How to Capture a Countess by Karen Hawkins (audiobook) – Narrated by Alison Larkin

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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?

Rating: B

This was a double-first for me. It was my first time listening to (or reading) this author, and the first time listening to this narrator and I’m pleased to report that How to Capture a Countess was a truly delightful piece of audio fluff.

The story opens with a rather tipsy, seventeen-year-old Rose Balfour flirting quite outrageously with Alton, Earl of Sinclair to the point that he believes she is eager for more than a mild flirtation or a kiss. Even though Rose has been infatuated with Sinclair (or “Sin” for short – and I really hope my suspicion that the author was poking fun at so many of the other similarly and aptly named heroes of romance is correct!) for some time, when he finally does kiss her, she is so overwhelmed by the feelings he evokes and by the knowledge that she’s behaving improperly, that she pushes him away with such force that he falls into a fountain!

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

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