The Other Countess
Eve Edwards has mixed a frothy tale – part romance, part suspense, part friendship – as she stirs the reader with the story of Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime (or “Ellie” to her friends), who struggles with her alchemist father and her growing love for a forbidden man, William Lacey, Earl of Dorset. Both Ellie and Will suffer from the same problem: lack of money. In the earl’s case, his family duty lies in making a good marriage to a wealthy woman. Ellie’s duty is to manage what little her father brings in from convincing nobles that it is, indeed, possible to turn lead into gold.
Will goes to Court and tries for the hand of Lady Jane Perceval, a haughty woman who has made the mistake of giving her love to Sir Walter Raleigh. But, just as you think you are gearing up to despise this woman, Edwards turns her into a likeable, even admirable character, and friendship blossoms between the two countesses, one poor and educated, the other rich and pampered.
Edwards recreates the feel of Elizabethan England with grace and ease, and what is most delightful about her book is the way the characters and plot continue expanding, a sort of literary alchemy. The Other Countess will not disappoint – it really is pure gold!
335 (US), 352 (UK)