Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: Captain Durant's Countess by Maggie Robinson

Tucked amid the pages of The London List, a newspaper that touts the city's scandals, is a vaguely-worded ad for an intriguing job-one that requires a most wickedly uncommon candidate...

Maris has always been grateful that her marriage to the aging Earl of Kelby saved her from spinsterhood. Though their union has been more peaceful than passionate, she and the earl have spent ten happy years together. But his health is quickly failing, and unless Maris produces an heir, Kelby's conniving nephew will inherit his estate. And if the earl can't get the job done himself, he'll find another man who can...

Captain Reynold Durant is known for both his loyalty to the Crown and an infamous record of ribaldry. Yet despite a financial worry of his own, even he is reluctant to accept Kelby's lascivious assignment-until he meets the beautiful, beguiling Maris. Incited by duty and desire, the captain may be just the man they are looking for. But while he skillfully takes Maris to the heights of ecstasy she has longed for, she teaches him something even more valuable and unexpected...

Captain Durant's Countess is the story of an arrangement between the aging Earl of Kelby and Captain Reynold Durant.  Kelby found Reyn via The London List, and Evie (proprietor of The London List and heroine of book one, Lord Gray's List) solves Kelby's problem as only she can.  When Countess Maris Kelby arrives at Reyn's club to remind him of his agreement -- and payment -- the crux of the agreement between Kelby and Reyn is made known:  Kelby wants Reyn to provide him with an heir via Maris, and for Maris's sake. 

Reyn greets Maris crudely and rudely, yet she will not be swayed from the course of action set upon her by her elderly husband.  She does not agree with it as she believes she can convince Kelby's heir, his nephew, David, to act in good judgment once Kelby dies, but there's something about Reyn she cannot deny. Maris has been happy for ten years with Henry, though over the course of her relationship with Reyn, she learns there is much of life that she's missed out on. 

Some of the resolutions come too easily and conveniently for Maris and Reyn, but ultimately they do receive their happily ever after. 

(A very special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Captain Durant's Countess.)

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