ARC Review: A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long
Author: Julie Anne Long
Title: A Notorious Countess Confesses
Release: October 30, 2012
Series: Pennroyal Green #7
Reviewer: Mona Leigh
Source: Edelweiss/ HarperCollins Publishers/Avon Romance
Purchase: | Book Depository
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?
I’ve read a lot of Julie Ann Long’s books, but this is, by far, my favorite. Long has given us two people who are completely opposite in almost every way. Those opposite traits add spice to the story, but their similarities are what holds the characters together.
The secret behind Eve’s rise to notoriety is something no one would ever guess: her desire to protect and provide for her siblings. With her parents out of the picture, it becomes her responsibility to care for and raise them. The price is her respectability, but she does what has to be done without complaining.
Reverend Adam Sylvaine (cousin to the Everseas family who are always at odds with the Redmonds) is the sort of vicar who stirs the female parishioners to fantasize marriage to him. Unfortunately, no one has stirred him in that manner….at least not until Eve shows up in his church and falls asleep during his sermon.
I loved Eve because she doesn’t try to hide or apologize for who she is or what she’s done in life. Even when the women in the village shun her, she holds her head high and continues to help others. I loved Adam because he accepted her for herself. He didn’t ask her to repent or change or be anything different. How many men do you know who would overlook a woman’s past and never mention it or question her? Zero? That’s what I thought, too.
Near the end of the book, despite loving him with all her heart, Eve realizes the townspeople will never accept her and she tells Adam to find someone who’ll make him a “good wife.” But Adam is determined that she’s that “good wife” and decides to prove it to her. His declaration of love from the pulpit was so incredibly touching, it sent tears streaming down my cheeks. Every woman should be so loved.
This is definitely a keeper to be read over and over and over again.