Romancing the Countess

( 29 )

Overview

Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, thought he'd married the perfect woman-until a fatal accident revealed her betrayal with his best friend. After their deaths, Sebastian is determined to avoid a scandal for the sake of his son. But his best friend's widow is just as determined to cast her mourning veil aside by hosting a party that will surely destroy both their reputations and expose all of his carefully kept secrets...

Leah George has carried the painful knowledge of...

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Romancing the Countess

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Overview

Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, thought he'd married the perfect woman-until a fatal accident revealed her betrayal with his best friend. After their deaths, Sebastian is determined to avoid a scandal for the sake of his son. But his best friend's widow is just as determined to cast her mourning veil aside by hosting a party that will surely destroy both their reputations and expose all of his carefully kept secrets...

Leah George has carried the painful knowledge of her husband's affair for almost a year. All she wants now is to enjoy her independence and make a new life for herself-even if that means being ostracized by the Society whose rules she was raised to obey. Now that the rumors are flying, there's only one thing left for Sebastian to do: silence the scandal by enticing the improper widow into becoming a proper wife. But when it comes to matters of the heart, neither Sebastian nor Leah is prepared for the passion they discover in each other's arms....

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
March (Seducing the Duchess) challenges the dramatic Victorian mourning protocols with some success in this ambitious historical. Leah George, a 20-year-old widow, knew for a year that her late husband was cuckolding his best friend, Sebastian, Earl of Wriothesley. The news is a complete shock to Sebastian, who attempts to suppress the truth, though the adulterous pair died in the same carriage accident. When Leah, sick of hypocrisy, decides to flout society's norms for grieving widows, Sebastian plays along in hopes that a seeming romance between them will scotch rumors about their spouses. The plot develops nicely to this point, and March's elegant style is a joy in a genre that often suffers from slipshod technique, but plausibility soon crumbles away as the protagonists become increasingly reckless and inconsistent. It's an intriguing effort nevertheless, and March shows promise as a prose stylist if not yet a plotter. (Sept.)
RT Forums
"March is destined to be a fan favorite."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451234513
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

A native of Texas, Ashley March currently resides in Denver with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. Although she once dreamed of going to China to use her degree in Mandarin Chinese, she found a greater passion in writing historical romance.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What is the true cost of obtaining my freedom?

    When you have suffered through the infidelity of your husband like Leah George has, his death comes as a relief not a burden. For Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly the news that his wife has died is not a celebration but a terrible loss until he discovers that she was running away with Leah's husband. This scandal could ruin everything for his son and his only salvation from disgrace is Leah.

    This situation forces Sebastian to keep a very close eye on Leah to make sure that the rumors do not become facts about their respective spouses. Sebastian must do whatever he has to in order to protect his young son Henry from gossip and damage to his reputation. The careless act of his mother may ruin the future for this child and Sebastian will not let that happen, whatever the cost. Sebastian does not trust Leah to control herself so he appoints himself her keeper, this however interferes with the plans Leah has made to spread her wings.

    Leah has agreed to protect Sebastian's son, but at the same time, she wants to experience some independence. The balance between respectable widow and carefree woman is a fine line that Leah is prepared to walk and perhaps move it a little to suit her needs. Before the rules of mourning are met Leah hosts a house party, explores a tender kiss in the garden, and wears a scandalous dress all knowing the consequences for her actions. Leah will finally have people see that she is something more than ordinary and the one person that is taking notice is Sebastian. She is not his late wife she is something much more and his attraction to her has nothing to do with grief and everything to do with desire.

    The course of action Leah has taken leads her straight into a situation she never expected to have or enjoy. Will Sebastian turn out to be her keeper or her freedom?

    This is an unconventional love story so well written and completely believable that you are drawn into the characters' lives from page one. Ms. March has shown how wonderful she is at telling an improbably story and intertwining lives with exceptional strokes of the pen making the story fascinating and believable.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    Love the book and the lady

    Can't pretend to be impartial on this one, as I am the husband of Ashley March. The story was a big change from the first novel and shows a new evolution in her writing that I think is wonderfully different. A heartbreaking start to a novel with deeply emotional twists and a feeling that no matter how dark the storm, there is always a break in the clouds if we look close enough.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2011

    not for everyone

    the glaring fault with this story is that the two main characters are not likeable. He is cruel at times as is she. And she is-at best- a twit. I understand her motivations for her behavior but her actions condemn the story to one of tedium. I will not finish the story and suggest you don't bother.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    Fabulous.

    I am going to try to write this without spoilers, so it may seem a bit discombobulated. I apologize in advance for my ADDness will be showing through...
    This book this book. What can I say about this book. I adore Sebastian. He is snarky, irreverent, passionate, injured, wonderful and horrible all rolled up into one great big ball of green-eyed wonder. The journey these two characters take in this novel is absolutely moving and quite stunning. The emotions are raw and unmanageable, the power of their individual reactions is palpable and intense.
    I could only image being one of these two people coming from both ends of the spectrum in this situation. One aware of the infidelity and prepared to celebrate freedom, the other so passionately in love with their spouse that not only does he have to deal with the grief of loss but the reality of the lies. I was also quite taken by Ian by the end of the book, because he is rather passionate with his wife, even though he is in love with another woman, and I wanted to know why, and the reasoning is such a powerful revelation in and of itself it was truly moving.
    I was moved. I also very much appreciated the end not being wrapped up in a perfect little bow. You get your HEA that's for absolute, but there is no glimpse into the future for these two and the fact that Leah is given to be Henry's mother is beautiful and an honor to every wonderful step mother in the world. She wants her own children and not treated well, it could have gone terribly awry, but Ashley did a very good job with this piece of the story, and how the family question was left at the end.
    This is a study in the human beast; motivation, emotion, drive, want. I was taken with the characters from the outset, and loved every word.
    Favorite line "I'm not touching you."
    There was no WTFckry, I did not roll my eyes once and never wanted to throw my iPad across the room. As for the cover, it is stunning. I love it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A fantastic read

    So, the power went out while I was reading this book and I finished it by candlelight. Yes, it was that AMAZING! There's just so much I want to say about this book but don't want to give spoilers. Gah!

    Sebastian Madinger is devoted to his wife and is ignorant to the fact that his best friend and wife are lovers. He sees her as a doting mother, a devoted wife and the paragon of virtue.

    Leah George has been living with the secret of her husband and Sebastian's wife as lovers, for a year. She has withdrawn into herself, allowing Ian to still make love to her (as a way to repent for his infidelity) and plasters on a smile while in polite company to hide the breakdown of their marriage.

    Ian (Sebastian's best friend and Leah's husband) and Angela (Sebastian's wife) die in a carriage accident as they're running away together. This is a shock to Sebastian and a relief of sorts to Leah. Both end up dealing with the deaths differently. Leah decides to host a house party only four months into the mourning period in which she invites acquaintances of Ian (who don't know him that well).

    Scandalous! But it's in Ian's honor, of course. Well, Sebastian doesn't approve of that and thinks that people will find out that their spouses were lovers, and this would affect his son Henry. He also begins to questions Henry's legitimacy due to the fact Ian and Angela had been carrying on an affair for nearly two years.

    The attraction grows between Leah and Sebastian during the house party but both are unwilling to completely own up to their feelings. Of course, Leah's in laws hear about this, turn her out and she must go back to living with her family. Her mother (always finding fault with Leah) pushes her to marry soon or leave. Leah chooses to leave and find work.

    Cue in the dashing Sebastian to the rescue. He's pretty much desired Leah since the house party and well, she's down and out. Leah refuses to give up her independence and Sebastian makes a deal with her. They'd be married in name only (good luck with a lifetime of celibacy and fidelity). Fat lot of good this will do. You know they're going to eventually own up to their attraction to each other and *whisper* do it.

    Oh that Ashley March. From the first chapter until the last, I fell in love with not only the story but with Sebastian and Leah. Okay, mostly with Sebastian but can you blame me? "But I can promise you that I will continue to desire you, to imagine making love to you, no matter what you decide." Hel-lo! Before picking up this book I thought-- how can two people, whose spouses were lovers, end up falling in love with each other? Ms. March answers that question beautifully. I laughed, I loved and I like the fact that Henry, Sebastian and Angela's son, was not used as a filler, but incorporated into the story to help Sebastian and Leah's relationship along. And Ms. March, this is your sexiest book yet. I found myself sighing quite a bit. Well done, Ms. March, well done.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Donna

    I loved this story from start to finish. Will definitely be reading this author again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Offensive!

    I was appauled by the language the author used. People of the 1800 would not use such vile language and it certainly does not make the story better. I could not even get past page 55.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    great

    something different.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    A good storyline but the love scenes are tasteless.

    This book has a good premise but the author is far too slow in developing the plot. When the big love scene finally comes along at the end of the book, it is a rehash of "Romancing Lady Cecily." I thought it was too graphic and very tasteless. I will not be reading this author again.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A really good story

    From quiet dispair over the affair their spouses were having, a friendship is born. It was difficult for both of them but at least they had someone to talk to about what they knew and had kept secret from everyone else. In a move to quell gossip about his son, Sebastian and Leah married and that leads to an even better story.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is an engaging Victorian romance

    One year ago Leah George's husband and Sebastian Madinger's wife died in a carriage accident. The twenty years old widow knew her late spouse was cheating with his best friend's wife. On the other hand the Earl of Wriothesley thought he married the perfect woman until the tragedy in which the pair was running away together. The upset widower does everything to inter the truth with his spouse and her lover for the sake of his son.

    Leah is sick of society blaming her while demanding she behave like a grieving widow. She decides one year of a lie is enough. Sebastian wants to keep her from affirming the rumors are true. He decides the only way to keep her mute is to marry her.

    This is an engaging Victorian romance starring two cuckolded aristocrats forced by society to pretend grief for the spouses who did them wrong. The story line is fast-paced but loses some momentum with the sudden out of character odd behavior of the lead couple. Still this engaging historical stars two fascinating protagonists who fall in love while arguing to scandalize or not to scandalize that is the question.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted September 11, 2011

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    Posted September 10, 2011

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    Posted September 17, 2011

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    Posted November 26, 2011

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    Posted September 10, 2011

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    Posted September 20, 2011

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    Posted September 24, 2011

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    Posted September 17, 2011

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    Posted November 29, 2011

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