‘Delightful banter and delicious passion…simply divine’, New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare
For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s strategy . . .
Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers . . . until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one month to inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.
Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds . When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees.
But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time…
Praise for Eva Leigh:
‘magnificent… a fast-paced and seductive treasure.’ Publishers Weekly
‘Leigh’s heroines are complex, vivid characters who seem to have stepped out of an enviable time and place, and not just because of all the satisfying, sexy romance they get to have.’ Sarah MacLean for the Washington Post
‘[A] divine blend of depth, wicked heat and sparkling wit. Eva Leigh’s characters leap off the page and linger long after you’ve closed the book. She’s a wonderful writer.’ Julie Anne Long, USA Today bestselling author
‘Strong characters—a truly “kissable” hero, a courageous heroine and a couple of witty friends—blend with the unique plotline to create a novel full of passion, adventure, sensuality and seductiveness that’s impossible to put down. Leigh is at the top of her game!’ RT Book Reviews
‘Delightful banter and delicious passion… simply divine!’New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare
‘Eva Leigh is proving herself as vital a voice in the genre as those with slightly lengthier book lists to their credit. Leigh consistently crafts whip-smart heroines and irresistible heroes delivered in packages bursting with wicked wit, feminist leanings, and sex positivity…Counting on the Countess delivers yet another sexy, smart novel full of characters who are utterly of their time, yet pulse with a vibrant pertinence to our modern world.’ Entertainment Weekly
‘ A divine blend of depth, wicked heat and sparkling wit. Eva Leigh’s characters leap off the page and linger long after you’ve closed the book. She’s a wonderful writer.’ Julie Anne Long
About the author
Eva Leigh is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the '80s. Eva and her husband live in Southern California.
Leigh's sexy second London Underground Regency (after From Duke Till Dawn) finds Christopher "Kit" Ellingsworth, the Earl of Blakemere, in need of a wife in order to claim the funds bequeathed to him by a friend. Tamsyn Pearce hopes to buy her childhood home from her no-good relatives in order to continue her smuggling business, which feeds the villagers of Newcombe. When Kit suggests they marry, he's honest with Tamsyn regarding his reasons and intents, but his known hatred of criminal activities prevents Tamsyn from coming clean. When Kit learns that one stipulation of the will is that Tamsyn have control over the finances, he sets out to woo her into giving him the money he needs to build his pleasure garden, but she refuses, causing discord in their blooming relationship. Then Kit stumbles upon her true profession, and he must choose between his dedication to the Crown and the woman he's come to love. Tamsyn and Kit are a match in charm, wit, and intelligence. Their passion ignites the pages, and their journey to love and trust will touch the hearts of readers.
Lighthearted Regency Romp
Kit needs to marry in haste to fulfill the conditions of his inheritance and Tamsyn needs funds to purchase her family home. Both go into the marriage with secrets but Tamsyn’s are very much the bigger and more dangerous. Engaging love story and characters.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Great characters - great chemistry - great story
This is the second book in the London Underground series by Eva Leigh - coming after From Duke ’Til(l) Dawn. The series follows 3 friends, Alex, Kit and Langdon as they all (hopefully) get their happily ever afters. While Alex and Cassie from the first book do pop up in this book, it’s a very brief cameo and each book so far, can easily be read as a standalone. Interestingly - and in a genius move I can’t help but applaud - Ms Leigh included Maggie and Cam from a previous book of hers. They’ve intrigued me enough to firstly search out the book they were from (Scandal Takes the Stage) and to pop it on my list for future reading. As I said, bravo!
Anyway, back to this particular book. We’ve got Kit - the debonair, wastrel third son who’s a newly minted earl. Or not so minted as the case may be. Until he gets bequeathed a sizeable fortune if only he can find a wife within 30 days. And despite never having been discriminating with his partners, suddenly Kit finds himself dismissing every single eligible girl as wifely material. Until he meets Tamsyn. I suppose with both of them it’s almost insta love - but it’s done so well that you really believe it. Even with the rakish Kit - who incidentally is one of my favourite types of characters - an amiable, carefree (and handsome, obviously!) rogue with hidden depths only our heroine can see.
Tamsyn is also a good character although I had a wee bit more trouble with her than I did Kit. It’s the smuggling you see. After Kit and Tamsyn started developing feelings for each other, it made me feel quite uncomfortable that she was keeping such a big secret from him. That was probably the point, to worry if the pair could overcome the obstacles, but I wanted her to tell him rather than have him discover it.
The pair’s chemistry was palpable and by the time they eventually got to the bedroom shenanigans - which was teased for some considerable time - I was as desperate and horny as they were! But it was worth it in the end.
Smuggling aside, I liked the fact that there wasn’t any faux drama and that both characters were open and mature enough to just be honest with each other about their feelings - after the understandable grumpiness and silence. The whole book felt emotionally true to life and felt believable.
While the writing flowed well and was involving, interesting and kept those pages turning easily - I have one teeny tiny thing that irked me throughout the whole book. Gotten. I HATE that word! I even looked up its history just to appease the rage over having to read it about 17 times in this book. (Yep - I counted!) Apparently it was widely used in the UK up until about the 1500s but it’s not used now and it wasn’t used in the Regency. To my British ears, it comes across as a continually jarring Americanism in a book that otherwise does very well to avoid any anachronisms and feels true to the period. I know that writers write for a modern audience but if you’re going to change sidewalk to pavement and fall to autumn in books set in the UK, I feel you should change this word, too. (Steps down from the soapbox.)
But apart from my mini rant above, I couldn’t help but smile at Kit and Tamsyn’s love story and enjoyed their journey on finding themselves and each other. An enjoyable and likeable book - one I would happily recommend. 4 stars.