Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Accidental Countess by Valerie Bowman

Lady Cassandra Monroe has loved Julian Swift since she was sixteen and he kissed her at her birthday party.  But, he came to her birthday party to say good bye to his intended fiancee, her cousin Penelope, and only kissed her on the forehead.  Julian is back in London after recuperating from his injuries for the past several months when he comes to Penelope's house looking for her.  Penelope has no interest in Julian and hides leading their friend Lucy Hunt to invent a house party that Penelope is going to attend and when Julian doesn't recognize Cassandra, Lucy introduces her as Patience, Penelope's pretend friend.  Julian is looking for Penelope to break off their intended engagement because he loves Cassandra.  Cassandra was the one that wrote him endless letters, giving him a reason to survive the war.  They keep up the pretense of Cass being Patience until Cass's parents crash the house party.  Julian is devastated by the betrayal of someone he loves.  Got to read the novel to find out the ending.

I will admit that at first, I felt like I was dropped into a play that was in the middle of the second act.  But, I wanted to give the novel a chance because I liked the characters.  Cass is sweet and loyal to her odd group of friends.  I thought that Lucy was a delight and I stopped reading so I could get her book, "The Unexpected Duchess".  The hero, poor Julian, just wanted to find Penelope to break it off so he could find Cass.  After I got into the novel, I found it funny and a great comedy of errors.  The only character I didn't like was Penelope.  I just wanted to throttle her.  She has to invent friends to use as pretend chaperons and excuses for not being places. 

There is a sneak peak at the next book featuring Garret Upton and his nemesis Jane Lowndens.  I can't wait!!

One thing I don't get is the title.  Throughout the novel, we know that Julian's brother, Donald, the Earl, is missing in Europe.   Julian and Cassandra aren't even married at the end.  The only tie to the title is a two paragraphs at the end of the novel.  And, when I looked up the title on Goodreads, there are three other novels with the same name.  

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  

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