Monday, March 26, 2018

ARC Review: Counting on a Countess by Eva Leigh

Series:     London Underground #2
Pub. Date:March 27, 2018
Publisher:Avon
Length:389 pgs
Source:Edelweiss

Counting on a Countess is the second book in Eva Leigh's London Underground series, which features noble heroes who become entangled with less-than-lawful women of the commoner class.

Our hero in this second installment is Christopher "Kit" Ellingsworth, who has returned home a war hero and been awarded an earldom for his service in the fight against Napoleon. Kit has the reputation of being a spendthrift and womanizer, and his new title hasn't added a penny to his coffers.  But Kit's laissez faire lifestyle is really his way of coping with the horrors of war, and this vulnerability drew me into Kit's character and created a good emotional connection with his character. When Kit's mentor, Lord Somersby, dies and leaves him a fortune with some very unusual conditions, Kit's dreams are within reach if he can only find a willing and supportive wife. 

Tamsyn Pearce has grown up in the wilds of Cornwall, and hasn't had the best life since the death of her parents when she was young. Tamsyn took up the mantle of responsibility at a young age, becoming a smuggler to support her impoverished fishing village. Now she's in London to sell her illicit wares and find herself a rich husband that will leave her to her own devices in the country. I really struggled with Tamsyn's character. 

So this is where my heroine hater tendencies come out I suppose. I was definitely more forgiving of Kit's behavior than I was Tamsyn's. Because I had a connection to him, and I knew what was going on in his head, I didn't view his behavior to be as bad as Tamsyn's deception. I also didn't like how Tamsyn reacted and was somewhat sanctimonious given her own behavior, particularly when she knew how her war veteran husband could be impacted by her illegal activity.

The romance between these two was a fairly slow burn. While they married very quickly, the courtship began after the marriage and carried throughout most of the book. I felt like Tamsyn's secrets were a bigger obstacle to the relationship, and Kit was more invested in the relationship. I felt like this in the last book, From Duke Til Dawn, as well. So I think this series/trope may not necessarily be for me... but I am so dang interested in Langdon and Amina that I am sure I will keep reading.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Avon.

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