by Lynsay Sands
Series: Madison Sisters #1
Pub. Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Harper Audio
Narrator: Sarah Coomes
Length: 9 hrs 45 min
Source: OpenDigital / Library
THE FAIRY TALE COURTSHIP DID NOT TURN INTO A HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER ...
Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters' debuts as well. So she decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing's happened ...
Until the real earl appears. Richard Fairgrave had every intention of confronting his villainous twin who had robbed him of his name and title ... only to discover that he had died. Quietly assuming his identity, Richard must now deal with a maddening desire for his ravishing inherited wife --- certainly a gold digger and possibly a murderess. And Christiana must deal with an unwanted new husband ... and they both must figure out what to do before the ice melts.
I have been a big fan of Lynsay Sands more recent historicals such as The Highlander Takes a Bride, and I am really looking forward to Always (on hold at the library), so I thought I would try some of her other books while I wait. I am so glad that I did, as The Countess did not disappoint.
I listened to this book while I was working on a craft project over the weekend, and I laughed out loud so many times. I love it when a book puts me in a good mood... and my ratings are always based on how a book made me feel. This one was light-hearted and fun, and I am looking forward to continuing the series. I have to say that a good part of my LOL moments were due to the narrator as well. She did a fabulous job, particularly with the affectations of a drunk female.
So our heroine, Christiana Fairgave, has been married to a miserable man for the last year. He chastised her so much that she has quite lost herself and is now full of self-doubt and anxiety. Christiana could not understand what happened to her husband, Dickie, as he was so wonderful while courting her, only to do a complete 180 once the marriage vows were said. He has alienated her from all family and friends so Christiana is quite alone. I really felt sorry for her - Dickie took passive aggressive to a whole new level and found little ways to torment his poor wife. It would have drove me to murder. Luckily for Christiana, her husband apparently drops dead right when she needs to help her sisters and family out of a financial situation to avoid a terrible scandal. Imagine Christiana's surprise and horror when her dead husband shows up at the ball after she and her sisters had packed him away on ice!
The real Richard Fairbanks (who hates to be called Dickie) has made his way back from America after his twin brother (George) paid to have him killed so he could take his place in society. Unfortunately he shows up at the ball on the very day that George dies, which puts a kink in his plan for vengeance and restoration. He is also quite shocked to find that he apparently now has a wife... whom he doesn't find very attractive. Now that George is dead, Richard has to decide how to proceed. Should he keep his wife and act as if he was never gone - or should he try to expose Dickie's dirty deeds?
This story had such lovable and entertaining characters - I really can't say there was anything I disliked. Christiana and Richard were sweet and funny as our main pair, but the secondary characters played a big part and were just as engaging. I am looking forward to finishing out this series. The narrator was so good that I think I will do all of them in audio.