ARC Review | More or Less a Countess by Anna Bradley

More or Less a Countess by Anna Bradley
Series: The Somerset Sisters
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: August 7th, 2018
ARC from Netgalley

Violet Somerset has always preferred a library to a ballroom, but to please her grandmother she agreed to one London season. With nothing to show for it but heartbreak, she’s reconciled to spinsterhood. Until a notorious rogue known as the Devil of Dare requests an introduction to her timid, gentle youngest sister, Hyacinth. Violet will do anything to stop the match—even if it means posing as Hyacinth herself.

Nicholas Balfour, the Earl of Dare, is enjoying the life of a rake far too much to take a wife. But he must keep his promise to his grandmother. He’ll simply choose the meekest bride he can find, install her at his estate, then carry on as before. Hyacinth sounds perfect—until he discovers that her sweet demeanor hides the tongue of a viper and the mind of a bluestocking.

As Violet’s ruse threatens to unravel, however, she may find the tables turned. Soon she may have no choice but to tolerate her handsome fiancée—or fall in love with him.

| Book Review |

Anna Bradley is an author that never disappoints me, so I was excited to pick up More or Less a Countess. A bluestocking heroine collides with the rakiest of rakes in this Historical Romance, and there was a lot of fun to be had in this book. This is the second book in a series, and it’s where I started. While I do think reading the previous book (and the books that this series spins off from,) would have made a few scenes more meaningful, I don’t feel like I missed out on anything by starting here. More often than not, it’s the hero I’m drawn to in Historical Romance, but this one was different. It was the heroine, Violet, who stood out for me. She was an intelligent headstrong woman who was fiercely protective of her sisters, and she proves that by not correcting Lord Dare when he mistakenly thinks Violet is her sister, Hyacinth. Lord Dare, looking for a meek bride, decides to court Hyacinth, but Violet doesn’t want her sister to end up with a man like him. And so this case of mistaken identity and enemies-to-lovers kicks off. Violet and Lord Dare butt heads from the moment they meet, and their banter is fantastic. Violet decides that if she is going to be courted, which, as an eccentric woman of the ton she never expected, she’s going to seize the opportunity and turn Lord Dare into her escort as she traipses all over London to gain knowledge of the less savory parts of the city. Lord Dare realizes he could learn a thing or two from Violet, and he’s (not admittedly) smitten with her before long. He also realizes he could teach her a thing or two, and Violet is nothing if not willing to learn. In more areas than one. I love that Dare became attracted to Violet over time, that his affection grew from admiration. It was definitely slow burn and unexpected on both sides. They had personal obstacles to overcome – Violet feeling unlovable and Dare feeling second best, and they were determined not to let the other think badly of themselves. This was a fun cast of characters, and I particularly liked Dare’s man servant, Gibbs. He may have been doing someone else’s bidding, but the way he viewed Lord Dare and tried to keep him in line was hilarious. I also really enjoyed the bond between Violet and her sisters. It was clear they adored and would do anything for each other.

I struggle sometimes in Historical Romance where it feels like an author simply took a modern day woman and plopped her in a different time period, but this author can make a heroine view things in a way that feels maybe a bit more progressive than the time frame while still making it feel authentic, and that’s something I appreciate. When I’m reading an Historical Romance, I want it to feel like one.

If More or Less a Countess proved anything, it’s that Anna Bradley is an historical author I can always count on. I’ve fallen a bit behind on her back list, but now I’m glad – it just means I have more of her books ahead of me! If you’re a fan of Historical Romance and still haven’t read this author, it’s time to pick up one of her books!

| Rating |

Series Reading Order

10 thoughts on “ARC Review | More or Less a Countess by Anna Bradley

Add yours

  1. This sounds like so much fun! I’m a sucker for enemies to lovers, it’s possibly my favourite trope of all, and I do love a good identity switch too. “Rake and bluestocking” is definitely also a guilty pleasure for me. I’ve never really read historical romance before, but this sounds like a good place to start!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how the heroine stands out in this book and how the author is able to give her a progressive feel while making her feel authentic to the time line. It’s hard for me to read a book when it feels like the author is throwing modern ideologies into a historical without consideration for the time period.

    Like

  3. oh I have had her on my list for AGES and you know how much I adore historical romance.And yes I sometimes struggle with modern heroines in HR, I don’t mind progressive heroines, but when they are literally too modern for the time then I struggle a bit.

    Like

  4. I haven’t read this author before but this book sounds great! I like that the characters felt authentic. You are right in that they often seem way too modern. Great review!

    Like

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