Review – The Earl’s Countess of Convenience by Marguerite Kaye

About the Book:

A countess in name only…

…tempted by a night with her husband!

Part of Penniless Brides of Convenience: Eloise Brannagh has witnessed firsthand the damage unruly passion can cause. Yet she craves freedom, so a convenient marriage to the Earl of Fearnoch seems the perfect solution! Except Alexander Sinclair is more handsome, more intriguing, more everything than Eloise anticipated. She’s set her own rules for their marriage, but her irresistible husband might just tempt her to break them!

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                      The Earl’s Countess of Convenience

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Alexander Sinclair has unexpectedly inherited the title of Earl of Fearnoch after his older brother’s death.  Unfortunately, there is a legal clause stating he must marry by the age of thirty or forfeit the lands to the next heir.  Alex never wanted the title and never planned to marry, but he certainly doesn’t want the properties to revert to his cousin.  It seems neither his late father nor his brother took any action to protect Alex’s mother by leaving her any inheritance or place to live.  Alex is determined to protect his mother by arranging a marriage of convenience that will not affect his lifestyle.  He plans to continue serving as a spy while using the cover of being an Admiralty clerk.  When his friend and fellow agent tells him that he has a spinster niece who may be amenable to such an arrangement, Alex agrees to meet her.

Eloise Brannagh and her twin sisters have been living in the household of their Uncle Daniel since the death of their parents.  Eloise witnessed her parents’ turbulent relationship which was equally passionate as well as explosive.  The girls were basically neglected, often even to the point of having to care for and feed themselves while their parents went along their volatile way.  Eloise, now twenty-four has decided that love and passion is not for her.  She longs for freedom, and not to be a burden on her uncle’s household.  When she learns that her uncle has a friend interested in a convenient marriage, she’s amenable to meeting him to see if they can come to an agreement.

Eloise is expecting to meet an older gentleman, perhaps missing some teeth, while Alex expects a sour-faced, disapproving spinster.  They are both pleasantly surprised to find the other quite attractive and very congenial.  After spending a little time together, and discussing their reasons for wanting this particular type of marriage, they agree to proceed.  Alex is adamant that he’s not interested in having children, and insists that the marriage remain chaste.  In order to make a convincing show to society, they agree to spend several weeks together, giving the appearance of a genuine love match, before Alex returns to his (supposed) clerical job.

After the marriage, Alex immediately makes arrangements for the future of his mother and his new wife.  His true activities as a spy could mean that he may not return from a mission, and he wants to ensure they’re taken care of.  Eloise and Alex begin to genuinely care for each other, and find that the casual embraces they share only for show are starting to seem all too real.  Many times, things start to get steamy, and Alex backs off.

Eloise is an intelligent woman, and soon deciphers from comments that Alex makes, what his true vocation really is.  Though originally opposed to a true marriage, her growing feelings for Alex make her want to take a chance.  Though Alex is having similar feelings, he’s strong in his resolve to put his job first, and he accepts an assignment, which he says may keep him away for up to a year.

THE EARL’S COUNTESS OF CONVENIENCE is beautifully written.  The love and longing between this couple jump off the pages, and I couldn’t help but feel heartbroken for them.  Alex, in addition to his misguided dedication to the crown, is suffering from some secret scars, and as brave as he is, he’s afraid to take a chance.  Their time apart causes Alex to do some serious soul searching, and Eloise jumps into filling her days with worthwhile projects.  The freedom she longed for somehow isn’t as sweet as she thought it would be.  I love this story, as well as the characters, who were perfect for each other.  I highly recommend it for those, like me, who savor a touching and satisfying marriage of convenience tale that leads to love and passion.    ~Rose

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