The Countess (Madison Sisters Series #1)

The Countess (Madison Sisters Series #1)

by Lynsay Sands

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“You can’t help but fall in love with Lynsay Sands!”
—Christina Dodd


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lynsay Sands trades in highland kilts for lush ballrooms and high-waisted gowns in The Countess, the first in a brand new, sexy, laugh-out-loud funny Regency romance series. Fans of Julie Garwood, Jill Barnett, and Teresa Medeiros will adore The Countess, and sympathize with her hilarious attempts to cover up the untimely demise of her despicable husband, even as the late earl’s twin brother sets her heart aflutter. The much adored creator of the popular Argeneau vampire family paranormal romance novels, the incomparable Lynsay is equally adept at historical romance—as this wonderful Regency romp so emphatically demonstrates!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061963049
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/25/2011
Series: Madison Sisters Series , #1
Edition description: Original
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 98,933
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there are occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at


London, Ontario

Place of Birth:

Leamington, Ontario

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Countess 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 226 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Reluctantly Christiana Madison marries Richard Fairgrave, Earl of Radnor, so her father can pay off his gambling debts before the family, especially her beloved sisters, is ruined. "Dicky" proves nasty as a spouse treating his wife as an object and not allowing her to see anyone even her family. Having enough she brazenly enters his off limits office to confront her husband, only to be greeted by his corpse. Since her sister wants to attend a gala in which she would chaperone, Christiana conceals that her husband is dead as she would have to mourn her loss though inside her she is euphoric. However, Richard arrives to the shock of Christiana. She soon learns the newcomer is the real Richard and she was married to his psychopathic identical twin George. Richard investigates his deadly sibling's murder with the prime suspect being his sister-in-law who he is attracted to. She agrees to pretend this new kind and caring Richard is her spouse as he searches for a diabolical killer who is planning to blackmail the real Earl and his widowed sister-in-law. The Countess is an intelligent historical romantic suspense with identity theft being the driver of the story line. This tale is very witty and fans will enjoy the pretend relationship between the real earl who assumes his "wife" is a gold-digger and the title character who fears madness runs in families. With a murder investigation and a blackmailer attempting to extort money, readers will enjoy Lynsay Sands wonderful tale. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first Lynsay Sands book. I purchased it at the grocery store yesterday and stayed up, way past my bedtime, reading it. I fell in love with the sisters and the true Earl. They were great characters. I cannot wait for Suzette and Daniel's story to come out later this month.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Hold the presses my husband is still alive? What a question for a wife who thinks she is a widow to ask, but for Christiana it is a reasonable one since her husband went from a sensitive, caring beau to a controlling, ogre of a husband all of which she thought was dead. Who wouldn't want to be rid of that nightmare unless the nightmare came back to life, or did he? So many questions and very few answers but the man who seems to know what is going on is the one presently kissing the complete sense out of Christiana and she is really enjoying it. But how could that be possible when she hated her supposed dead husband who is still alive and more passionate than any man should be. But before the night is over Christiana finds out the man she thought was Richard Fairgrave, The Earl of Radnor was really his twin brother and that horrid man she married attempted to murder the man she is now married to, or maybe she is but she is not sure since she married the other twin. Oh goodness what a mess and the scandal that would go along with it would cripple her younger sister's ability to find a good match. But if this man would just keep kissing her maybe she could forget for one minute anything but his tender touch and warm caresses. The true Richard is not a horrible man; he is kind and concerned for Christiana's wellbeing and cares for her reputation. Richard offers to marry her, again as the real Earl and no one would be the wiser and this would have been a great plan but Christiana can't keep a secret and before long everyone and her sister knows what is what and who is dead and who is still alive. The problem is someone already knew the little trick they are all playing and that the body they are moving around is the imposter but who could it be and can they stop that person before Christiana becomes a widow again? Lots of suspects with no answers and too many attempts on Richard's life make him say enough of this game and he is tired of trying to find a place to hide his twin so the mystery has to be solved. What Richard did discover is one redeeming factor in his twin in that he had excellent taste in wives. Richard finds too many other horrible things about him to dismiss and the deceit with which he tricked Christiana into marriage is so shameful but in the end when they are snuggled under the covers Richard realizes that there are some good things that don't leave you. This book is so lovely and romantic you forget that there is blackmail, murder and assorted other crimes going on. The story with Richard and Christiana as well as her sister's is so full of happy thoughts you just know something wonderful has to happen as these women deserve it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. There were part where I laugh so hard my husband had to ask what was so funny. You will love the dead body. This is a highly enjoyable book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love the series. you have to real all so all the pieces fit in their places. love the humor and the mistery
Erin-MacMeegan More than 1 year ago
This by far is Sands best book ever. It had it all, humor, romance, mystery and sensitivity. I could not put this one down. I loved it, and it will be a keeper.
historicalbooklover on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not so much of the Sands humor I so dearly love, don't got me wrong parts will have you lol just with a different type of funny. Regardless this story is irresistible it will suck you in and keep you flipping the pages =) I won't give it away but I loved the ending I didn't see that coming at all & I so thought I knew who the killer was..Can't wait for the next book I absolutely love the H/H already and can't wait to read there story.
Megan.Arney on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very funny.... good read when down.... must read again!
Cats57 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Heiress (Madison Sisters #2) by Lynsay Sands This is the Second book in the Madison Sisters Trilogy and just a tiny bit weaker than the first book ¿The Countess¿ which was fabulously funny and romantic.This is a comedy of errors since Suzette wants a poor husband, one that she can manage and manipulate. She thinks that she has found it with Daniel Woodward, a close friend of her sister the Countesses husband. However, what she does not know about him can really throw her plans in the rubbish!Daniel doesn¿t want the attentions of money seeking misses or the attentions of their grasping Mama¿s, so he pretends poverty and Suzette is thrilled. Now Daniel tries to gently tell her the truth all the while trying not to succumb to the temptation of Suzettes charms and determined to avoid the villain who is trying to end his life.I found this selection in this trilogy to be a little difficult to follow since it is running parallel in time and storey to ¿The Countess¿ and that was a new experience for me. I think that others may not have the same issues with this that I did. But I did want to warn people that it is a tad disconcerting at times. Otherwise, this is a perfectly charming and cute addition to the Madison Sister¿s Trilogy. I cannot wait to read the third addition to this series and they will become ¿keepers¿ on my shelves.
bookwormygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Christiana could not help but agree to marry Dicky after their whirlwind courtship. He was courteous, charming, and quite frankly treated her like a princess. But that all changed after their "I Do's". Instead of the fairytale marriage she expected, Dicky became cruel, mentally abusive and alienated her from her friends and family. When Dicky suddenly drops dead she is definitely no heartbroken widow. Instead she and her sisters hide the body away and attend a ball. Needless to say it is quite the surprise when shortly after their arrival at the ball they encounter Dicky... alive and well.Richard Fairgrave - the real (and much alive) Earl of Radnor has come back to London to confront his twin brother who has stolen not only his identity but his life. But before finding his brother, he runs into his "wife". A wife who is staring at him with nothing short of horror. Now what is a respectable man to do - make known the fact that his brother usurped his life... or find a way to save this woman, her sisters and himself from scandal...I loved this story! Ms. Sands expertly weaves a tale full of mystery and adventure but also full of laughter and romance. I absolutely loved all the characters in this story... well, everyone except that despicable Dicky (whom thankfully dies right at the start). Their interactions were downright hilarious. From Christiana's efforts at trying to catch a glimpse of Richard's bum, to the dead body that keeps popping up at the most inopportune moments. I loved it! I found myself laughing out loud constantly. Christiana and her sisters (whom are very interactive in this story) were a hoot. I loved how they dealt with Dicky's death, their father's gambling and eventually with their own beau's in the story. The gentlemen - Richard, his close friend Daniel, and Robert (the girls' childhood friend) were also just as entertaining. The romance between Christiana and Richard sizzles. Their chemistry (even that one time with the whiskey) was spot on. I loved their interludes, their push and pull, the private conversations in the "closet", etc. This was such an unexpected treat. It was light-hearted, romantic and insanely funny. A great beginning to the series and a fabulous introduction to this author - since this is my first Lynsay Sands book.
dearheart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What do you do when the husband who has treated you cruelly for the past year drops dead and your sister needs you to take her to a ball that night to find her own husband so she can use her dowry to save your father? Why you hide the body and pretend everything is ok. And what are you to think when the dead husband walks into the ballroom and acts like a different person? So begins a delightful slapstick filled with secrets, near misses and romance. This is the first book in a trilogy focusing on three sisters and three men whose reason for coming together involves the dead husband. The story is well done as we watch Christiana blossom and learn to trust after being mentally beaten down for the past year. Trying to keep the secret is quite humorous, and I¿d love to see it done on film.Read as an ARC through Net Galley.
Linnnnie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ok Here I go..I am much more familiar with Ms Sands Argeneau Vampire Series than her Historical Novels, I decided if they are half as funny what the hell, I will give it a try.The Countess reminds me of the screwball comedies of the 40's mixed Think Arsenic and Old Lace mixed with Weekend at Bernie's, some of the action was enough to me me laugh out loud.At one point when the butler was describing what he saw, the scene so well described very funny indeed. What Ms Sand delivers is a Funny, Charming, Sexy tale. A fun start to a new Trilogy
BoredJewel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book is better when being re-told than when read??!!I was telling the story to a friend of mine and she seemed to enjoy it.Well, I didn't enjoy reading it.It was supposed to be funny, but I found myself a bit annoyed with the fact that they kept moving and doing things around a dead body that belonged to a family member. It was fun in the beginning, then it was just disturbing.And I didn't like the Hero, we are told that he is a good person, but I just didn't see it, his character was not very well written and i found him annoying.I ended up skipping parts just to finish it.
bookworm2bookworm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This blurb is just irritating as well as deceiving. It leads me to believe that Richard has assumed the dead brother¿s place without Christiana knowing it, and he believes her a ¿gold digger¿. WRONG! But I am way ahead of myself.First, I never read any of Linsay¿s Vampire books. I sort of lost interest in those after Ann Rice¿s Vampire series, but I have read her two Historical Romances, ¿The Switch¿ and ¿Love is Blind¿ which I liked a lot. I do like the humor and wit she weaves through her stories. It truly is Laugh-Out-Loud reading.With this story, Linsay is introducing us to three sisters who were left a dower from their Grandmother, and this book displays the same charm, humor and wit I¿ve come to expect of her. Still, it was a bit disappointing. I can¿t put my finger on it but there you have it. It was too simple, too predicting and just too lighthearted. Our Heroine was too meek and she let her husband mentally abuse her for the past year of their marriage. He kept all of her friends and family away from her and slowly subdued her will and her spirit. In my opinion the Author didn¿t take this story far enough for me. Maybe that¿s why I just didn¿t connect with Christiasna. Later on, once she gets her back bone, we¿re even more confused about why she just gave up on herself for a year.On the other hand we have Richard, Earl of Radnor, the REAL one, who was a straight forward chap and knew where he¿s going and what he¿s about. He was a total opposite of the ¿pretender¿. He was patient, kind, passionate and his concern for Christiana¿s well-being and for her reputation was genuine. I liked him very much. We also get to meet his friends and I¿m really looking forward to their story.Now we come to the plot: Who killed the ¿pretender¿? Richard figured out quite quickly that it wasn¿t Christiana, and while they all are surprised by the big ¿reveal¿, we are not. Well, I wasn¿t, but I won¿t tell you. Suffice it to say it was revealed by a whimper and not a bang¿I have to say that the most fun I had reading this book was when Richard discovers the body of his brother and tries to smuggle it out and then in the house. It truly was ¿Weekend at Bernie¿s¿ Regency Style!To recommend this book or not? Hmmmm¿..Yes, I¿ll recommend it, if for nothing else, but for those LOL scenes and I have to say that Suzette¿s story has intrigued me. ¿The Heiress¿ will be coming out February 22nd, and I will buy it.Melanie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed aloud quite a few times reading this book!! I love a good romance with some humor!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author strives for a farce like "Arsenic and Old Lace"or "The Importance of Being Ernest" but falls flat. Wastes too much time rehashing the situation, and the characters collectively must have the IQ of a gnat. Go to the source and read sone Oscar Wilde instead. Two stars for trying.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book within the trio it did have a twist that the butler did it. NOT. LOL I was actually a nice turn of events and exchanges with the characters. Some believable some a stretch, but it took you on a ride to a place of entertainment
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