Friday, February 24, 2012

The Other Countess by Eve Edwards

The Other Countess by Eve Edwards
352 pages, Delacorte Press
Courtesy of Random Buzzers

"It's England, 1582. Ellie - Lady Eleanor Rodriguez of San Jaime - is in possession of a gold-seeking father, a worthless title and a feisty spirit that captivates the elite of the Queen's court, and none other than the handsome new Earl of Dorset ...William Lacey has inherited his father's title and his financial ruin. Now the Earl must seek a wealthy heiress and restore his family's fortune. But Will's head has been turned by the gorgeous Ellie, yet their union can never be. Will is destined to marry a worthy Lady so the only question is - which one? Eve Edwards has a doctorate from Oxford University and thinks researching a large part of the fun for writing historical fiction. She has visited Tudor houses, attended jousts and eaten Elizabethan banquets to get the sights, sounds and tastes right for this book. And, yes, she can testify that it is possible to eat neatly without the modern invention of the fork. She lives in Oxford and is married with three children."

The minute I heard of this book on Random Buzzers, I knew that I absolutely had to read it. I am very fascinated by novels that are set in the Elizabethan Era... I find the court intrigue immensely entertaining. Eve Edwards definitely delivers a fantastic historical romance that definitely had its story backed with research. I definitely think I enjoyed this book so much because it is very clear that Eve Edwards did her research when referring to daily tasks of not only the members of the court, but tasks of the peasantry and other people outside of the court. Although, the book definitely did not feel like it was simply written as a book to educate a person about the era. It was clear that it was intended first and foremost to entertain, which I personally thought it did so remarkably. I loved that I could read this book and be completely enthralled without feeling like I was reading something entirely frivolous.

I enjoyed the main characters a lot, and I love that Eve Edwards made both Ellie and Will outcasts in their own rights. I feel like this made their relationship seem that much more realistic, and made their personalities very relatable. Ellie has to deal with always being on the road with her somewhat crazy father and having a Spanish title in a realm that despises the Spanish because of their close relation with the Catholic church. Will is not as much of an outcast as Ellie, but when compared to others in the court, he is definitely in a different circle where his wealth is concerned. This lack of excessive wealth definitely makes Will the amazing man he is. He is seen working with the farmers and locals on his land just like anyone else. I wholeheartedly believe that Eve Edwards partly wanted his family to lack funds to not only create a challenge between him and Ellie, but to also bring Will down to earth and make him lovable.

I must say that The Other Countess has most likely become my favorite historical fiction novel by far. I absolutely love the historical accuracy, the amazing supporting characters, and the believable romance between Ellie and Will. Eve Edwards certainly delivered a novel that you definitely don't want to miss! (And make sure to check out the sequel, The Queen's Lady! I am going to devour it once I get my copy from Random Buzzers!)

Rating: 5 stars - I loved it! Buy a copy!

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