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Posted February 20, 2012
Complex characters, Deeply compelling, Original plot
This is my first Vanessa Kelly book, and it certainly won't be the last. This is not your traditional, predictable historical romance with balls and teas and carriage rides. This is gritty, real life and features two characters I would never have expected in a story with a Countess on the cover. The heroine is a widow who, at first blush, is extremely unlikeable. She's arrogant, sharp-tongued, and rude. The only reason the ton puts up with her is because she's so beautiful and because of her title. Kelly does an incredible job of redeeming this character in a realistic way. The character stays true to herself throughout the novel. She doesn't do a one-hundred-eighty degree shift and completely change. Instead, she gradually grows and changes because of the experiences she endures. She learns to care about others, and the reader learns to care about her, and to understand what made her the woman she became. She is a deeply flawed character. I love that the author doesn't try to totally redeem the heroine and make her turn out to be perfect. She remains a flawed character throughout, but what she goes through does change her and make her a better person, flaws and all. The hero isn't an Earl or a Duke. He doesn't even have a title. He's a doctor, in today's terms, an obstetrician. Kelly takes us into the gritty world of the very poor, showing us their very real plight through the eyes of a man who cares deeply for the people he treats. He risks his life and his reputation to save society's throwaways. It is precisely his gift as a doctor, his ability to read people's expressions and body language to understand and diagnose them, that enables him to see past the aloof, arrogant exterior of the heroine. He is the only person who sees the scared, vulnerable woman beneath the shell. He is the perfect match for the heroine, in every way. The love story between these two complex characters is incredibly emotional and riveting. There are so many layers to these characters and they are so compelling that I still can't stop thinking about them even after finishing the novel. In spite of all the baggage and secrets both characters have, the resolution of the conflict does not rely on any gimmicks or frustrating misunderstandings. The author resolves each conflict realistically, using the hero's keen sense of understanding of human nature to help him see the truth, rather than let silly assumptions stand in the way between the characters. If you enjoy deep, emotional, complex characters and an original plot with two unusual characters, you will love My Favorite Countess. This is one of the best historical romances I have ever read.
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Posted February 26, 2015
Vanessa Kelly writes with style and grace. My Favorite Countess
Vanessa Kelly writes with style and grace. My Favorite Countess is a story of needing one thing and wanting another. Bathsheba believes that she must marry for money to take care of all the debts her deceased husband left but falls for Dr. John Blackmore who is comfortable but not rich. Dr. Blackmore is on a mission to save as many patients, poor or otherwise, as he can to atone for his sister's death. Dr. Blackmore falls for Bathsheba but because of his mission he puts her life in danger. Love wins in the end when they both realize what is more important. This is an awesome book that I highly recommend.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 3, 2011
Highly Recommended - You must check it out!!!
I really and truly highly recommend this book. Vanessa is really a fantastic writer. My Favorite Countess will draw you in from the beginning, so much so that you won't want to put it down. And, the sex scenes are absolutely RED HOT!!! This book will appeal to all readers that love Historical Romance.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
In 1817, Widow Bathsheba Compton cannot enjoy her new marital status as she cannot pay her abusive late husband's major debt, nor pay for the care of her mentally disturbed sister who she never sees. The aristocrat knows her only hope to pay the bills rests with marrying a wealthly noble.
She is difficult, demanding, and at times, quite fierce. And Dr. John Blackmore can't take his eyes off her. The Countess of Randolph is the most striking woman he has ever seen...and the most infuriating patient he has ever tended.
Mired in responsibility, Bathsheba doesn't have time to convalesce in the country. She should be in London, hunting for a wealthy new lover to pay off her late husband's vast debts, not dallying with a devastatingly handsome doctor.
But it is only a matter of time until the good doctor and the obstinate countess will have to contend with the sparks that fly between them. And once their bodies surrender, their hearts may follow. . .
My Favorite Countess
Posted May 3, 2011
My Favorite Countess explains in a delightfully awesome manner why a woman from a previous story was such an unbearable and nasty harridan and how she ends up deserving the love and acceptance she gets in this book. Once I realized who this book was about I was all excited with anticipation and the author met every one of my hopes as the plot unfolded.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Lady Randolph, Bathsheba, truly earned the title of heroine. She's a woman of her time who has been dealt with an overabundance of bad luck, sadness and victimization. As a woman with a noble title she's not expected to have to worry about much and it's acceptable for her to grace the parties and the dress makers in fashion and with attitude. All of it is a front. What a reader will find out is that Bathsheba is a woman driven to desperation and she will do anything she has to in order to protect her family. She has tried it in the past and fortunately failed. She can't fail in this book and a reader comes to understand how much is riding on the success of her personal sacrifices. A reader feels her wounds, her worry and her crushing fears of failure. She's a truly tortured heroine and it's going to take a special kind of man, a genteel warrior, to reach her heart and the terrified woman hiding within.
Enter Dr. John Blackmore. He needs more patience than patients. I couldn't resist saying that. But it's also very true. Bathsheba has the poor guy dancing down an emotion-filled path filled with thorns, potholes and honeyed candy. He's a smart, educated and intelligent man who would do Sir Sherlock Holmes proud. He watches, observes and sees what everyone else has failed to see and benefits from the insight he gains. He applies it to his practice with the poor and he applies it to the heroine. She is as injured as some of his patients to be sure and I really enjoyed watching the hero peel back Bathsheba's defensive layers to find the jewel within. He is as methodical as a surgeon -- focused and intent. I loved his steady strength, his sense of humor and his finesse. He's not perfect and I liked that too. Readers will find out that he has his own burden, his own fear that dogs his path and colors many of his decisions. It will take a very scary and dramatic confrontation to bring it all to the fore.
The conflict in this story is complicated and delightfully meaty which kept me turning the pages at a swift clip. I never could second guess the hero or heroine because they never did quite what I expected. It kept me off kilter but I'm glad to say they did that to each other too. That was fun. There were a few elements of external conflict that really showcased the strength of character and personality of both the hero and heroine. I also thought it made them grow into better people as the story continued. It wasn't an easy growth nor was it without pain. Those make for the best reading and Ms. Kelly delivers.
When John and Bathsheba succumb to the passion that burns inside them for each other, the pages turn smoking hot. I simply have to say that playing doctor was never so much fun especially when the guy is a real doctor. I found that I fanned myself from frequently heated cheeks because the scenes were so well written, I could visualize them. Thank goodness it's winter right now.
Read the full review at the Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
Posted May 25, 2011
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Posted August 5, 2011
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