very refreshing, and completely likeable.Enter Patrick Earl of Coulter, handsome and not married. In fact, he has no plans to be married. He attends ton functions because that is what society expects of him. Unlike the parents and their daughters, he is not on the prowl for a wife. But he certainly doesn’t mind looking for a lover. Patrick’s sights are set on the beautiful widow ice maiden. He knows that something is not quite right about her.He was with the old earl shortly before he died, and no wife or son were mentioned at that time. He believes her to be an imposter, despite her close relationship with her sister-in-law. Patrick has a keen intellect and a strong background in spying from war. He believes that he will uncover the countess’ secrets if she has any.He has one major clue into uncovering her secrets and that is she counts steps while she dances. For a lady, no matter how sheltered or hidden away she was in the country, would have been practicing her dance steps at a very young age. A true lady would not need to count steps. He has caught her in this dastardly deed, and it spurs his resolve to expose her. What boon is he seeking, if he uncovers her treachery? Well of course what any red blooded peerage earl wants from a widow; her under him.Patrick starts out cold and calculating. Why should he care if she is a fraud? But he does care, almost too much. At first he convinces himself that he is obliged to protect the dead earl’s reputation and family from a charlatan. He quickly becomes a possessed man with his desire to uncover Sophie’s secrets. Patrick goes out of his way to catch brief glimpses of the thawed ice maiden, and is surprised by what he uncovers. He is touched by the way she talks about her son. The child is obviously very much loved by his mother, an oddity in itself, because most parents of the peerage were known to have distant relationships with their children.The plot I thought was fairly straightforward and Vella does a good job establishing this in the first few pages. I was delighted that things were not all what they seemed. This is not a just a love story, but one of intrigue and adventure. There are so many twists and turns that I ended up reading the book in one sitting. In fact, my family ordered in food, as I was having too much adventure in Regency England.All the characters were engaging and well written. Secondary character, Amelia, who was Sophie, Patrick, and Stephen’s friend, was not just placed in the book as filler, but her story was given a plot of her own. This was such a boon to me as a reader. Oh how I would have loved a book about Stephen and Amelia. The sparks flew between them. Amelia, who is highly opinionated is not at all Stephen’s type of peacock.Sophie’s sister in law, Letty, was another delightful character.What fate is in store for The Reluctant Countess? You’ll have to read the book to find out. I recommend this book and I was very impressed with the writing style of author. Vella. She made me feel as if I too was in Regency London. A very enjoyable book indeed.

  • Kate
    2019-03-09 21:49

    This would have been a good story if only...... if only the heroine had consented to the first several sexual encounters with the hero. Instead, she protests and resists and he just keeps going. He even describes himself as having forced her, and reflects she's the right one for him because she makes him lose control.It was disappointing as I've quite enjoyed some of Vella's other books.

  • Alyssa
    2019-03-11 19:58

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***The Reluctant Countess by Wendy VellaPublisher: LovesweptPublication Date: January 14, 2013Rating: 4 starsSource: Ecopy provided by the publisher***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***Summary (from Goodreads):From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: The Escape Diaries, The Devil’s Thief, and The Magic.What I Liked:OH MY GOSH I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! AHHHH!!!!!Seriously though. Nowadays, I rarely have the time oto re-read books. But this book? I have read and re-read it like, LITERALLY, 10 times or more. The whole thing. One to a few days in between each read. I love this book THAT MUCH.Let me start with the story itself. The plot is so simple, but it gets pretty twisty and interesting as the reader goes on. Right from the start, we know that Patrick and Sophie have some serious chemistry, but we also know that Patrick suspects something of Sophie. That is basically the first half of the book. The second half of the book deals with what Patrick suspected of Sophie, and how that situation is handled. Trust me, that sounds boring and silly, but I loved the plot of this book. I could probably tell you what happens in every scene, in order. This book is addicting.The characters - Sophie and Patrick. I really like Sophie; she is sweet and down-to-earth, but she fits in well in society. She plays her role as an artistocratic lady well, and yet she remembers her place that she held before she came upon the position she holds. I really, REALLY like Patrick. He is everything that an alpha male is, and if not, should be. He is handsome (hot!), swoony, brooding, tempermental yet gentle, protectice, oh-so-ripped, and a perfect gentleman. I think he is an excellent hero, and a perfect complement to Sophie. They are such a great couple!So, love triangle? No. Not in the serious sense. Sophie and Patrick are the primary couple. You all know how much I LOVE historical fiction, especially historical romance. Well. THIS is exactly why I love historical romance. This book is definitely one of my favorite (if not, my FAVORITE) historical romance books I have read.The ending is SO PERFECT. For those of you who like happily-ever-afters (like me!), you will enjoy the ending of this book. Actually, you will enjoy the entire book!What I Did Not Like:Honestly, the second half of the book was not as enticing and interesting as the first half. After Patrick and Sophie, um, get together (I don't want to ruin anything for anyone!), there is a certain point in the book where it is still amazing (really! I promise!), but it's not the same high-level quality in terms of the romance, and in a way, the events of the plot. I love the first half of the book. I like the second half of the book. But that's my only complaint. And it is not that big of a deal. Did I mention how many times I re-read this book? Ten plus, and counting.I am also not a huge fan of the cover, but that is not really up to the author. I'm just saying. Would I Recommend It:YES YES YES! You would be doing yourself a favor if you bought this book and read it. Seriously, any of you romance, historical fiction, and/or historical romance lovers out there will LOVE this book. Trust me!Rating:4 stars. I really, really liked this book! Historical fiction and romance is usually a great combination, and this author pulled off her story superbly.

  • Lisarenee
    2019-02-27 21:49

    Notes: I read the eARC and quotes will need to be checked against the final copy.My Synopsis:She had a secret... "He suspects something, Letty, I am sure of it." Sophie chewed her bottom lip. Stop gnawing on your lip, dear. He may suspect, but what can he do?"He was determined to uncover it and make it known... "Three days before the Earl of Monmouth passed away, I paid him a visit at Monmouth Hall. He was in his bed, clearly near death, but still lucid." He paused to make sure Stephen understood exactly what he was saying. "there was no Countess of Monmouth at that time, Stephen, no wife and most definitely no son." "What are you saying, Patrick? That she is some sort of impostor?".... "Something about the countess does not seem right, and if she is a charlatan I will expose her as one."But somewhere along the way he found something he didn't expect--a little thing called love and that changed everything.My thoughts:This was a fun story. I liked the secret Sophie had, but wished the author had gone into a little more detail as to how Sophie and Letty pulled it off. With all the rules and what not about inheritance, titles, etc., I've often wondered if anyone ever tried to do something similar to this in real life. I know I'm being vague, but I don't want to spoil anything for anyone. I liked not knowing the full story until it was uncovered and guessing what it was prior to that. Sophie was a fun character who was smart, loyal, and fairly trusting. She's definitely not like any of the women Patrick has ever met. I liked how he observed her, and realized that what many took for haughtiness was merely her way of dealing with uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations. At first, Sophie wasn't very confident and felt a little out of her element. Later, when Patrick learns her secret, we get to see the real Sophie, and I truly liked that. It was like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders and her spine straightened. Patrick was an interesting character. At the beginning, he was conflicted over his feelings for Sophie. He thought she was a conniving female who had somehow schemed her way into being a Countess. He later realizes she is the exact opposite and would rather give up her title. I wasn't quite sure what to think of him at the beginning. He was rather intimidating and when he started pursuing Sophie, he was quite relentless. Later, after he's lost a bit of his arrogance, however, I truly started to like him.We also got a secondary romance between Patrick's friend, Stephen, and Sophie's friend, Amelia. This secondary romance made me smile as the rolls between the two seemed the reverse of those between Patrick and Sophie. Amelia was the more intimidating of the two and I enjoyed seeing the contrast between the two couples.This wasn't the easiest to rate on the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale. The first love scene wasn't all that romantic as there were some misunderstandings which got in the way. After that, however, it got a solid STEAM rating - too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. Overall, I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. I liked the characters and the story line. I enjoyed both of the love stories and finding out about Sophie's past. I liked how Patrick slowly changed his mind about Sophie and the drama involved when someone starts to threaten Sophie and Timmy. I definitely look forward to reading more books by Ms. Vella.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-09 15:01

    I’m not sure what to say about Wendy Vella’s The Reluctant Countess. From the synopsis it’s publicized as a Cinderella type plot and it has aspects of it, but Vella just falls short. As for character development, there are some issues. The main problem for me is the villain. He’s introduced as hating Sophie and wanting to find out the truth behind her marriage to the late earl. Villains, especially those in a Regency romance do tend to be dastardly, but this one just was meek. A lot of things just don’t make sense. If the earl was dying and as the earl’s heir, wouldn’t he be there to protect his claim especially if there was talk of the earl’s apparent marriage? Speaking of marriage…Sophie married the earl on his deathbed and her son becomes the heir, hence displacing the villain. Here’s the thing… her son turns out to be her brother and of course her brother was already born when Sophie married the earl and therefore cannot be the heir! I understand being out in the country and away from London gossips, but here’s the thing- communities were small enough that people would be aware if the new mistress of the house was pregnant. Servants gossip and how in the world did the earl’s sister, Letty, managed to hush everyone up in the household is beyond me, unless they fired the lot and only retained a few in confidence. I can suspend disbelief, but in this situation it just doesn’t work for me. At one point the villain confronts Sophie and she says something to the effect of, “you got a title passed to you.” What title was that and why isn’t it attached with the others? You can’t just pick and chose with titles will pass just like you can’t pick out of a hat who your heir is going to be.I didn’t find Sophie and Patrick’s romance all that convincing. It seemed to me she married him because she didn’t have a choice. Obviously marrying Patrick offers some protection (ahem from the possibility of the Ton finding out you weren’t married to your first husband), but I never got the impression Sophie loved Patrick. There wasn’t any indication of feelings of dislike and distrust turning into admiration and then love. It’s also never fully explained why Patrick was interested in knowing more about Sophie. It’s not like he had a claim on the title or was in any way a friend of the family. Yes, Vella writes he visited the earl a few days prior to his death, which again brings up the question of Sophie. Wouldn’t the earl have mentioned he’d married? Vella presents Sophie as a beautiful woman who pretty much keeps men at a distance. If Patrick was interested in her favors, I’d expect an author to describe his lust at seeing her for the first time or something to that effect, but we don’t. His sole purpose is to expose her as a charlatan, but then he changes his feelings regarding Sophie 25% in.I do have to make note of the language because it sounded too modern. I know it is difficult to write a certain way, but for me when an author sets a novel in the past, I expect it to sound like a product of the time period or as close as possible. I debated heavily with the rating. In the end, I gave it a two because Vella fails to execute the plot and problems regarding inheritance. I’ve read some well- written Cinderella plots in the past. Julie Ann Long’s To Love a Thief comes to mind as well as Pamela Britton’s Scandal.Review originally posted at Literary, etc.

  • Ivy H
    2019-02-23 17:00

    This was an entertaining little romance. The heroine is a former maid who has been asked by her employer ( an old dying childless Earl ) and his sister Letty, to marry him in order to prevent the title and lands from going to his spendthrift, wastrel nephew Viscount Dumbly ( yes, it is "Dumbly" ). The heroine Sophie is an orphan with a baby brother and the dying Earl prefers that the little boy be declared the new Earl after his death. Lucky little Timmy ! The kid goes from the serving class to a titled member of the Ton before his ist birthday. Anyway, Sophie has to learn how to comport herself like a countess and our story begins with the hero Patrick ( who's the Earl of Coulter ) talking to his best friend Stephen about her. Apparently all the men in the Ton are awed by Sophie's incomparable beauty and all the women are green with jealousy. The hero, a former spy, thinks she's hiding something and is determined to discover what it is. During the course of the story Patrick's plans to hate Sophie are overthrown by his blazing lust for her, since he keeps following her everywhere. He saves her once from the sleazy Viscount Dumbly. Dumbly is mad because he had wanted to inherit the earldom and the wealth that now belongs to Sophie's little brother ( who the world believes is her son ). There's another villain called Jack Spode who lived in Sophie's old village and he is angry because he lusts after Sophie himself and so he starts blackmailing her because he knows little Timmy is her brother and not her son. There's also the introduction of a shy wallflower called Amelia who becomes Sophie's best friend. Amelia and Stephen have a love-hate relationship that eventually bloom into love after Amelia gets a makeover from Sophie and Letty.This was a sweet and romantic novel with a few hot sex scenes. The first sex scene proved just how naive Sophie was because she had apparently forgotten about her virginity ! Patrick knows immediately that she can't possibly be Timmy's mother so that turns the story in a different direction. Eventually, after a couple more outdoor sex scenes, Patrick asks Sophie to marry him. They wed and she goes from being the Countess of Monmouth to the Countess of Coulter, while all the debutante girls in the ton grit their teeth in frustration because they were all hoping to marry Patrick. The honeymoon is sexy and sweet and the couple fall in love. The villains Dumbly and Spode soon intervene and kidnap Sophie and Amelia . Sophie manages to kill Jack Spode and the girls escape. Patrick and Stephen return to capture Viscount Dumbly who is turned over to the authorities. Everybody gets their HEA.The thing I find interesting in this novel is that the world believes Timmy is Sophie's first born son and he's already inherited the title of Earl of Monmouth. Whenever Sophie gives birth to a son with Patrick, that kid will also become a future Earl. Isn't that an achievement for one woman? She gets to be the mom to 2 handsome Earls. The author should write a romance about a grown up Timmy.

  • Raina {The LUV'NV}
    2019-02-22 20:31

    I'm a little reluctant to write a review for this book, unable to pinpoint how I feel about it. The Reluctant Countess  had the wonderful, blooming Regency Romance setting with the sex written more toward modern Contemporary, which I appreciated. The writing was good, and I liked all the characters. Sophie, the Countess of Monmouth and known by the ton as an ice queen, is not only hiding her past but also a heart of gold to avoid being ripped apart by the masses and their vicious wagging tongues. Patrick is far from the perfect gentlemen, always saying the wrong things, at the wrong time, making him more endearing. The secondary characters—Stephan, Amelia, and Letty—were fun and adorable, too. But while the premise of a reluctant countess was refreshing and intriguing, the overall execution left something to be desired. Sophie and Letty's secret, when revealed, left me thinking, That's it? That's what all the fuss is about? They didn't commit a crime, and their reactions seemed blown out proportion. The subplot felt a bit disjointed and contrived. Of course plots are created, but they're not supposed to feel  like it, as though it was simply dropped in for the sake of drama. The villain, not at all mystery, is mentioned in the beginning, makes one appearance, and never shows up again until the end. I didn't find him believable or feel the suspense and that the characters were in danger. I probably would've forgotten all about him if he didn't show up for the conclusion. Then there was my pet-peeve: "Titanic-izing," when a character repeatedly says someone's name (like Jack and Rose did). I can overlook constant oohing and ahhing, but superfluous direct addresses feel unnatural and make me sigh with impatience, like I would with a telemarketer wanting more than my time and attention.The book has some great lines that made me laugh, though, this one being my favorite:"I am a woman, my lord, therefore not a fool."* Quote taken from the eARC, not the final copy.Overall, The Reluctant Countess  had a nice love story and realistic smex scenes. Wendy Vella shows potential with her debut. I think fans of Romance—for just the romance—would enjoy it. * eARC provided by Random House Publishing—Bantam Dell via Netgalley.Review also on the The LUV'NV blog.

  • Franjessca
    2019-02-28 16:55

    Review also posted on Book Lovin' Mamas"The Reluctant Countess" is from the upcoming new Author, Wendy Vella, who definitely makes a great and memorable entrance into the regency historical romance genre . I fell in love with her writing style and the characters she wrote in "The Reluctant Countess". Wendy actually made me feel like I was back in that time frame and how I wish some guys from this era would take notes from how men should treat women. (*just saying*) Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is trying everything to keep her secret from coming out, but it is kind of hard when you have the sexy Earl of Coulter, Patrick, always there asking questions and making her feel flustered. Sophie has a deep secret and with the help of her sister-in-law, she is trying everything to have it from coming out during the season. The Earl knows something is up with the Countess and it is up to him to find out what it is....although in the meantime, he is finding it is hard to resist Sophie and when the truth finally comes out, he wants to be there for her and protect her. Sophie is not only dealing with keeping her secret from coming out, but trying to keep her brother and herself safe from her past. She also has the Viscount to worry about, who he feels he was tricked out of getting what he deserved. "The Reluctant Countess" takes you into the world of where romance can overcome anything, especially when two characters come from different classes. Wendy gives you a different kind of Cinderella story that will have you wanting that happily ever after for the characters and wanting to find out who wants Sophie killed. I loved Patrick for his determinedness to win over Sophie even when he found out the truth. He definitely loved her from the beginning, but just took him a minute to find it out for himself. Sophie had a little trouble trusting Patrick, but she had her reasons for what she went through.I also enjoyed Wendy's secondary characters who kept a very interesting storyline for themselves as well. I look forward to reading more books from Wendy Vella in the near future. This regency romance will have you wanting your own Earl of Coulter...at least I know I do now. =) I received a complimentary copy of "The Reluctant Countess" from Netgalley (courtesy of the publisher) in exchange for an honest review.

  • MelodyMay (What I'm Reading)
    2019-03-01 15:47

    Rating 3.5 Stars Also onWhat I'm Reading Good evening everyone. Well, I have been finishing up reading The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella. So, let me get to the quick sum up of the story and what I thought of the story.Sophia, the Countess of Monmouth, is a very intriguing young lady. Especially, when she hasn't always grew up in the lap of luxury. Starting out as a maid, in the Earl of Monmouth, and rising above her station in life by marrying Monmouth before he passed away.Now has finally come to London to partake in a season. However, people don't know what to think of her. Most of them think she is the ice queen, by the way she acts. Yet that is not the case, she is just trying to manage to keep up the facade. Patrick, the Earl of Coulter, is intrigued by the Countess and is bound to find out her story.First off, I did enjoy this story. I have to say that I was pleased with the characters in the story. I liked how Sophia was willing to become the Countess of Monmouth to help her friend Lady Letitia Carstairs from certain perils, even though she is uncomfortable being part of society.Then you have Patrick, who has a knack for shoving his foot in his mouth. I'm seriously impress on how he can say so many wrong things to a lady. There were a couple of moments I slapped my palm to my face and thinking: really, you didn't just say that. When Patrick wasn't making a fool of himself, he was an actually a decent guy willing to help Sophia no matter what. It's nice to see a hero step up and be the hero he should be. Plus, he was willing to keep Sophia secret.Overall, this is a sweet story about a girl who meets someone that could possibly be her champion. After all, we all need a champion who can help us fight our battles no matter how big or small they are. In Sophia case they are pretty big battles. So, if you are looking for something that will leave you with a fuzzy warm feeling, you might want to checkout The Reluctant Countess.Copy provide by Random House via NetGalley

  • Jonetta
    2019-03-01 16:43

    Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is so cool and collected that she’s nicknamed the Ice Maiden by the members of the ton. What they don’t know is she’s anything but! Her calm exterior is just a mask to hide her terror of having her secret exposed. Patrick, Earl of Coulter, became suspicious of her the moment he heard she was the widow of his good friend who recently died. He’d never met or heard of her and he’d visited the elderly earl of Monmouth three days before his passing. Even though he’s determined to get to the truth, Patrick is also troubled by the feelings Sophie seems to stir in him.There are themes of the classic fairy tale Cinderella threaded through this story and that’s a good thing. Sophie is incredibly sweet but has steel for a spine. Her motives for hiding her past and the truth around her marriage to the earl of Monmouth aren’t self serving and her sister-in-law is her co-conspirator and benefactor. Patrick is ultra sexy and brooding, the kind of alpha male you just want a piece of. He has his own baggage but Sophie’s the woman who brings out his best. Anytime these two interact, they literally cannot keep their hands off of each other, providing some pretty sexy moments. Sophie’s secret and the truth about her past aren’t hard to figure out but it does provide a level of intrigue as she tries to remain elusive from the doggedly determined Patrick. They made an interesting couple, passionate, fiery and sometimes stormy. An added bonus was the underlying suspense connected to Sophie as someone is trying to harm her. The suspect is pretty obvious, even though the motives are murkier. It adds excitement without the romance having to bear the burden of conflict. Sophie’s friend, Amelia, and Patrick’s best friend, Stephen, provide some light moments and another background romance. I really liked this Regency romance and its likeable and charismatic characters. The exciting climax and incredibly happy ending (though a bit rushed) all help make this an enjoyable reading experience. (I received an ARC from NetGalley)