Sunday, July 2, 2017


An Unlikely Countess: A Novel of the Malloren World (Mallorens & Friends series Book 11) by [Beverley, Jo]
After leaving the army and falling out with his family, the Honorable Catesby Burgoyne is drowning his sorrows when he comes across a woman being attacked by thugs. A fight is just what he needs, but little does he realize the lady he rescues will change his life.

For Prudence Youlgrave is not just the victim of ruffians. Her life has been made a shambles by her selfish brother and brutish fiancĂ©. But she has a bold and courageous spirit Catesby can’t resist, and before he knows it, he finds he has rescued her again by marrying her himself. 

A reckless adventurer may be forgiven for such an impulse. But when Catesby’s older brother suddenly dies, he finds himself Earl of Malzard, and Prudence is suddenly a most unlikely countess. Neither she nor Catesby are prepared to face the shock of his family. Still almost strangers, they have no one to turn to but each other, and it is in each other’s arms that they find a love neither ever expected. 

I want to say right off the bat that I really enjoyed both of the main characters a lot.  They were what the world considered misfits in general.  But Catesby had so much to recommend him even though his own family saw him as a selfish failure.  They were SO unfair to him even if he wasn't the firstborn son.  His older brother was treated as the Golden One, perfect in every way although of course he wasn't.  It was interesting that there was a similar attitude with the way Prudence's brother was treated as though he was the only one worthy.  Prudence came from a different society than Catesby  but the fawning over a son was similar.  But in her family everyone had to do some serious sacrificing to  make sure he succeeded.  And that didn't make his character a solid good one either.  Although Prudence suffered, she also did have a benefit.  She got an excellent education because she HAD to help her brother in the area of study as well.
I liked how Prudence and Catesby came to understand each other fairly rapidly even while still being strangers.  There was a connection, an attraction but more.   Some of their conversations were down right amusing.  Catesby marched to the beat of a different drummer but it wasn't an unkind one.  He proved that time an again.  Prudence was able to see that quickly and be sure that he was an honorable man.  She was astounded how little his remaining family knew him. His friend, Perry had his back though and he was funny and helpful. 
There will be dangers of course and not just being introduced to "the family."  A dangerous enemy is made and we know who it is.  But it didn't take away from the story because we didn't know exactly how and when he would strike again.

The only downside for me was how at times the story dragged.  At those times there was a repetitious re-playing on the same several themes. Mainly, Prudence dealing with her insecurities, her feelings of unworthiness to be a countess and a few others.  Now, I know we needed to hear some of it because it was reality.  But for me, it felt like it went on a bit too long.  

It's a complete story with no cliffhangers.  And a well won H.E.A.  
And a beautiful cover for the e-book.  

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