Author: Wendy Vella
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Loveswept, January 2013
If you're a Regency romance fan, you'll enjoy The Reluctant Countess. It's a sweet Regency, hewing to the genre. There's nothing here to cause angst, just a pleasant read.
Although he has no real evidence, Patrick, Earl of Coulter, decides that there's something not quite right about Sophie, Countess of Monmouth. He was with her husband just before he died: there was no mention of a countess.
Nevertheless, the Earl of Montmouth's sister, Lady Letitia Carstairs, is introducing Sophie to the ton, and she'd hardly do that if the countess were an impostor.
Despite his suspicions Coulter is attracted to Sophie, and before too long he's on her side. He saves her from manhandling by her odious cousin, Viscount Dumbly. Then he catches her doing hand stands in the park, and realizes that her "son" may not be her son at all.
A couple of subplots add to the fun. There's the doll collector Amelia Pette, whose mother is a horror, although the mother has reasons for acting as she does. Additionally, Coulter's friend Viscount Sumner, has problems when his mother and sisters arrive in town.
All the characters are standard Regency staples. Sophie's stutter was a pleasant change to the usual Regency heroine, as was her shyness, which the ton ladies and gentlemen took for arrogance and coldness.
Rating: 3.5 (out of 5 stars)
(A review copy was provided.)