Monday, March 26, 2012

Historical Review: The Runaway Countess by Leigh LaValle

GENRE: Historical
LENGTH: 102,167 words
PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing Ltd. (March 6,2012)

Her heart longs for justice, but her body clamors for sin.
Once the darling of high society, Mazie Chetwyn knows firsthand how quickly the rich and powerful turn their backs on the less fortunate. Orphaned, penniless and determined to defy their ruthless whims, she joins forces with a local highwayman who steals from the rich to give to the poor.

Then the pawn broker snitches, and Mazie is captured by the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire. A man who is far too handsome, far too observant…and surely as corrupt as his father once was.

Sensible, rule-driven Trent Carthwick, twelfth Earl of Radford, is certain the threat of the gallows will prompt the villagers’ beloved Angel of Kindness to reveal the highwayman’s identity. But his bewitching captive volunteers nothing—except a sultry, bewildering kiss.

And so the games begin. Trent feints, Mazie parries. He threatens, she pretends nonchalance. He cajoles, she rebuffs. Thwarted at every turn, Trent probes deep into her one vulnerability—her past. There he finds the leverage he needs and a searing truth that challenges all he believes about right and wrong.

Warning: The delicious, if left-brained, hero might forever change all you think you know about the Robin Hood legend. Contains razor-sharp wordplay, skinny dipping and tortured hearts.
Connect with Leigh: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Blog
Get Your Own Copy: Kindle | Nook | All Romance | Samhain
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt
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All I have to say about The Runaway Countess is this: READ THIS BOOK! Ok, I will say a bit more but seriously this book cannot be missed. If you are a historical romance fan then you must read this book. Leigh LaValle takes the Robin Hood theme to a whole new level and makes it her own.

Trent Carthwick, Earl of Radford has one mission as Lord Lieutenant and that is to arrest the Midnight Rider. When his deputy captures Mazie he expects to get answers and find the highwayman. What he wasn’t counting on is Mazie’s loyalty to the Midnight Rider, Roane.

Mazie is determined to protect Roane at all costs and plans to lead Trent in every wrong direction she can. That is until an unexpected visitor and former acquaintance tells Trent who Mazie really is… a Lady. Trent is stunned but being a gentleman knows what he has to do. Mazie cannot be his prisoner, she must become his guest.

The relationship between Trent and Mazie is complicated. Trent is determined to find Roane and Mazie is doing everything to prevent that from happening which doesn’t make developing a relationship easy. As the investigation goes further and Mazie and Trent start to understand where the other is coming from and they start to question what is really right and wrong.
“It was a kindness on her part. Whatever, he thought of her, a thief and a lair, she was kind. Even to him. Her captor. It was obvious that she worried about people, that she wanted to help.”
Trent’s whole life he has seen things as right or wrong. Every action has consequence but then this stubborn, independent and fiercely protective woman shows up and turns his world upside down. What he thought he knew about his family and the people closest to him isn’t what he thought. He is left with trying to figure out where he stands and what to do with his feelings for Mazie.

Favorite Quote:
Their eyes met and something passed between them, something intimate and totally outside his understanding. It was more than desire, though that was there as well. It was as if for the first time they saw each other not as right and wrong, but simply as people. They were two bodies standing together in the midst of the confusion of living.
READ THIS! I seriously can’t say this enough. This is probably my favorite historical I’ve read this year. I could not stop reading but I wanted it to last forever. I love that Trent and Mazie really had to fight to win each other. They didn’t just fall in love and all their problems went away. They had a lot to overcome.

The Runaway Countess was a brilliant debut and I cannot wait to read more by Leigh LaValle. I want Lady Cat’s, Trent’s sister, story and I hope that we get to see more of Roane.

***review copy provided by author***

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