To Charm a Naughty Countess

Author: Theresa Romain

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Release Date: May 6, 2014

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5.0

Format: PRINT

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Michael Layward, the Duke of Wyverne, has endured society’s rumors of his madness for many years. In reality, he is quite brilliant, but does not have the social aptitude to meet the standards of the ton.  He would be happy staying on his estate, working on his irrigation system and finding ways to improve his tenant’s lives. But his father’s profligate lifestyle left the estate quite impoverished by the time of his death. With the creditors no longer willing to extend credit, Michael has only one choice left; to wed a very wealthy heiress. So he travels to London where the social season is already underway and encounters the woman he left behind eleven years ago.

Caroline, Lady Stratton, longs to be needed. Her elderly husband had needed her, but he is now long deceased. Eleven years ago, Caroline had been in love with Michael and knows his limitations better than anyone else, but he left her behind and she hasn’t heard anything from him since. Attending a ball, she is once more stalked by her late husband’s nephew, who is determined to marry Caroline and gain control of her money. But she is unwavering in her determination that money will never play a part in marriage for her again. When Michael rescues her from her stalker, she cannot deny that she still desires him. But when he proposes marriage, she is aware that the appeal lies in her wealth, so she turns him down, but offers to help him find a wealthy bride instead. Perhaps, in helping him, she can overcome the feelings he stirs in her.

Caroline is the only woman Michael has ever wanted. She knows him and he feels comfortable in her presence. He doesn’t want a wife who will marry him despite his so-called madness. Instead, he wants someone who wants him for himself. For him, Caroline is that woman. But can he convince her to spend her life with him, or will he have to resign himself to a loveless marriage just to save his estate?

A touching tale, TO CHARM A NAUGHTY COUNTESS, the second book in gifted author Theresa Romain’s MATCHMAKER trilogy, is one that lovers of historical romance will not want to miss. I loved Ms. Romain’s realistic portrayal of her characters with all their foibles and vulnerabilities. Michael was especially endearing with his loveless childhood and his escape into a world of his own. Caroline’s longing to be needed also cannot help but touch the hearts of readers. I enjoyed many of the secondary characters who provide additional understanding and depth to the story. In particular, Josiah Everett, whose story, SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS, the third in the MATCHMAKER trilogy, is one I can’t wait to read.

Humor, a virgin duke, a rakish widow, gossip, acceptance, gadgetry, romance and true love abound in this delicious new Regency era tale. For a wonderful reminder of why historical romance novels are so popular, be sure to pick up a copy of TO CHARM A NAUGHTY COUNTESS! It will steal your breath away! Also available at this time is the first book in this delightful series, IT TAKES TWO TO TANGLE.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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