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The Reluctant Countess

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  295 ratings  ·  70 reviews
From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.
Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, reali
ebook, 302 pages
Published January 14th 2013 by Loveswept
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3.74  · 
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 ·  295 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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3.5 stars


Only two people alive know Sophie, Countess of Monmouth's secret, Sophie and her sister-in-law, Letty. For two years she has lived in fear, anxious that someone would expose her and put both her and Letty and also the heir to the earldom, Timothy's future and security in danger.

Patrick, Earl of Coulter has good reason to suspect that Sophie is hiding something behind her cool and unattainable facade. Only days before her husband's death, Patrick had visited the ailing Earl. Sophie
This début novel from Wendy Vella was an enjoyable story and has much to recommend it. Her prose is competent, she has created some engaging characters and in the later part of the novel, she has begun to chart the progression of the deepening relationship between her two protagonists as well as the development of a secondary romance. The mystery surrounding Sophie’s true identity holds the attention but is not strung out for too long.

On the negative side however, there are times when the overal
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Countess of Monmouth, Sophie, is known for being somewhat of an ice princess. Perfectly proper, never letting emotions show, she has been the talk of the season. Incredibly beautiful, she has captured the eye of many possible suitors but when the Earl of Coulter, Patrick, takes an interest in Sophie the ice begins to crack.

Patrick, the Earl of Coulter is captivated by the widowed Countess of Monmout...but something deep inside tells him her story isn’t everything that it seems. Determined to
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Reluctant Countess is such a perfect name for this story! Sophie became the Countess of Monmouth under a bit of a scandalous way. . . just before the death of the Earl, so when she suddenly shows up in society, with a child, people are suspicious and no one more so than Patrick, Earl of Coutler (and naturally, Myles, the man who thought he would inherit the earldom). He is determined to find out the truth behind the ice beauty and how she came to be so high up in station. Little does he know ...more
Mary - Buried Under Romance
Posted on Buried Under Romance

This was a fantastic read with endearing characters and a very engaging plot. From start to finish I was absolutely in love with the leads, Sophie and Patrick.

When Sophie, the newly widowed Countess of Monmouth takes London ballrooms like a storm, every male is enchanted by her beauty and offset by her cold demeanor. She's not who she seems to be, and Patrick, the Earl of Coulter, has decided to uncover all of Sophie's secrets while trying to deny his blinding attr
Kathie (katmom)
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sophie, the Countess of Monmouth is hiding a huge secret.

Patrick, Earl of Coulter, wants to know what it is so that he can out her.

Because she's rather "touch me not," isn't she? And a bit icy and his opinion she really needs to come down a peg or three.

But then again, he really likes her, dang it!

There were a couple of times that I really wanted to smack Colt, but he had been working under a false assumption about her. And his shock was great when he realized that. I always like t
Kat ~ Forever Book Lover ♥

You can find this review and more at Forever Book Lover.

Just finished reading Reluctant Countess and just in time as I hear it debuts today. I read this book in less than one day, it was that good!! Awesome debut, Everything that I Love to find in a book. From rags to riches.

A fairy tale romance - beauty, prince charming, villain and of course a happy ever after ending.

What is not to love about this book.. I think what set this book apart from the rest of the historical romance books I have rea
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wendy Vella gives us a fresh look at Regency period romance.
A little bit of a rags to riches tale or a little bit like a Cinderella story.
Sophie is recently widowed with a young child. She travels to London with her sister -in -law for the season. But, Sophie has a secret past and is terrified she will be found out.
Patrick knows there is something off kilter about the beautiful Countess and vows to uncover her secret. Once he begins to spend time with Sophie his dislike of her lessons considera
Kathy Davie
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, history
This is an ARC provided by the publisher.

A sweet romance set in Regency England.

My Take
Vella has a nice lyrical turn of phrase that makes this a sweet read. And she's obviously done some homework on dress, manners, and society for her novel. Her characterization was well-done with a nice range from the totally sweet and thoughtful Sophie to the completely wicked Jack. Patrick's character was different from the usual which made a nice change and Vella's depiction of many of the catty women in the
Anastasia シ
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, romance, 2014
Full Review on NetGalley
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: January 14, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Ecopy provided by the publisher

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):

From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.

Regal, poised, and elegant, Sop
Nitzan Schwarz
Originally posted on my blogI received a copy for review purposes through Netgalley.

My Rating: 2.5 stars

I find it hard, close to impossible, to write a review for this book. I simply don't have much to say about it. We didn't click, in a way that I don't even know to explain much why. I didn't hate it - I didn't love it. It was okay. It's more of an issue of... not having an opinion, really. 

At first, it was really hard for me to get into the book. Later on it got better, I got more interest
Daisy Sloan
This review will be published at http://romantichistoricallovers.wordp... on January 18, 2013

I loved this book from the very beginning. Wendy Vella had me hooked from the very first sentence. “If only she had a small imperfection.” It was obvious that someone mesmerized Patrick and Stephen. I soon found out it was the Countess of Monmouth. Patrick was sure she was an imposter, a charlatan. He was determined to find out her secrets and expose her. He couldn’t believe she was married to his long t
Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks

Patrick "Colt" the Earl of Coulter, thinks that the beautiful Sophie, Countess of Monmouth is a fraud and he intends to expose all of her secrets. Recently widowed, with a young son in tow, Sophie worries on a daily basis that she will be discovered, and attempts to keep herself at a distance to the aristocracy in London to the dismay of her sister-in-law, who wants to show her off. Nonetheless, there is an instant attraction between these two that becomes explosive quickly and confuses both the
No need for smelling salts for this fresh Regency Romance! Wendy Vella has taken her paintbrush to a popular, often-done genre and colored it hot, fresh, amazing!

Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, a young widow with a toddler takes London by storm with her beautiful face, cool demeanor and the mystery surrounding her background. Patrick, Earl of Coulter, is instantly attracted, yet repelled by this woman who no one has ever heard of.

The electricity is sharp between these two strong personalities, ne
Shay Williams
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite fairy tales has always been Cinderella and it is a theme that comes up quite frequently in romances. Some of the attempts are ones not worth printing and others are more then satisfactory drawing the reader deep into the tale. I am happy to say that THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS is one of the latter ones.

I think what really caught me was the characters themselves. Sophie is a warm and caring woman with secrets of her own that are starting to come out with possibly deadly consequence
Sue Grimshaw
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The reason I love this story & chose this book for a Loveswept Original release is because of the great characters & fast pacing of the story - it really moved - I think Wendy created a unique Regency unlike anything published before - readers who enjoy Sabrina Jeffries wit, Anna Campbell's sexy style & Elizabeth Hoyt's delivery will want to read this story.
From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful counte
Amanda Mandigo
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was given the chance to read this book through NetGalley. Let me start by saying I LOVED this book. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and will certainly look for her in the future. I loved the flow between Sophie and Patrick, the story between the beginning to their happy ever after at the end was perfect. With the side story between secondary characthers Amelia and Stephen only added to the story and made it go only too fast because I wanted to know what was going to ...more
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Sophie, the Countess of Monmouth, has a secret. Patrick, the Earl of Coulter, suspects that something is up. He sets out to investigate her secret, meanwhile fighting off enormous boners at her presence. Sophie's life is threatened, Patrick's macho instincts are aroused (among other things).

It's a very simple book. The secret would have ruined Sophie and in the eyes of society at that current time, but Patrick seems surprisingly blasé about it. They fall in love too quickly, Patrick forgives her
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I very seldom read historical romance anymore. My taste has changed over the years. But...when I was offered the opportunity to read "The Reluctant Countess," I thought it would be worth a try. After all, it would probably be alright. I was proven wrong. I enjoyed this book tremendously! I loved the plot - lots of love, intrigue and mystery and feminine wiles thrown in to make things interesting. I also loved the characters. Sophie was a woman of values and was courageous and honest. Patrick was ...more
Great story! Don't judge a book by its cover. The "Ton" labeled Sophie "The Ice Maiden", cold and aloof. But they have no idea the burdens she has to bear as well as the secrets she has to keep hidden. So many good people are depending on her. The chemistry between Sophie and Lord Patrick Coulter is hotter than hot, but even he may not be able to save Sophie from her dark and dangerous past.
Literati Literature Lovers
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Regency Romance
Title: The Reluctant Countess A Loveswept Historical Romance
Author: Wendy Vella
Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Regency Romance
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0345540077 (ISBN13: 9780345540072)

From Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.

Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This would have been a good story if only...

... if only the heroine had consented to the first several sexual encounters with the hero.

Instead, she protests and resists and he just keeps going. He even describes himself as having forced her, and reflects she's the right one for him because she makes him lose control.

It was disappointing as I've quite enjoyed some of Vella's other books.
Susan Finney
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It had romance and suspense. I found the characters interesting and became engaged in the story!
Notes: I read the eARC and quotes will need to be checked against the final copy.

My Synopsis:
She had a secret...

"He suspects something, Letty, I am sure of it." Sophie chewed her bottom lip.

Stop gnawing on your lip, dear. He may suspect, but what can he do?"

He was determined to uncover it and make it known...

"Three days before the Earl of Monmouth passed away, I paid him a visit at Monmouth Hall. He was in his bed, clearly near death, but still lucid." He paused to make sure Stephen understoo
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: blog-review
I’m not sure what to say about Wendy Vella’s The Reluctant Countess. From the synopsis it’s publicized as a Cinderella type plot and it has aspects of it, but Vella just falls short.

As for character development, there are some issues. The main problem for me is the villain. He’s introduced as hating Sophie and wanting to find out the truth behind her marriage to the late earl. Villains, especially those in a Regency romance do tend to be dastardly, but this one just was meek. A lot of things ju
Ivy H
This was an entertaining little romance. The heroine is a former maid who has been asked by her employer ( an old dying childless Earl ) and his sister Letty, to marry him in order to prevent the title and lands from going to his spendthrift, wastrel nephew Viscount Dumbly ( yes, it is "Dumbly" ). The heroine Sophie is an orphan with a baby brother and the dying Earl prefers that the little boy be declared the new Earl after his death. Lucky little Timmy ! The kid goes from the serving class to ...more
Raina {The LUV'NV}
I'm a little reluctant to write a review for this book, unable to pinpoint how I feel about it. The Reluctant Countess  had the wonderful, blooming Regency Romance setting with the sex written more toward modern Contemporary, which I appreciated. The writing was good, and I liked all the characters. Sophie, the Countess of Monmouth and known by the ton as an ice queen, is not only hiding her past but also a heart of gold to avoid being ripped apart by the masses and their vicious wagging ton ...more
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review also posted on Book Lovin' Mamas

"The Reluctant Countess" is from the upcoming new Author, Wendy Vella, who definitely makes a great and memorable entrance into the regency historical romance genre . I fell in love with her writing style and the characters she wrote in "The Reluctant Countess". Wendy actually made me feel like I was back in that time frame and how I wish some guys from this era would take notes from how men should treat women. (*just saying*)

Sophie, Countess of Monmouth,
Melody  May (What I'm Reading)
Rating 3.5 Stars

Also on What I'm Reading

Good evening everyone. Well, I have been finishing up reading The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella. So, let me get to the quick sum up of the story and what I thought of the story.

Sophia, the Countess of Monmouth, is a very intriguing young lady. Especially, when she hasn't always grew up in the lap of luxury. Starting out as a maid, in the Earl of Monmouth, and rising above her station in life by marrying Monmouth before he passed away.

Now has finally
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 06, 2015 09:29AM  

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Writing is something Wendy has always found time for, and as an incurable romantic, the romance genre was a natural fit. When her children were small, she would find writing time in the early hours of the morning, sitting quietly with her grandfather’s old typewriter while the family slept. These works, however, she says, will never see the light of day! She joined Romance Writers of New Zealand a ...more