Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Book Review: The Scandalous Ladies of London: The Countess by Sophie Jordan

Pages: 400
Genre: Romance
Pub. Date: March 28, 2023
Publisher: Avon
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Firelight,
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Wealthy society maven Lady Gertrude knows how the world works. If her husband is less than faithful, it’s an acceptable price to pay for her coveted position at the apex of London’s most fashionable set. No exclusive soirée or lavish ball is complete without her and her group of decadent, well-connected friends. And this Season promises more excitement than usual: Tru is launching her daughter into Society, helping her navigate the cutthroat Marriage Mart, complete with fortune hunters, jealous debutantes, and malicious gossips. As skilled as Tru is at playing the high-stakes games of the ton, she never expects to meet her match—until Jasper Thorne begins to court her daughter. Jasper needs a titled bride, but when he meets Tru, all his carefully laid plans go up in smoke. The attraction between Tru and Jasper is undeniable…and unacceptable. To indulge in an affair with her daughter’s suitor would be ruinous. If it becomes public, she’ll never survive the scandal. Especially as it becomes clear that he wants more than one night…he wants the impossible. He wants forever. A sizzling story of scandalous ladies, irresistible temptation, and the dangers—and joys—of being true to yourself."
Lady Gertrude, the Countess of Chatham, is feeling pleased with her daughter's debut into society. A gossip rag gave her a glowing review and things are feeling promising. Gertrude, or Tru, hopes that her daughter, Delia, will make a love match and be happy, unlike her miserable marriage to the Earl of Chatham. After their wedding, he became a different person. He moved out of their house, took a lover, and dealt with Tru only when needed. While they had two children together, she hasn't been with the Earl in years and when they do interact it goes horribly. However, due to his absence, this affords Tru a lot of freedom and she doesn't have to deal with his constant emotional abuse. That is until he enters the scene again. He realizes his daughter is of marrying age and now wants to get involved with her marriage. He takes it upon himself to practically arrange the marriage on his own to a one Jasper Thorne, not a man of nobility, but rather  a man with "deep pockets." Jasper made his money off various successful inns, his wife has died tragically in childbirth, and now many years later is looking for a wife and a mother for his daughter. Delia isn't interested in Jasper, despite his good looks and charming personality. Jasper is a bit old for Delia, but that is good, because Tru doesn't want this for Delia; plus, she has met Jasper previously and there were sparks. Sophie Jordan's The Scandalous Ladies of London: The Countess is a fun first installment in a new series that's filled with Regency-era drama, romance, and of course, a lot of scandal.
I really liked Tru from the start of The Scandalous Ladies of London: The Countess. It's clear that she tried to make her marriage work, but there's no future with the Earl. They never see each other and he is insufferable. He parades his mistresses in front of her, he belittles her, is emotionally abusive, and now is trying to wreck Delia's future. Very quickly I was rooting for Tru and wanted to see the Earl go down in a big way. Awkwardly, Tru and her friends go to a seance, which is out of the ordinary for Tru. She meets someone there and that mysterious person ends up being Jasper Thorne, the man that her husband wants to set up their daughter with. So, needless, to say, things gets complicated.
Jasper Thorne is a charming love interest and while Jordan plays out the forbidden love trope very well, I did find myself getting frustrated. Delia isn't interested in Jasper, so he agrees to "fake court" her just to get close to Tru. This seemed really complicated at times, but I will admit, it was very entertaining. Jasper is everything the Earl is not, so it was easy to get past some of his missteps and start rooting for him, too. 
My only issue with this novel was the rather forced ending that seemed a little too convenient; however, deep down inside I was very pleased! On the other hand, my favorite aspect of The Scandalous Ladies of London: The Countess was Jordan's portrayal of "mature" women close to 40 years old. Normally this wouldn't be the age of a romantic heroine during the Regency period, but Jordan does it so well. I loved it, because I am tried of reading novels focused on twenty year old women finding love. This was a nice touch and I will definitely continue with the series and look forward to Jordan's next installment which will focus on Tru's friends, who readers met in this novel. I recommend this series to fans of Bridgerton who are looking to fill a void--this will do it!
So, are you a fan of Regency romances? Is this book on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments below.  



  1. I appreciate older heroines as well, although as I am also pushing 40, it stings to be described as "mature" sometimes, LOL!

    1. I know, right?! Haha. It is nice to have an "older" heroine though. Thanks for visiting, Angela!

  2. Definitely looking forward to this one!

    1. I think you'll like it, Michele! You'll have to let me know your thoughts. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. I thought this was fictionalised biography at first, as the Earls of Chatham were real people - father and son, and both Prime Ministers of Britain in the late 1700s - early 1800s! I do wish novelists would check if titles are real before giving them to fictional characters.

    1. Oh, that's interesting! I didn't know that. Definitely don't let that stop you from reading a good historical romance though! Thanks for visiting, Michelle!


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