Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Notorious Countess Confesses - Julie Anne Long

A Notorious Countess Confesses book cover
A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long
Series: Pennyroyal Green #7
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
Source/Format: Given by Heidi (Thanks!) || Paperback

From Covent Garden to courtesan to countess, beautiful, fearless, shamelessly ambitious Evie Duggan has riveted London in every role she plays. But the ton never could forgive her scandalous—if shockingly short—marriage, and when her star plummets amid gleefully vicious gossip, the countess escapes to the only legacy left to her: a manor house in Pennyroyal Green.

He has the face of a fallen angel and a smolder the devil would envy, but Vicar Adam Sylvaine walks a precarious line: resisting temptation…and the wild Eversea blood in his veins. Adam’s strength is tested when scandal, aka the countess, moves to Sussex. But when a woman who fiercely guards her heart and a man entrusted with the souls of an entire town surrender to a forbidden desire, will the sweetest sin lead them to Heaven...or make outcasts of them forever? (from Goodreads)

A Notorious Countess Confesses immersed me, yet again, in the world and characters of Pennyroyal Green that Julie Anne Long has created. It might be my third foray into the series (with What I Did for a Duke and I Kissed an Earl being the first two), but Long’s story here feels fresh and fun. This time around, we’re drawn into the world of Adam, vicar of Pennyroyal Green and cousin to the Everseas, and Evie, an ambitious, scandalous courtesan-turned countess – and it’s a story both steamy and sweet.

Story: The book has a pretty simple premise. Evie Duggan is a countess in disgrace, viewed by the tonne as a notorious, scandalous woman. She moves to the only property she has left in Pennyroyal Green, hoping for a fresh start and perhaps friendships with other women. Adam Sylvaine is the vicar of Pennyroyal Green, and his attempts to help Evie find her place among the people begin as duty but become a more personal matter as they grow closer. Scandalous girl + virtuous vicar working together towards a similar girl = this romance novel!

Characters: It’s pretty unusual, for me, to be reading about a courtesan-turned-countess (especially since I’m not overly fond of courtesan characters – new tidbit for you!) and a vicar. But really, it’s the kindness, compassion and strength that both these characters bear that really won me over in the end! They both have faced difficult circumstances in their lives, and still managed to rise above them. How’s that for awesome?

Romance: This is, by far, my favorite part of the book! Sparks definitely flew between these two, with an attraction that just couldn’t be denied. I love that there was a friendship that existed between them, born out of mutual respect and admiration. And it just tickled my fancy when they were able to read each other so well too! Obviously, I spent majority of this novel willing them to JUST KISS ALREADY.

Seriously, Julie Anne Long’s novels are fun to read, and just the right amount of swoony and entertaining. I enjoyed A Notorious Countess Confesses a lot, though What I Did for a Duke is still my all-time favorite. If you’re looking for historical romance authors to try, I can’t recommend Long and her novels enough!

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