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More or Less a Countess by Anna Bradley

More or Less a Countess (edition 2018)

by Anna Bradley (Author)

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Title:More or Less a Countess
Authors:Anna Bradley (Author)
Info:Lyrical press (2018), 252 pages
Collections:Your library

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More or Less a Countess (The Somerset Sisters) by Anna Bradley



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Violet Somerset just wanted to die. In More Or Less A Countess, what she was enduring was a fate worse than death. Having to listen to her friend extol the virtues of her beloved new husband throughout the dinner party was more pain than she could bear. What her friend didn’t realize was that Violet was in love with Lord Derrick too.

The worst part was that Lord Derrick was clearly in love with his wife. In an effort to avoid the unintentional pain inflicted by her friend, Violet escapes to the library after dinner. It is here that she encounters Lord Dare for the first time.

Stealing into the library with another woman, Lord Dare is unaware of Violet’s presence. Unable to make herself known before they begin their assignation, Violet finds herself in the awkward position of listening.

Lord Dare has been summoned home from his European travels to do his duty, find a wife and have an heir. When Violet realizes that Dare has set his sights on her sister, Violet knows she must act. Her sister Honoria would be no match for a rake like Lord Dare. When Dare mistakes her for Honoria, Violet does not correct him.

Mistaken Identity

And so it begins. This is a classic of the genre, an initial lie which later begins to consume the author of the lie. Once it is uttered it is very difficult to get out of a lie gracefully, Violet finds this out the hard way.

I enjoyed how the author portrayed Dare as the ultimate (and unrepentant) rake. He and Violet seem to be very well matched pair.

The book is second in The Somerset Sisters series, following More or Less a Marchioness. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I look forward to the release of the next in the series, More or Less a Temptress.

Reviewed for LnkToMi iRead in response to a complimentary copy of the book provided by the publisher in hopes of an honest review. ( )
  KriisGaia | Aug 13, 2018 |
More or Less a Countess by Anna Bradley
The Somerset Sister #2

Awkward, tone deaf, klutzy, brilliant Violet Somerset has given up on marriage after her first year on the marriage market. Instead her dream is to write and illustrate a book and with that in mind she is willing to risk life and limb to go to sometimes unsavory places to get her sketches. Nobody really understands her quest to write the book of her dreams but her sisters Iris and Hyacinth support her as they can.

One night Lord Dare, Nicholas or Nick to his friends, shows up for an evening event at his friend’s home…a friend that Violet had a crush on until HER friend ended up married to Lord Derrick crushing Violet’s dreams. Lord Dare, in need of an heir, thinks Hyacinth might be suitable with her ability to play Haydn on the pianoforte with such ease and beauty. Well, Violet is not willing to let her sister be courted by a roguish rake so when Nick mistakes Violet for Hyacinth she does not open his eyes and tell him who she really is.

No matter who tells Violet she is playing with fire by keeping the fake name of her sister she won’t listen. No, she uses Lord Dare for her own reasons to get…sketches. And, the house of cards she builds thinking, nobody will be hurt, does eventually come tumbling down at about midway through the book. With both Nick and Violet keeping secrets and hiding how they really feel it takes quite a bit of time for them to work out a way to be happy together but in the end…it is oh so very worth the pain they go through to get there.

I loved the interactions between Nick and Violet whether funny or steamy. The fact that Nick was not turned off by a bluestocking but intrigued instead said a lot. The issues from his childhood and hers from her year in society worked against them both. Their jumps to conclusions without communicating with one another were also a problem they needed to learn to surmount. I really enjoyed this book and the way it all came together. I wanted to smack one or the other a time or two but only to make them see sense.

Did I like this book? Definitely
Do I want to read Hyacinth’s story? Without a doubt
Is there anything I didn’t like in the book? Can’t think of anything.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books – Lyrical Press for the ARC ~ this is my honest review.

5 Stars ( )
  CathyGeha | Aug 10, 2018 |
I received an ARC of this book to read from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. More Or Less A Countess is the second book in Anna Bradley’s excellent Somerset sisters series. It could be read as a stand-alone but I do recommend reading the first book More or Less a Marchioness too because it is very good. Nicholas Balfour has returned from Italy at the request of his Grandmother to take up his duties as the Earl of Dare now that his father has passed away. Nicholas could never live up to the expectations of perfection his father had for him after he became heir when his beloved older brother died so he took the opposite course and became a rogue and a rake. One of the duties Nicholas is expected to take up is to marry and provide an heir. His plans to wed and bed a bride and then to return to his mistress in Italy are thrown into to disarray when he mistakes Violet Somerset for her very quiet and shy sister Hyacinth. Violet a passionate bluestocking who has just had a horrible first season begins the deception first as means of protecting her shy sister from the attentions of a rake and secondly because Nick can escort her to the locations she needs to sketch for her book which is one no delicate young lady should be writing. At times laugh out loud funny and heartbreaking I highly recommend this story. Quite Steamy. Publishing Date August 7, 2018 #NetGalley #MoreOrLessACountess. ( )
  nmgski | Aug 2, 2018 |
*** 4.5 Stars *** This lovely romance is the story of a man with the lowest self-esteem I’ve read in a long time and a bluestocking who pursues knowledge for a book she is writing at almost any cost. It is well written, well-paced, and it is populated with well developed, very relatable characters. While it is part of a series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. You’ll also appreciate many delightfully funny moments like a hilarious inappropriate discussion of ‘barrier devices’ (condoms) or – like –

“But damn it, how was a gentleman meant to embark on a courtship when the object of his pursuit was half-drowned in mud and so preoccupied with the skeletal remains of plague victims she hadn’t even noticed how utterly delightful he was?”

Nicholas Balfour, the Earl of Dare never expected to inherit the Earldom. That was to fall to his perfectly perfect brother Graham. No matter how hard Nick tried, he could never, ever be as good as Graham in anyone’s eyes – especially his father – and even his own. Nick had spent the last two years hiding from himself and presenting the picture of a debauched rake to everyone. Nick had tried to fill Graham’s shoes for a while, but nothing he did was ever good enough in his father’s eyes – so he left for the continent with no intention of ever returning to England. However, his aunt had different ideas – and she held the purse strings – because Nick’s father let the estate run into the ground and any monetary inheritance would come from her. So, if Nick wanted any income at all, he had to return to England, marry and produce an heir.

When Nick was first back in England he attended a social event at Lord Derrick’s home. There he notices a very shy young lady who plays the pianoforte like a virtuoso. Hmmmmm, Nick thinks he’s found the perfect bride – Hyacinth Somerset. He can marry her, get a child on her and leave for the continent once that duty is done. No fuss, no muss!

Violet Somerset endured one endless, tormenting season where she was ridiculed, mistreated and gossiped about because she was a bluestocking. There was no way Violet was ever going to endure another season and therefore, she would never marry. She was also heartbroken because the one man who had treated her well and who she had loved, had recently married her best friend. So, Violet’s one ambition was to finish the book she was writing and illustrating. All she needed were a few more sketches from places where ladies were not free to go.

Violet, Hyacinth and their grandmother attend a dinner at Lord Derrick’s home. Violet is a bit upset because Lord Derrick is the man she has loved and who is now married to her best friend. Then, a latecomer appears and is seated directly across from Violet’s sister Hyacinth. He is the notorious rake, Lord Dare. Then, later Lord Dare approaches Violet and asks if he can call on her – she knows he has mistaken her for Hyacinth. Well – there is absolutely no way she’s going to let this rake anywhere near her sweet, shy and lovely sister. So, she lets him continue to think she is Hyacinth and tells him he is not welcome to call on her. That, of course, doesn’t stop Lord Dare.

Nick becomes more and more intrigued with ‘Hyacinth’ and Violet continues to let him believe she is Hyacinth while she allows him to escort her to places she wouldn’t normally be able to go. She also begins to care for Nick and knows that she has to tell him who she really is – but she’s afraid she’ll lose him and he’ll pursue the real Hyacinth. She knows he’ll find out sooner or later and when he does . . .

Poor Nick is so troubled and if it was possible to grab his father from the grave and murder him – I would. He always made Nick feel as if he were second best and was unworthy of love – especially his father’s. I hate all Nick had to go through to get his HEA, but he is a lovely, lovely hero and I really liked him.

For me, this was a 5-star read for most of the book. I did deduct a half of a star because the ‘big misunderstanding’ scene seemed contrived to me. For an overnight stop, there is no way a footman would mistakenly unload ALL of the trunks from the carriage. I mean – goodness – he’d just be creating work for himself and then he’d have to re-load them all the next morning. Then – the maid employed by the coaching inn wouldn’t be unpacking ALL of those trunks for an overnight stay. Actually, she wouldn’t be unpacking them at all – Violet’s lady’s maid would unpack only what she needed. So – half a star deduction.

I highly recommend this book – and this series.

Please check out my reviews at:
Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRev
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"I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher." ( )
  BarbaraRogers | Jul 27, 2018 |
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