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My name is Chelsey and I am the creator of Charming Chelsey's! I read and review anything and everything that I find to be "charming." I accept ARCs or already released books for review, and I'm also available to participate in any blog tours or book reveals too. If anything, please don't hesitate to email me any time for any reason at: charmingchelseys(at)gmail(dot)com

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review: How to Capture a Countess

Author: Karen Hawkins
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Pocket Books
Series: The Duchess Diaries # 1

Urged by her favorite nephew, the intimidating Duchess of Roxburghe agrees to transform a thorny Scottish rose into a lovely bloom. But even she isn’t prepared for fiery Rose Balfour.

At seventeen, Rose fell wildly in love with Lord Alton Sinclair, known as Lord Sin for his wicked ways. Stung by his indifference, the starry-eyed girl tried to win an illicit kiss, but then panicked and pushed the notorious rakehell into a fountain. Leaving Lord Sin floating among the lily pads to the mocking laughter of his peers, Rose escaped back to the obscurity of the Scottish countryside.

Six years later, Sin convinces his aunt, the Duchess of Roxburghe, to invite Rose to her annual house party, where he plans to get revenge by making Rose the laughingstock of polite society. To his astonishment, he finds she has become an alluring woman who threatens to turn the tables on his nefarious plans. Thus Sin and Rose begin an epic battle of the sexes that becomes more passionate at every turn. Eventually, one will have to surrender . . . but to vengeance? Or to love’s deepest passion?
 
 

The cover of this book is subtly sexy! I looked at it for a good five minutes before I actually began reading the story. The looks on their faces are pure genius! They give nothing and everything away at the same time. I love the title of the story as well because I love a good strong heroine who is reluctant to give in to a man’s charming ways! I had never read Karen Hawkins before, but I did enjoy my first attempt at her books and there will be more in the near future.

This is the first in a new series by Karen Hawkins and it sets the tone quite nicely for the rest of the books to come! We are introduced to Rose Balfour, the first of the three Balfour sisters. We also meet Alton Sinclair, Lord Sin, a man whom Rose turned down many years prior to their encounter in this novel. They have somewhat been setup to meet again by the Duchess of Roxburghe, who is Lord Sin’s great aunt and the godmother to Rose and her three sisters. We meet all of these characters at the annual house party and Winter Ball held by the Duchess of Roxburghe, who became one of my favorite characters.
 
Rose Balfour is a subtle character in that she is a natural beauty who does not even realize the glowing effect that she has on the people around her. My favorite parts were when she was in conversation with Lord Sin and she could not help but chuckle at the fact that she has left him empty-handed years before. It was almost as if she was proud of herself and I found that to be rather enjoyable. Rose feels that immediate attraction when she sees Lord Sin once more and I knew that from that point forward I was going to be in a mess with these two!
 
Rose and Sin together are certainly humorous and the situations that they get themselves into while they are attending the ball are so funny to read. I love reading stories where you can feel yourself being placed in the setting and finding a somewhat cozy charm amongst the actions of the characters. The Duchess of Roxburghe and her sidekick, MacDougal, are one of the best things about this book. They set everything up nicely so that Rose and Sin have no choice but to realize how perfect they are for one another. I could just picture the Duchess and her right hand man scheming behind the scenes so that Rose and Sin would have no clue as to what was really going on. The supporting cast in this novel makes it all the more interesting to read, but sometimes takes away from Rose and Sin because they are just too hilarious to avoid.
 
Another aspect that I loved and admired about this novel is that Karen makes the setting a real place. She opens up the book by including a letter to her readers that notes all about the actual setting, Floors Castle. I was so impressed and eager to read this. I even checked out more about the actual castle on Karen’s website: www.karenhawkins.com. The castle felt all the more real after reading some of the facts and history that is behind it. I think something small like this can really make a book stand out.
 
I was so impressed with this story and cannot wait to hear about the next Balfour sister, Lily. Lily’s story is due to be released in June 2013, I believe. Please do head over to Karen’s website and see all the wonderful books that she has written. This is an author that you will not regret picking up especially if you are in the mood for some romance!
 
***A big thank you to Karen and her publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***
 
 
 



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