Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: The Other Countess by Eve Edwards

Pages: 352
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: July 12, 2011
Source: Personal copy
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Ellie—Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime—possesses a worthless title, but her feisty spirit captivates the elite of the Queen's court—especially the dashing new Earl of Dorset.  William Lacey, Earl of Dorset, has inherited his father's title—and his financial ruin. Now Will must seek a wealthy bride and restore his family's fortune. If only he hadn't fallen for the beautiful but penniless Ellie . . . Sparks fly whenever Ellie and Will are together, but circumstances—and the conniving interference of others—threaten to keep them apart."

Ellie, although a Countess, holds a meaningless title while living in England as her ancestors are from Spain.  Her father isn't much help as he is obsessed with the study of alchemy and has essentially ruined Ellie's chances for a respectable life.  She, along with her stubborn father, has been thrown out of many a household due to sucking the finances dry with his study of alchemy and all its false hopes.  William, the Earl of Dorset, once threw her and her father out many, many years ago for this very reason.  However, he meets Ellie again as they are older and becomes instantly entranced by her beauty and brains, but he doesn't know she is the daughter of the infamous alchemist.  To make matters worse, Will's family needs him to marry a wealthy female as their family has their own financial struggles ever since his father died; however, he can't deny his attraction to Ellie.  The Other Countess, a debut novel by Eve Edwards, will delight fans of historical fiction and romance.

On a bright note, I really enjoyed Ellie. She reminded me of a strong and educated heroine that Philippa Gregory often writes about.  I couldn't help but admire her.  Another interesting character, Lady Jane Perceval, befriends Ellie and instead of there being competition between Ellie and Jane for Will's heart, it was very much the opposite. I would have to say that was a relief as that particular scenario has been played out.  Jane's family, (along with Will's), wants her to marry Will as it's a good "match" but they both have no feelings for each other.  This makes for a challenging situation for all involved.  Also, Will is an overall good guy, but for me, he wasn't a swoon-worthy male lead. I enjoyed him, but he lacked that something special.

One of the things I struggled with was the varying points of views. In The Other Countess the point of view often switches, which was good as readers get many characters' perspectives on a situation, but for me, there were too many switches.  I would have preferred simply Will and Ellie's point of view; however, that wasn't the case. 

The setting of The Other Countess is brilliant. Who doesn't love Elizabethan England? It makes for such an interesting setting as there's insight into the upper class, lower class, servants, and even The Church of England versus Roman Catholicism.  

The romance was sweet.  It definitely fell into the trap of love conquers all and love survives against all odds. For me, The Other Countess gave me a bit of a toothache as it was overly sweet and in life things don't always end with a beautiful bow on top.   I think I had so much trouble with the romance, because it was a tad too predictable for me.

All in all, if you are looking for a feel good read and you love an adorable romance set in Elizabethan England, check out The Other Countess.  There's even a sequel coming out next April called The Queen's Lady, which will focus on Lady Jane Perceval.

*Read an excerpt
*Watch the book trailer
*Pre-order The Queen's Lady


  1. This one sounds good. I really like the cover of this one. I'm interested in the Alchemy aspect of the book.

  2. overly sweet-i will probably love it! lol! thanks for the great review

  3. This book looks all sorts of brilliant.

  4. I am glad you liked The Other Countess too even with its flaws. I enjoy Tudor fiction too and I'll be reading the sequel. Nice review!

  5. Ooh, I'm on the fence with this one even though I really want to squee over it. I'm a huge Phillipa Gregory fan, and yeah, the blurb does make Ellie sound like one of her characters. I think I'd even be okay with the flipping POVs, but yeah...the whole "wrap everything up with a neat bow" kind of ending can really ruin a book for me. So, I guess this one's a maybe for me for now.

    Thanks for the honest review!


  6. Mrs. Q- The alchemy part is a lot of fun, especially since they look down upon it. Thanks for stopping by.

    Carrie- No problem! Thanks for visiting.

    Erica- It was really cute. My students liked it too!

    Christina- Tudor fiction is the best! Thanks for visiting.


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