Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Countess by Lynsay Sands

Christiana is a young woman newly married to Dicky Fairgrave, a cruel, heartless man. He keeps her isolated from friends and family. When her sisters arrive for a visit, Christiana learns that their father has been gambling again, and the sisters must make a quick marriage to a rich man in order to save him. While they are discussing their dire situation, Dicky is found murdered in another part of the house.

Determined to attend that evening’s ball despite the sudden demise of Christiana’s husband, the sisters carry Dicky to his bedroom and surround him with ice to preserve his body. As Christiana circulates amongst society that evening in search of future husbands for her sisters, who walks in, much to her horror, but Dicky. But it is not actually the dead Dicky who has walked. Rather, it’s Dicky’s twin brother, Richard, whom unbeknownst to Christiana, Dicky murdered years ago in order to assume his identity, wealth, and status.

Richard Fairgrave has returned to America to avenge himself and confront his brother. When Richard encounters Christiana, his unexpected wife, he is both intrigued, but irritated at the discovery. As the night wears on, Christiana becomes accidentally drunk and he begins to realize she is enchanting. Intrigued, he knows he must win her heart and must find out who murdered his brother, and keep scandal away from her.

If you are looking for a humorous romantic story to disappear into, then this is the book for you. I found myself bursting out in laughter during many of the antics. The book definitely reminded me of an old Lucille Ball episode where the heroine’s life escalates quickly out of control, but somehow, she finds herself coming out unscathed and richer for it. The relationship between Christiana and Richard unfolds slowly, tantalizingly, with much love and laughter. There were plenty of plot twists to keep me engaged to the end. All in all, this is a fun read for those who want to sink into a good romance.

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