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The Runaway Countess (Nottinghamshire #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  529 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Her heart longs for justice, but her body clamors for sin.

Once the darling of high society, Mazie Chetwyn knows firsthand how quickly the rich and powerful turn their backs on the less fortunate. Orphaned, penniless and determined to defy their ruthless whims, she joins forces with a local highwayman who steals from the rich to give to the poor.

Then the pawn broker snitc
ebook, 408 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Samhain
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Miranda Davis
Oct 15, 2012 Miranda Davis rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one until they've read The Spymaster's Lady
There are differences between this book and a far superior book written in 2009 by Joanna Bourne called The Spymaster's Lady, but not enough to make reading this pale imitation worthwhile. (The Bourne is rated here, where readers are tough, a 4.11 with close to 3000 ratings, btw.)

In fact the similarities glare in the first separated-at-birth chapter, a captive Frenchwoman with a secret (here, only half-French, what a difference) faces off against a British spymaster-lord intent on knowing her se
Jess the Romanceaholic
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Samhain
Imprint: N/A
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Gift from the author
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy

I was very surprised to learn that Ms. LaValle is a debut author — with intense chemistry and beautiful romance, with a dash of action and a pinch of mystery, this book felt as though it had been
Mar 01, 2012 Diana rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Diana by: Tessa Dare
Shelves: e-books, favorites, shades-of-gray, romance, romances-historical, killer-lines-and-or-moments, mystery, intense, banterbanterbanter, awesomely-awesome-reads, redemption-in-love, heroine-not-ave-damsel-in-distress, awesome-ensemble, second-chances, big-secret, moments-it-s-the-moments, tender-moments-that-tug-at-your-hea, the-ties-that-bind, salvation-and-redemption, catalyst-for-change, sigh-inducing, hidden-depths, arc, heartwrenching, so-much-love, real-deal, palpable-ust, angst-it-s-the-angst, steamy-reads, declaration-of-love, cruel-fathers, siblings-are-love, sacrifice, driving-force, family-is-love, how-do-you-not-love-the-hero, opposites-attract, conversations-are-love, patience-is-a-virtue, overcoming-the-past, favorite-heroines, favorite-couples, heroine-damaged-hurt, how-to-cope, heroine-stalwart-strong-steadfast, heroes-that-love-them, favorite-heroes, unconventional-heroines, hero-very-smart, heroine-independent, hero-sexy-as-hell, falling-in-love, betrayal, heroine-passionate, heroes-in-pursuit, heroine-strong-willed-stubborn, hero-strong-willed-stubborn, hero-passionate, heartaches-and-heartbreaks, undeniable-attraction, forgiveness, loyalty-and-love, secret-identities-and-impersonation, laughed-my-arse-off, so-many-quotable-quotes, all-time-faves, heroine-very-smart, hero-straightlaced-stiff-rigid, heroine-in-disguise, deception-and-lies, hero-responsible-dutybound, hero-titled-earl, 2012-reads, hero-protective, tears-and-all, questions-about-life, surprise, heroines-emotionally-guarded, heroine-misunderstood, heroine-very-creative, enemies-into-lovers
The course of true love never did run smooth. Very true, especially when it is made even more complicated when you find yourself falling in love with The Enemy. 'The Runaway Countess' is a stunning debut novel from Ms LaValle; it is thrilling and fraught with tension and intrigue, it is sensual and seductive, and it is sure to captivate your heart. I know that from the first chapter, I was very impressed with the crisp clarity of writing, of how the lush narrative allowed me to immerse myself in ...more
Jan 06, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
Mazie Chetwyn has gone and gotten herself captured. She is not innocent of the crime of thievery brought against her but as she she has a connection to the mysterious Midnight Rider, she is not sent straight to the gaols. However, she refuses to divulge any clues as the whereabouts of the notorious highwayman as she has a close, personal connection to the man. Mazie also believes that they are just correcting the wrongs inflicted upon the tenants of the Earl of Radford. Unfortunately, the Earl d ...more
*4.5 Stars*

It had a few bumps in the beginning, but I was glued to it by the end. Enemy romances are always iffy for me, but I think the author did a good job of pulling it off. The tension stayed believable and the heroine and hero stayed at odds in a realistic manner, but they never had the type of hate fest toward each other that I find so common (and irritating) in enemy romances. I'm going to have to check out this author's backlist.

*Review posted on Fiction Vixen*
Jul 10, 2013 kris rated it liked it
Mazie is arrested for aiding a highwayman by Trent, who's Earl of Somewhere. Instead of prosecuting her (as he is wont to do because LAW), he takes her home and proceeds to interrogate her, seduce her, and fall into feelings for her. Oh, and they have a threesome with justice, and then argue about who she liked better.

1. This book isn't great. It's overwritten ("warm chocolate wrapped in skin"??? WHAT???); it's not very historically good; it's messy. Mazie's history is kind of just thrown in the
Carrie Lim
Sizzling hot from start to finish!

I can hardly think after all the emotions. The feelings. Oh, how these feelings and thoughts are still resonating within me even after hours I had put my tablet down. And it was a struggle to put it down. I kept going back, wanting to re-read my favorite parts and just soak in these moments LaValle created.

LaValle's voice is very distinct and I'm kind of in love with the way she can string words together and create these profound sentences that unravel in such
Kat ~ Forever Book Lover ♥
You can see this entire review at Forever Book Lover. You will also find a guest post from Ms. LaValle, as she talks about the Legend of Robin Hood.

I have to confess, I love Robin Hood, so it was no big surprise that this book appealed to me so much. There was so many things I loved about this book, I especially loved that the hero and heroine spend most of the novel together, I didn’t have to go skimming around the book to find out when they would met again. The author kept the focus on these t
Apr 13, 2012 Stella rated it it was amazing
I believe it doesn't come as a revelation when I admit that the reason I was intrigued by The Runaway Countess was due to its Robin Hood storyline, but this novel was so much more than that.

The novel starts with an unexpected beginning: Mazie, our heroine is already imprisoned having been captured as accompilce of the wanted highwayman, the Midnight Rider, and that's from where the story unravels. Trent Carthwick, twelfth Earl of Radford and Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, in charge of inves
Lisa Lin
Mar 05, 2012 Lisa Lin rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
**original review by Jamie posted at Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance**

All I have to say about The Runaway Countess is this: READ THIS BOOK! Ok, I will say a bit more but seriously this book cannot be missed. If you are a historical romance fan then you must read this book. Leigh LaValle takes the Robin Hood theme to a whole new level and makes it her own.

Trent Carthwick, Earl of Radford has one mission as Lord Lieutenant and that is to arrest the Midnight Rider. When his deputy captures
Mar 14, 2012 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
The majority of Mazie's secrets are hidden from the reader as well as from Trent, at least until the opportune moment. Some readers might find this helps to drive the tension, and others will find themselves extremely annoyed at this tactic, especially considering the majority of the story is told from Mazie's perspective. There were a number of times I just couldn't understand her reasoning, even after her secrets were revealed. She tells Trent quite honestly that she has no idea where the Midn ...more
May 03, 2012 Caroline rated it liked it
A lacklustre debut novel with plot holes aplenty and a shaky control of narrative structure.

Instead of sending a female pickpocket to jail and possibly capital punishment, the Lord Lieutenant of the district decides to place the defiant and articulate prisoner under house arrest in his own stately home. Among several reasons for this odd behaviour is a plan to extract from his prisoner the name of her highwayman accomplice.

The rest of the novel is a drawn-out description of a repetitious push-p
Amy Alvis
Apr 02, 2014 Amy Alvis rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed for: Historical Romance Lover blog

This is book one in the Nottinghamshire series.

Mazie Chetwyn has been taken captive by the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire. He knows that she has been working for the Midnight Rider and wants information to enable him to be captured.

Trent Chathwick, the Earl of Radford and the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, is attracted to Mazie from their introduction and the feeling is mutual. When he finds out that she is really Lady Margaret, he
My Book Addiction and More MBA
THE RUNAWAY COUNTESS by Leigh Lavalle is an exciting debut historical romance set in Nottinghamshire,England in 1821. With a Robin Hood and Lady Marian style writing but with a few twists and turns. It is written with vivid details,and full of danger,angst,passion,action packed,deception, a quest for truth and justice. Trent Carthwick, twelfth Earl of Radford,the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire,who is not only handsome,sexy,believes in truth,honor,justice,and family will soon have everything ...more
Mar 23, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miss Mazie is hiding her identity as Lady Margaret Chetwyn and aiding a daring highwayman, the Midnight Rider, when she’s captured and given into the care of Trent Carthwick, twelfth Earl of Radford. As he works to unravel the mystery of why she would aid such a man, and tries to induce her to tell him where the Midnight Rider is, he falls more and more under the spell of this amazing young lady. Mazie tries to resist Trent but the harder she tries, the more she learns to trust him. In a delight ...more
Royce Hawkins
Feb 28, 2012 Royce Hawkins rated it it was amazing
This story was positively amazing!!! I felt as if I were part of the story, the proverbial fly on the wall. The depth of the characters and the realness of the story left me breathless. I was privelaged to receive a copy before its release of March and I can not say thank you enough to the author. Emotions were pulled from my heart. Mazie is loyal to a fault and Trent tries to do everything to the letter. She awakens in him his true inner self to be the man he was destined to be and not his fath ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Janga rated it it was amazing
This is wonderful debut novel that offers a Robin Hood theme, compelling characters, and a story that tackles some tough issues such as divided loyalties and conflicting views of what is right. I'm sure I'm not the only reader who is hoping for Cat's story.
Marla Cohen
Dec 08, 2012 Marla Cohen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Received the book as a contest winner. Loved it! It was a little different than typical books of the genre. Kept me guessing until the end... Could there be a sequel? There were several characters that need stories told.
Jan 06, 2012 Danielle rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Review originally posted at Ramblings From This Chick

When Mazie is captured by the Lord Lieutenant, Trent Carthwick for aiding the local highwayman, she knows that she must try whatever she can to help him stay hidden. If that means attempting to seduce the sexy Trent Carthwick, Earl of Radford she sure will try. She never suspects that when she kisses him in an attempt to escape, that she her body would want more and she finds herself constantly thinking of the kiss.

Trent, still can't believe
Dec 30, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it
The story behind the wonderful book from Leigh LaValle was realistically complex and psychologically alluring. I was moved by the unbreakable loyalty Mazie had for her brother, and her bravery along with her charm were admirable. The stating of the plot, its climax, and its resolution were very well done. I had no problem with the way the whole story was untangling, but I gave the book four stars for its ending.

At the beginning of the story the first thing the reader can notice is the extreme p
Mar 17, 2012 Andrea rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review
Full review can be seen at Seductive Musings

Mazie and her highwayman accomplice are attempting their own vigilante justice, Robin Hood-style. Trent is responsible for capturing the highwayman stealing from the aristocracy. Mazie’s world is turned upside down when she is captured by Trent. She knows everything about the mysterious highwayman threatening Trent’s domain but she refuses to reveal it no matter what Trent threatens. This leads to many encounters with deception and game play all while
Jul 03, 2012 Evie rated it it was amazing
A merry go 'round of the heart that will leave you breathless...

Mazie is a sweet, kindhearted woman who's forced to stand by the ton sidelines. In other words, she's now an outcast of the world she was born into. A secret society within the ton is to blame for her misfortune. She goes from having everything, to having nothing left, but the clothes on her back. She decides to make the best of what little she has left, and joins forces with the only man that gives a hoot about what happens to her.
Apr 14, 2012 Marie rated it really liked it
Really liked this book, Heroine and all. I think if the author had explained the crimes of the nobleman earlier on in the story it would have made Mazie's actions more clear, understandable and i would not have thought of her as a flighty heroine just looking for justice and a sense of belonging. At first I thought she was just doing what her brother asked of her without really knowing why, but once it was explained at the end i then understood. I really admire her for her strentgh and loyalty t ...more
Jessica Luther
Mar 22, 2012 Jessica Luther rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
The beginning was slow. But it picks up quickly.

Mazie is a lady who, for reasons eventually revealed in the book, has abandoned her title and joined up with a highwayman. She's arrested on charges of theft and the local law, Trent, tries to extract information out of her about her highwayman accomplice. They aren't supposed to like each other. As LaValle reminds us often, they are enemies.

Yet the chemistry is there. The battles they each wage within themselves about the other and about trust fee
Feb 20, 2015 Greselley rated it liked it
I was at the 70% of the story and I stopped reading it. From the start, I was always waiting for it to be better than okay but it only happens at the festival. It was also kind of annoying sometimes. Instead of sending her to gaol, the hero kept her in his house as his prisoner. He was thinking of her safety while she was deceiving him all the while. There were irregularities in the book. I don't believe a brother knowing her sister is in prison because of him wouldn't be marching through the ho ...more
Ana Rînceanu
While I liked Mazie pretty much from the start, Trent was a different matter. He started out so narrow minded but slowly showed signs of improvement with the occasional asshole moment thrown in. Towards the end, I sort of understood where he was coming from. The plot twist was predictable, but I liked how the book takes on the interpretation of the law, even though it stretches the imagination a little, This was a fast paced book and, while the whole Mine! thing was overused, I liked it overall.
Dec 02, 2014 Cassie rated it did not like it
Shelves: vigilantes
I think this is my first legit 1 star. I can't believe I paid for it. It started out pretty strong. By the end of the teaser, I wanted to read more. Then things just fell apart. I honestly don't have words to describe how bad this is. It wasn't even the good kind of bad where you're like 'this don't make no damn sense but I love it', it was just bland, and watery, and stupid. And not a damn thing happened. The plot just fizzled out. Nobody had any kind of resolution. Ugh. So much rage right now. ...more
Jul 15, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
A different story of impoverished Lady Margaret aka Miss Mazie, the orphaned daughter of a lord, who aids a local highwayman in a Robin Hood theme and gets caught. The local magistrate, handsome and austere Lord Radford takes her as his prisoner to find out who the Midnight Rider really is. She will not divulge the truth, despite the mutual attraction that is growing between them. The stakes escalate as does their passion. A good book despite the slow beginning. Once I got into it, the second ha ...more
Kalinya Parker-Pryce
Dec 19, 2012 Kalinya Parker-Pryce rated it it was ok
There were aspects of this story I like, but a lot that left me cold. The pace was also slow, and while the sexual tension between the h and H built nicely, the story lacked something for me because in the end, I wasn't bothered one way or another about how it would end. The story dragged, with some points being so laboured over so often it grew tedious. It got to the stage where I was actually hanging out for Harrington to reappear just so there would be something happening!
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 26, 2015 06:40AM  
Historical Romance: Giveaway of The Runaway Countess 1 22 Feb 14, 2012 12:37PM  
  • Bring Him Home (Special Forces, #3)
  • Red Hot Renegade (Bennett #5)
  • One Good Reason (Adamson Brothers, #2)
  • Never a Gentleman (Drake's Rakes, #2)
  • Sweet Enemy (Veiled Seduction, #1)
  • The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton (The Burgundy Club, #3)
  • Heating Up The Holidays
  • The Disgraced Playboy (Bad Blood, #2)
  • Ashes and Wine
  • Seducing Mr. Knightly (The Writing Girls, #4)
  • Capelli's Captive Virgin
  • A Midnight Dance (Fiery Tales, #1)
  • Three Nights of Sin
  • Seven Nights to Forever
  • Not Wicked Enough (Reforming the Scoundrels, #1)
  • A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3)
  • The Marriage Bed (Guilty, #3)
  • How to Get Over Your Ex (Valentine's Day Survival Guide duet)
Leigh LaValle lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. When she is not writing, mommying, or reading, she is rarely seen cleaning. More often she is found hiking or, when she is really lucky, in the white powder of the ski slopes. She holds an honors degree in English Literature and is a devoted yoga practitioner and instructor.
More about Leigh LaValle...

Other Books in the Series

Nottinghamshire (3 books)
  • The Misbehaving Marquess (Nottinghamshire, #2)
  • The Rogue Returns (Nottinghamshire, #3)

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“No person can do this or that to keep another from being truly free. We are always free. Even if imprisoned.” 6 likes
“What would you tell her about me?”
He did not just ask that.
“You did not just ask that.” She chuckled.
“I’m serious,” he smiled.
“Very well, if you must know, I would say that you are arrogant and foolish, too handsome for your own good and far too cognizant of your own intellect. Unbending, unsympathetic, dogmatic, pig-headed—”
“Handsome?” he interrupted, unable to keep the smile from his face. “And intelligent?”
“Don’t forget arrogant.”
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