Fact: Drawing under a male pseudonym, Maggie is known as Lemarc. Her (his!) favorite object of ridicule: Simon Barrett, earl of Winchester. He’s a rising star in Parliament – and a former confidant and love interest of Maggie’s who believed a rumor that vexes her to this day.
Fiction: Maggie is the half-Irish harlot who seduced her best friend’s husband on the eve of their wedding. She is to be feared and loathed, as she will lift her skirts for anything in breeches. Still crushed by Simon’s betrayal, Maggie has no intention of letting the ton crush her as well. In fact Lemarc’s cartoons have made Simon a laughingstock… but now it appears that Maggie may have been wrong about what happened years ago and that Simon has been secretly yearning for her since…forever. Could it be that the heart is mightier than the pen and the sword after all?
Rating: B for narration; B for content
This is the middle book in Joanna Shupe’s Wicked Deceptions trilogy, and having enjoyed the first book, The Courtesan Duchess, in print (I gave it a B at AAR), I decided to pick up the second in audio. The author impressed me with her storytelling and her ability to create strong, well-defined characters as well as to turn up the heat with some crackling sexual tension and steamy love scenes. The Harlot Countess is certainly no slacker in the steam department, and Ms Shupe has once more created a couple of interesting characters; but I can’t deny that the plotline – much of which revolves around the massive misunderstanding the couple experienced a decade earlier and their inability/unwillingness to talk about it until well into the book – is somewhat frustrating at times.
You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.