Secrets of a Proper Countess by Lecia Cornwall

What a great adventure!!!

Debut author Lecia Cornwall has written a winner!!! The plot of Secrets of a Proper Countess is an old one, traitors, spies, hidden identities, a heroine wanting excitement...but the writing in this book is above the norm and we even have some unexpected curves in the road.

I have to say right up front that book was full of well-written, three dimensional characters, even the villains. And we are allowed to see their flaws, which is a nice change from the omnipresent wise best friends/matchmakers/older brothers in other books. In fact, some of those flaws made for some very amusing scenes later on in the book, one in particular had me chuckling...and I congratulate Ms. Cornwall on her great visual comedy writing.

I loved both the heroine, Isobel and the hero, Phineas. By the way, great name for a hero! Now, normally I don't care for disguise stories, but this one sucked me right in. And, let me tell you I felt terribly sorry for the heroine, and the dilemma she found herself in...and this is one of the tense parts of the book...how was her dilemma going to be solved? And you are going to hate her family!

Phineas was one of those rakes that doesn't see it coming, his character wasn't written quite as strongly as Isobel's, however I just loved him. A quibble approaches. I had a small problem with the love story part of the book. The sex was mighty steamy and the lead couple could not keep their hands off of each other, at least when Isobel was in disguise. However, I didn't quite see why they fell in love with each other. Minor quibble.

While we are on the subject of minor quibble...authors, be careful with slang. The term "getting laid" was used. It popped right out at me from the pages and for a moment (only a moment) I wondered if we were visiting Sex in the City instead of a Regency ballroom. However, I was enjoying the book so much, I continued to read. I did go back after I was finished with the book to check it out. I couldn't find too much on it, except that it probably wasn't used to signify having sex, until the 1930's in America. Yes, there are references in the Bible to "lie with her/him", and even if that is from the same family of words, it wasn't used as such until later. At least according to my sources. However, who knows, maybe some rake did say it in the 1800's...who's to say. There were also moments of "if I'd have written this, I'd have done that"...but that's just me and then it would be my book not Ms. Cornwall's.

S-o-o, I could not put this book down! I stayed up really late reading Secrets of a Proper Countess!!! It was fast-paced, with humor, adventure, villains, suspense and likable characters. Oh, it's not perfect and there was what could have become a TSTL moment, however, it turned into a nail-biting adventure...and I have to say welcome Ms. Cornwall, job well done!

Time/Place: Regency England (French Bourbon restoration period)
Sensuality Rating: Hot!!!!


Tracy said...

Oh great review. I have this one for review and will be getting to it this week *cross fingers*. Can't wait!

SidneyKay said...

Tracy: Hope you like it!