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Romancing the Countess (Romancing #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  957 ratings  ·  149 reviews
Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, thought he'd married the perfect woman-until a fatal accident revealed her betrayal with his best friend. After their deaths, Sebastian is determined to avoid a scandal for the sake of his son. But his best friend's widow is just as determined to cast her mourning veil aside by hosting a party that will surely destroy both their ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Signet Book
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What I Did For a Duke by Julie Anne LongScandalous Desires by Elizabeth HoytJust Like Heaven by Julia QuinnEleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLeanWhen Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
Best Historical Romance 2011
22nd out of 53 books — 92 voters
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle HodkinDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini TaylorVanish by Sophie JordanShifting by Bethany WigginsLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Best books of September, 2011
66th out of 101 books — 339 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,215)
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4.5 stars | Grade: A
This book was an absolute treat to read – like drinking a delicious cup of hot chocolate on a rainy Saturday afternoon. There were no crazy mass murderers that apparently disproportionally populate 19th century fictional England, no gorgeous but evil ex-mistresses spreading confusion and mayhem, no massively intricate and slightly ridiculous revenge plots. Instead, Romancing the Countess gives us a quiet, emotional, and heated love story between two people who have both bee
4.5 stars. For Sebastian, Lord Wriothesly, the death of his wife and of his best friend -- together -- is a source of agonizing grief, rage, and fears for his young son’s future. But for Leah George, whose heart has long since been broken, the death of her husband is mostly a relief -- she’ll no longer have to play the good wife to the man who betrayed her with Lady Wriothesly. For the first time in her life, she feels able to be herself.

Proper Victorian mourning is almost as confining as marria
I'm so glad I read this book because it really reminded me of why I love historical romances so much. This is really a standout book with a very unique story and lovable characters.

We get a glimpse of how honorable Sebastian is at the beginning. In fact he was so hopelessly in love with his first wife that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to believe his love story with Leah. But I was very wrong. His first wife's betrayal definitely makes his falling in love again more believable, but its no
Ashley March is a glorious new voice in romance. From the first page, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS captivated me with a smart heroine, a sexy, brooding hero, and a sophisticated romance that vibrates with sexual tension. Ashley March is the goods!
This heroine is willing to risk ruining three lives for the sake of hosting a dance party and wearing a pretty dress. The hero repeatedly compares her unfavorably to his late (adulterous) wife. How am I supposed to care about these jerks?
Leah George has had a difficult few years beginning with discovering her husband, whom she thought loved her and she was in love with, sleeping with his best friends wife. Leah is shattered and builds up quite a wall around her heart but continues on with her life as best as she can...all behind a fake front of happiness. When tragedy strikes one night and her husband and his lover die in a carriage accident, she can't help but finally feel free. Then comes all the requirements of widowhood wher ...more
Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, had been betrayed by his wife. He learned that the woman he passionately adored had been having an ongoing affair with his best friend, Ian George. He was given this news at the same time he received a letter notifying him of their deaths in a carriage accident. His anguish was all-consuming.

Leah George had unwillingly accepted her husband's infidelities months before when she found Ian and Angela Wriothesly in a very intimate embrace in their home. H
This review for Romancing the Countess has been long overdue!

I've always had a thing for romance novels in which the hero and heroine both get a second chance at love. Leah and Sebastian were never supposed to be for one another... but fate tells them an entirely different story! Romancing the Countess was definitely a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It had all the elements that I always look for in a romance novel! If you love this kind of genre, then I urge you to read this wonderful book. W
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
The two protagonists are a widow and widower whose spouses were unfaithful - with the other's spouse. Pretty interesting premise and she handled the way they carried the baggage of their failed marriages with finesse. That is until the last 2 or 3 chapters, then it mutated into soft porn, not offensive, just boring. Why, Ashley, why? I suppose it’s all in the interest of selling books, guess I just wasn’t expecting a Harlequin Romance.
3.5 stars probably, but rounding up because it made me cry several times.

Absolutely fantastic heroine, who after 1 year of horror in her marriage, and 4 months of mourning her cheating dead husband, decides that it's to chase down her own happiness and independence, no matter society or convention.

What's so amazing is that she actually goes through with her plans (though in a strangely unselfish way - she keeps scandal at bay as long as possible for the sake of her in-laws). And when the consequ
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kati (Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance)
***Originally posted at Romancing Rakes***

So, the power went out while I was reading this book and I finished it by candlelight. Yes, it was that AMAZING! There's just so much I want to say about this book but don't want to give spoilers. Gah! Can I also say that I squeed (in my local B&N) when I saw that Ashley had name checked me in the acknowledgements? Eep! (I have this thing about reading acknowledgements in books. lol)

Top 5 Reasons That Attracted Me to This Book:
1. The cover is gorgeou
My first thought when I read the blurb of Romancing the Countess was that Ashley March was a very brave author. To build a romance story around widowed and cheated spouses finding their happiness with each other had so many dangers that I was very much curious to see whether she would succeed in pulling it off and how she would do that. I can tell you that she did and Romancing the Countess is a highly unusual love story.

Leah has been married to Sebastian's best friend Ian for years, but has bee
I reviewed this book for Night Owl Reviews:

Romancing the Countess by Ashley March is a delightful and lively historical romance set mostly in the English countryside during the Victorian Era. I found Ms. March’s writing style easy and quite enjoyable to read, I found myself reluctant for the story to end. Both the primary and secondary characters are well developed with glimpses into even the deceased characters through letters discovered after their deaths.

The story begins in April of 1849 an
The set up and first third of this story is actually great, filled with all kinds of angsty potential.

Ian Gregory and Angela, Lady Wriothstley were having a torrid affair for more than a year. Finally they got the nerve to run away together only to be killed in a carriage accident during the getaway.

Their left behind spouses deal with the death and the affair in different ways. Leah George, the widow of Ian, has known about the affair for a whole year having walked in on them during a...moment.
cerita dimulai dengan kematian Ian dan Angela, sahabat dan istri Sebastian, Earl of Wriothesly. sang Earl sangat terpukul karena sepengetahuannya istrinya hendak berangkat ke rumah mereka di pedesaan. Karena kecelakaan itu ia mengetahui bahwa istri dan sahabatnya tersebut berselingkuh dan bermaksud untuk melarikan diri berdua.

dalam kedukaan dan kemarahannya, Sebastian menemui Leah, istri Ian dan sangat terkejut karena ternyata Leah sudah mengetahui perselingkuhan tersebut. Leah juga menemukan su
I've read plenty of books where the hero has been betrayed by his wife, but in all the cases (except this one), we met the hero years later after the betrayal (when he's already distrusting and cynical.) In Romancing the Countess, we see the hero deals with the fallout after he learns that his beloved wife and friend were lovers.

Although this treatment was novel (this is the first time I've read about it in romance), the book felt flat for me because it was more focused on the heroine. Don't get
A bit of a shame. A lot of potential but then the nonsense ruined it.

(view spoiler)
I very much enjoyed Romancing the Countess. The H/h were true to their time: their trials, tribulations, dreams and aspirations were not permeated with 21st century concerns. The heroine showed a lot of courage -- and lived with the consequences of her decisions. I look forward to reading more by March.
Mandi Schreiner
Upon finishing Romancing the Countess I realized this is really a sad book. And I don’t mean that it makes this is a bad book – there are some parts in here that are really well done. But the book starts with such a painful moment that sets the course for these characters.

The book opens with Sebastian learning the news his wife, Angela was killed in a carriage accident. Thinking she was going to the country since the city was making her ill, he is devastated to discover she has died. But this is
I am going to try to write this without spoilers, so it may seem a bit discombobulated. I apologize in advance for my ADDness will be showing through...

This book this book. What can I say about this book. I adore Sebastian. He is snarky, irreverent, passionate, injured, wonderful and horrible all rolled up into one great big ball of green-eyed wonder. The journey these two characters take in this novel is absolutely moving and quite stunning. The emotions are raw and unmanageable, the power of t
Book Binge
Leah George should be wracked with grief over the loss of her husband but she feels nothing but relief. She’s known that he was having an affair with his best friend’s wife and the knowledge ate at her every day that he was alive. Leah wants nothing more than to move on with her life – she’s only 20 years old after all – but there are many things and people standing in her way. First there’s society. They expect her to be in widow weeds for a year and she hates that! Then there is her dead husba ...more
Caroline The HEA Lover
(this review was originally published on Book Lovers Inc)

Romancing the Countess was a highly anticipated book for me, I've been waiting for this book for months. For long it was only a blurb and a title but when the cover was finally revealed...Wow... for me this cover is absolutely stunning. Okay, so maybe I did wonder whether women at that time would wear something like that, but still what a gorgeous dress. I also love her jewels. Anyway, to sum it up the cover is one of the many delights of
Angie Elle
I don't know what it is about the name Sebastian. I'm thinking Ryan Phillipe made it sexy in Cruel Intentions, but whatever the reason, name the H Sebastian, and he's immediately dark, brooding, and sexy as hell for me. It doesn't matter how the author describes him.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book. While the lady who has been ostracized by the ton is referred to often in romance novels, rarely do we get to read her entire story. And the events leading up to it, which I really enjoyed.

Lisa Jo
Fans of Lisa Kleypas, Anna Campbell and Connie Brockway should be on the lookout for Ashley March. With just her second novel, she’s proving to be a stunning talent in the historical romance genre.

Knowing that your husband is having an affair with another woman is painful enough, but Leah George is finding someway to survive the harsh truth of her marriage. Then, her husband dies in a tragic accident with his lover leaving her a young widow with no children. She has spent the last year grieving
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was different from the usual round of historical romances. This one explored the emotional fallout of a couple's love affair that turned tragic and how it affected their surviving spouses, Leah and Sebastian. Their stark agony was deeply moving, especially Leah's anguish upon discovering the affair shortly after, and throughout the remainder of the marriage. Bravo to a the woman who was desperate to take charge of her life and feel alive again by flaunting society's strictures of widowhood. ...more
Wow... That's all I can say after reading this book. I was blown away by the fantastic character driven plot and development. While the premise of the book starts with the focus on two people who's lives have been so dramatically changed in different ways by their spouses' betrayals and then deaths, it develops into a heart warming romance about these same people falling in love. I love how both Leah and Sebastian change at different speeds and yet their insecurities and issues are not glossed o ...more
I really thought I would like this book. The story was promising but the execution not so much. I didn't feel much for the characters. The lead Sebastian one minute he is madly in love with his wife, later he finds out she had been cheating on him with his best friend. Then you have the best freinds wife Leah who has been living with the knowledge of her husband's affair for almost a year. When there respective spouses die they are left to pick up the pieces with Leah deciding she had enough of ...more
Fantastic book! This was an emotional, character driven story about two people who were betrayed by their cheating spouses and then thrown together after their spouses death in an accident. The author portraits the characters' vulnerabilities, insecurities and eventual acceptance of love for each other in such a beautiful and compelling way that it simply blown me away.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 04, 2015 11:57AM  
  • The Portrait
  • Pride & Passion (The Brethren Guardians, #2)
  • Heiress in Love (Ministry of Marriage, #1)
  • Desired (The Scandalous Women of the Ton, #5)
  • In Total Surrender (Secrets, #3)
  • Follow My Lead (The Blue Raven, #3)
  • Unclaimed (Turner, #2)
  • Always a Temptress (The Drake's Rakes #3)
  • Shameless (The House of Rohan, #4)
  • Scandal
  • Ruthless Heart (Heart, #1)
  • A Lady's Lesson in Scandal
  • Midnight's Wild Passion
  • An Infamous Marriage
  • Too Wicked to Wed (Lords of Midnight, #1)
  • Lessons in Indiscretion (The Merry Widows, #1)
  • Scandal of the Year (Abandoned at the Altar, #2)
  • An Unexpected Gentleman
Ashley March has never forgiven Margaret Mitchell for making her fall in love with Scarlett and Rhett in Gone with the Wind and then not giving them a happy ending. She likes to think that she makes up for the injustice done to them with each romance novel she writes. When she isn't telling stories about sexy, headstrong heroes and intelligent, independent heroines, Ashley stays busy chasing after ...more
More about Ashley March...

Other Books in the Series

Romancing (2 books)
  • Romancing Lady Cecily (Romancing, #0.5)

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“Oh? And what was I to say? I beg your pardon, Lord Wriothesly, but your wife seems to have acquired a distinct liking for my husband's cock. Would you mind kindly retrieving her to your own bed?” 13 likes
“Sebastian closed his eyes, his chin sinking toward his chest. How long he’d been trapped by those words, afraid to scare her away. How long he’d hoped that after she dealt with Ian’s ghost she would one day turn to him. Her confession of her relationship with Ian while they sat in the tree had been one step, her willingness to let him pleasure her another, and yet still it wasn’t enough. He wanted everything: her trust, her joy, her heart, her vulnerability.” 3 likes
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