Friday, August 19, 2011

Quick Review: The Other Countess by Eve Edwards

The Lacey Chronicles #1: The Other CountessFrom the Back Cover:

England, 1582

Ellie—Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime—possesses a worthless title, but her feisty spirit captivates the elite of the Queen's court—especially the dashing new Earl of Dorset.

William Lacey, Earl of Dorset, has inherited his father's title—and his financial ruin. Now Will must seek a wealthy bride and restore his family's fortune. If only he hadn't fallen for the beautiful but penniless Ellie . . .

Sparks fly whenever Ellie and Will are together, but circumstances—and the conniving interference of others—threaten to keep them apart.

My Thoughts:

When our story begins, young Will Lacey, the new Earl of Dorset, is cleaning house, by literally throwing out Sir Arthur Hutton, a fanatical alchemist and the man Will holds responsible for ruining his father and the family's fortune. Though Hutton has his young daughter Ellie with him, Will is too blinded by grief and anger to care what happens to them. Four years later he heads off to court in search of a wealthy wife to restore his family to prosperity, and finds himself captivated by a mysterious, dark-haired, spirited beauty. Ellie has never gotten over the humiliation of being thrown out of Will's home, and the years of hardship that followed. When Will appears at court, she's terrified he'll use his clout to ruin the tenuous position she and her father have, so when he doesn't realize who she is, she doesn't see the need to tell him. She tries to avoid him, but  she discovers she likes his attention, and she likes the man Will has become. But what will he do when he finds out who her father is? And what will he do when forced to choose between love and duty?

I really enjoyed the first half of the book and the build up of Ellie and Will's relationship, from one of contemptuous mistrust to one of starcrossed love, but the second half of the book didn't impress me as much. This is pretty much a straight-up romance, and though there are quite a few obstacles in their way, there's never any doubt that Will and Ellie will end up together. Despite the fact that there are some heavy historical themes here, including Catholic witch hunts and the mistreatment of women, they get a pretty light treatment. Things just felt a little glossed over and simplified. I also found Will to be too sweet and forthcoming with his feelings to be completely believable for a man of the times, and Ellie to be a little silly and immature. But the historical detail is excellent and it was easy to get swept along into the story. I've been having a hard time trying to decide how I want to rate this book, so I'm going to rate it as if I were its intended audience. Overall this was a little too fluffy and melodramatic for me, but I think the younger crowd will really enjoy reading this story of two teenagers separated by class and duty, but bound by love in Elizabethan England.

My Rating:  3.5 Stars out of 5

*Please note: This review references an advance review copy received through the Amazon Vine program. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.


  1. Hmmm I was hoping this book was going to be better. I have it sitting in my TBR bookcase and was pretty excited for it when I bought it. Thanks for the review.

  2. Looking at the cover alone I thought it would be better than what you say!!!

  3. Thanks for this review. I tend to prefer more historical than romance - I don't mind there to be romance but not be the main focus. This book wasn't really on my radar yet and it might stay that way. Thanks


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