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Review: Captain Durant’s Countess by Maggie Robinson

TitleCaptain Durant’s Countess

Author: Maggie Robinson

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: The London List (Book 2)

Publication Date: February 21, 2013

Format: Paperback, 270 Pages

ISBN-10: 1601831757 (Kensington)

ISBN-13: 978-1601831750 (Kensington)

Reviewed by: Shirene

Synopsis

Tucked amid the pages of The London List, a newspaper that touts the city’s scandals, is a vaguely-worded ad for an intriguing job—one that requires a most wickedly uncommon candidate…

Maris has always been grateful that her marriage to the aging Earl of Kelby saved her from spinsterhood. Though their union has been more peaceful than passionate, she and the earl have spent ten happy years together. But his health is quickly failing, and unless Maris produces an heir, Kelby’s conniving nephew will inherit his estate. And if the earl can’t get the job done himself, he’ll find another man who can…

Captain Reynold Durant is known for both his loyalty to the Crown and an infamous record of ribaldry. Yet despite a financial worry of his own, even he is reluctant to accept Kelby’s lascivious assignment—until he meets the beautiful, beguiling Maris. Incited by duty and desire, the captain may be just the man they are looking for. But while he skillfully takes Maris to the heights of ecstasy she has longed for, she teaches him something even more valuable and unexpected

Quick & Dirty: To save historical items for future generations, Maris agrees to have an affair with a man approved by her husband in order to produce an heir.

Opening Sentence“You cannot go up there, madam!”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Some of my earliest memories are of a wonderful afternoon were I was swept away to stories set in a historical time period with swashbuckling heroes and damsels in distress or a sheik stealing away a woman from a caravan.  These stories are ones that linger on even once we grow up and often forget the heritage of historical book in our reading lives.  In truth, my main area of focus is contemporary but I was delighted to be able to be drawn back in time with Reyn and Maris’ story.

My only quibble with this book is just the means of bringing our hero, Captain Reynold “Reyn” Durant and heroine, Countess of Kelby Maris Kelby together.  The producing an heir to protect the family is an old one and has been used countless times.  However, this theme is not one that I like but Ms. Robinson turned it around for me and I appreciate her skill.

On a side note, this book does start with Maris walking in on Reyn and a woman involved in some whipping and this is something I was not expecting at all.  So I want to ensure you all know about that up front.

The relationship between Maris and Reyn is at the epicenter of this story and one that I truly enjoyed.  Our hero discovers quite quickly how charming and enjoyable spending time with Maris will be in and out of the bedroom.  While Maris is dealing with guilt over this relationship and other things that occurred in her past.

Lord Kelby does make a brief appearance in the first portion of this book and does in fact encourage this “relationship” between Maris and Reyn which was a little off putting.  But does make you wonder how many times in history the “heir” was in fact not the child of the titled gentleman.

The other male figure that plays a huge role in this novel is Lord Kelby’s heir, David, an all around nasty piece of work.  This man is the reason for Lord Kelby’s concern over the history and wants to ensure the succession is passed down to someone who will treasure it.  There is also a belief that David was responsible for Lord Kelby’s daughter committing suicide.

By the end of the story I was pleased with the progression of both of our main characters and truly saw were they had experience growth and maturity separately and together.

Now since this is a second book I always like to give you an idea of whether it is a good idea to jump into the series here or not.  This book could very well have been a stand alone historical and that is how I read it.  The story has depth and it was nice to have a complete arc in one novel when I seem to be stuck in cliffhangers for all of my current favorite reads.  If you are looking for a good historical and I haven’t scared you off after my review then I say, “Read it.  I enjoyed it.”

Notable Scene:

“You must come!  It is your duty!”

“Don’t talk to me of duty, madam.  I’ve done my share and have the scars to prove it.”  Maris’s gaze couldn’t help but follow his large brown hand, where it rubbed against a muscled thigh slashed with a long red line.

He noticed. “Bayonet wound.  There’s still a ball in my shoulder, too.  Hurts like the devil when the weather is damp, which is pretty much every day in England.  Look your fill–I’ve nicks and knots everywhere.  Even my pretty face didn’t escape the French.  Some ladies like it, though.”  He grinned rakishly, the saber scar doubling his dimple.

Maris could see where some ladies would.

He was not yet thirty, but there was a worn look about him that went beyond whatever injuries he’d sustained.  Dissipation, she thought, but something else as well.  She watch as his fingers drummed agains his thigh, and quickly realized where her eyes were straying.

A few minutes in this horrible house and she was good as corrupted.  But that was necessary, wasn’t it, if she were to go through with Henry’s plan?

The London List Series:

1. Lord Gray’s List

2. Captain Durant’s Countess

3. Lady Anne’s Lover

FTC Advisory: Kensington provided me with a copy of Captain Durant’s Countess. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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