ARC-Review: A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long

Filed in 5 Stars , Julie Anne Long , Review , The HEA Lover Posted on October 29, 2012 @ 7:00 am 4 comments

Format Read: ebook provided by Publisher on Edelweiss
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Release Date: October 30th 2012
Publisher: Avon
Series: Pennyroyal Green #7
Genre: Historical Romance
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Book Depository US | Book Depository (UK), Author’s website, Goodreads

She rose to spectacular heights…

From Covent Garden to courtesan to countess, beautiful, fearless, shamelessly ambitious Evie Duggan has riveted London in every role she plays. But the ton never could forgive her scandalous—if shockingly short—marriage, and when her star plummets amid gleefully vicious gossip, the countess escapes to the only legacy left to her: a manor house in Pennyroyal Green.

He never expected to fall so hard…

He has the face of a fallen angel and a smolder the devil would envy, but Vicar Adam Sylvaine walks a precarious line: resisting temptation…and the wild Eversea blood in his veins. Adam’s strength is tested when scandal, aka the countess, moves to Sussex. But when a woman who fiercely guards her heart and a man entrusted with the souls of an entire town surrender to a forbidden desire, will the sweetest sin lead them to Heaven…or make outcasts of them forever?

My Thoughts:

I will admit when I saw that there was a new Pennyroyal Green novel coming out, I just jumped on the occasion to read it. Julie Anne Long writes the most entertaining stories.  Only after having it safely on my E-reader did I read the synopsis.  Honestly, if I’d read the blurb first I might not have jumped on it and I would have missed a very awesome story.

I am, I guess, old-school when it comes to my heroines, and I’ve never really enjoyed a book about a courtesan or an actress (even less both!). So when I started reading the first few pages, I nearly stopped reading altogether. It sounded so very wrong. I’m not sure why but these 10 first pages nearly put me off completely. But then we switched narrators to Adam and after that I just couldn’t stop reading. (Btw completely random but the hero is named Adam Sylvaine and Sylvaine is my middle name so it made me smile every time I saw it. Hey I did say it was random! lol)

This book was nothing I expected it to be. I was scared it would turn into a farce or that I’d hate the heroine for being, well, a former courtesan, or that I wouldn’t warm up to a hero being a vicar. This book blew me away by the shear awesomeness of it. It’s not a big ‘dark drama-packed’ story, it’s a slow discovery of who really Evie and Adam are.

Evie is a young widow, she’s lived through many scandals in London and is now retiring to the estate she inherited from her dead husband…in Pennyroyal Green.  As you can imagine, all the women here already know of her scandalous past and they aren’t very keen on associating with a courtesan.

Adam is a vicar. Doesn’t sound super exciting now does it? You can see why I was scared I wouldn’t warm to  such a hero 😉  But oh boy, was I wrong. Adam is very level-headed, he cares deeply for his parishioners. He’s been there for them in all the stages of their life, Christenings, Weddings, Last rites…he’s always there for them. Mind you, Adam is absolutely worshiped by all his female parishioners. I think it doesn’t hurt that in addition to being the kindest person ever he’s also a very handsome man.

Adam doesn’t judge people, he wants the women of Pennyroyal to give a chance to Evie and from their first encounter he’s fascinated by this strange woman. Evie turned out to be a fantastic woman. We learn about her past and how she came to be who she is today. I think I loved that she isn’t using her looks at all to seduce. And the hero doesn’t fall for her because she’s beautiful, his interest was piqued when she first started cursing like a sailor ;).  She just wants to live a quiet life in her new home…and make friends. She’s kind and intelligent, she is not ashamed of her past and she cares deeply for her family. I loved to see her interact with the people from Pennyroyal. She just wanted to be part of the community, there’s no deception in her, she’s selfless and will do what she thinks is right even as her detriment.

I love that this is not a ‘London’ story. We get this huge feeling of community and we meet people with real values.  This book made me fall in love  even more with each new pages.  Both Adam and Evie know nothing can happen between them, no one would accept for the vicar to fall into the traps of  such a scandalous woman. The connection between them  built slowly and from very innocent encounters. One of my favorite scene only included a kiss on her neck. This simple thing with so much meaning to it…my heart was melting. I do love me some ‘forbidden’ love.  In the end, Adam made me cry,from joy of course  (Now I’m wiping a new tear even thinking about it again) I think he might very well be the perfect man, and he’s definitely ones of the best hero I’ve ever encountered. The ending made me feel so damn good and happy. I was crying and I didn’t care.

Julie Anne Long once again worked her magic. This book is a study of characters. I had prejudices and it changed my mind completely. It’s sweet and oh so touching, it’s funny and unexpected, it made me feel so connected to the characters I never wanted to leave them. A Notorious Countess Confesses is one of my favorite book in the series. Don’t let yourself be put of by the title or the blurb, it’s really worth reading.  I can’t recommend it enough. I will be waiting for the next book and I really hope it will be about Olivia and Lyon!

I give A Notorious Countess Confesses 5 Stars

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Caro The HEA Lover

Caroline is a HEA loving, yarn addicted French who's desperately hoping to get a HEA of her own. If she's not reading then she can be found knitting while listening to Audiobooks or watching Tv shows. Her secret addiction is reading websites that make fun at other people's expense (DYAC, Failbook)! Caroline also blogs at the Secret HEA Society with Susi.

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Join the Discussion
  • aurian October 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Wow, great review. Another author who has been on my wishlist for too long.

    • Caro The HEA Lover October 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Ohhhh I think you would love this series! I am a huge fan.

  • LSUReader October 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I Can’t Wait to Read This Book. Tomorrow can’t get here soon enough. Such a great series. Thanks for the review.

    • Caro The HEA Lover October 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      I love this series. But I haven’t read the first ones. I started with What I Did for a Duke. <3 <3

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