Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Harlot Countess by @JoannaShupe Review @KensingtonBooks

The Harlot Countess (Wicked Deceptions, #2)
Release date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Kensington/Zebra
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Series: Wicked Deceptions #2

Maggie, Lady Hawkins, had a debut she’d rather forget—along with her first marriage. Today, the political cartoonist is a new woman. A thoroughly modern woman. So much so that her clamoring public believes she’s a man…

FACT: Drawing under a male pseudonym, Maggie is known as Lemarc. Her (his!) favorite object of ridicule: Simon Barrett, Earl of Winchester. He’s a rising star in Parliament—and a former confidant and love interest of Maggie’s who believed a rumor that vexes her to this day.

FICTION: Maggie is the Half-Irish Harlot who seduced her best friend’s husband on the eve of their wedding. She is to be feared and loathed, as she will lift her skirts for anything in breeches.

Still crushed by Simon’s betrayal, Maggie has no intention of letting theton crush her as well. In fact, Lemarc’s cartoons have made Simon a laughingstock…but now it appears that Maggie may have been wrong about what happened years ago, and that Simon has been secretly yearning for her since…forever. Could it be that the heart is mightier than the pen and the sword after all?

My Rating: 4 Roses

I went into this book a little wary, considering how easily it could have turned into misunderstandings and assumptions. But, it turned out I didn't have to be worried because this book was wonderful. Enjoyable and romantic, The Harlot Countess was a lovely romance and I really liked it.

Maggie was a tough heroine. She faced a scandal with her head held high and dealt with every misfortune she had to endure. Even after that, she made something of herself and refused to live at society's whims. I thought she was lovely.

Simon was frustrating at first. I found it irritating how he assumed the worst of Maggie more than once. Things could have been solved so much easier if he bothered to ask for her side of things. But, at the same time, he also proved himself to be kind, generous, and rather sweet. So, overall, I liked him.

The romance was great. Once Simon no longer held on to his assumptions, the feelings that they had for each other from several years ago came back and grew stronger. And, they definitely had a lot of chemistry together. There were sparks constantly flying and ten years' worth of attraction going up between them.

The plot moved quickly and kept me interested right from the start. There wasn't much in terms of surprises along the way. I actually didn't understand how Maggie and Simon didn't suspect who it turned out to be. But, I still enjoyed the story and I liked it overall.

The Harlot Countess was a lovely historical romance and I enjoyed reading it. Romance lovers, this is a book worth checking out.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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