Secrets of a Proper Countess is Lecia Cornwall’s debut novel. After reading the blurb I began reading this book thinking I had a pretty good idea of the story and how it would play out and after the first two chapters I wondered if this book would offer any surprises. I’m pleased to say that once the ball got rolling I really enjoyed this book and I certainly got more than I expected.
Lady Isobel Maitland is a widow and is forced to conform to the rules of her over bearing, and disapproving mother-in-law or risk losing all she cares about including her son. Her brother-in-law controls her money and estates and she is barely allowed to have any say in the raising of her young son Robin who holds the title Earl of Westlake that her brother-in-law covets. She is a lonely woman living an unhappy life. But one evening while in disguise at a masquerade ball she gives into temptation and has a passionate tumble with a notorious rake the Marquess of Blackwood.
The rake is totally taken with this mysterious woman having just had a very steamy encounter without ever even knowing her true name. Determined to find this exotic lady and have her again he begins to search not realizing that the prim and proper Lady Isobel, who seems to dislike him very much is actually his mystery lover. But there is more to the Marquess than just the roguish persona he presents to society. He is a spy in service to the crown and when he suspects that the woman he desires could be involved in something far more dangerous than simple deception and seduction the plot thickens. It seems there is much more to know about Lady Isobel than even she knows.
I very much enjoyed the romance between Isobel and Blackwood (Phineas). They were very passionate and very sexy together. Although their relationship started out with an anonymous sexual tryst, the romance was built up throughout the story with good romantic tension. I really liked that although Lady Isobel played the dowdy widow, she was actually a very sensual woman underneath it all doing what she had to do to protect her son.
The plot involving traitors, and the French monarchy was interesting and there were several twists and turns to keep up with making for a story that kept me turning the pages. However, while I enjoyed the action and intrigue I really enjoyed the romance and wanted to focus on getting Phineas and Isobel together finally.
Secrets of a Proper Countess is a very nice debut by Lecia Cornwall. I very much enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from her.
She felt Yasmina smile, wide and slow. “I thought I recognized your sword.”
Be sure to stop back by later today. Lecia Cornwall will be visiting and she’ll be giving away a copy of Secrets of a Proper Countess.