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The Countess

(Madison Sisters #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  5,811 ratings  ·  537 reviews

Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters' debuts as well. So she decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing's happened ...

Until the real ear
Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Avon
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Toni spoiler - Yes this is really fun amid the sex manuals but in some cases the sex becomes part of the humor. The heroine's discovery of the truth comes …morespoiler - Yes this is really fun amid the sex manuals but in some cases the sex becomes part of the humor. The heroine's discovery of the truth comes amid a sex scene. The hero has brought the carpet rolled corpse back into his bedroom and laid him on the bed. When the heroine enters he starts to kiss her in order to distract her. He gets carried away and picks her up and lays her on the bed. On top of the rolled up corpse! This is the kind of thing in this book that elevates the sex scenes from the banal.(less)
Jordan Short answer: No, this is not a "kisses-only clean" classic romance novel.
Long answer: Lynsay Sands writes romance novels which follow the main chara…more
Short answer: No, this is not a "kisses-only clean" classic romance novel.
Long answer: Lynsay Sands writes romance novels which follow the main characters into the bedroom and describes sexual encounters in detail. Every Lynsay Sands romance novel contains these scenes. This is typical for "Avon Romance" which published the first modern romance novel in the 1970s. Today, Avon only produces romance novels, and these all contain descriptions of the sexual encounters between the main characters. So if you're looking to avoid sex scenes, avoid both Lynsay Sands and Avon Publications. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  5,811 ratings  ·  537 reviews

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Laurie Garrison
Fascinating, touching and wickedly sexy. I just love Lynsay Sands hot writing style. I found a mystery that had me stumped. An adventure that had me on the edge of my seat, the closing had me wanting more. If you’re an historical romance reader please add this one to your list to try, especially if you like your books on the spicy side with a touch of humor.

Few spoilers below

Christiana wound up married to a hateful disrespectful man. Now she has no way out. After a year of living with this man,
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
If you're an Elizabeth Boyle fan but feel that she is perhaps a tad too historically accurate in her characters' behavior and speech and that her plots and characters are not silly, superficial and one-dimensional enough, then this Lynsay Sands book is the one for you. I'm pretty sure Sands wasn't even intending for this HR to have any "historical" in it, but why then bother to throw words like "aye", "'tis" and "'twas" into the dialogue as if attempting some kind of period speech? Just leaving ...more
Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The Countess is not only funny or intriguing, but it is sinfully sexy.

When Christiana’s mean, cruel husband Dicky Fairgrave drops suddenly dead of what they assume are natural causes, she and her sisters decide to put him on ice (literally) and go on as if life hasn’t changed except for the better. The First night of Dicky’s death Christiana decides to go to a ball with her sisters. With Dicky being dead and all you could only imagine their complete utter shock when they see Dicky at the ball.
Completely nutso, wacky, and unbelievable. But funny!
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I laugh a lot reading this book. plenty happening, and good characters.
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Here's my problem with the book:
1)Everything was just too convenient: I was just walking by when I heard or the exact same day my twin dies, I make my appearence in public (although I didn't even know my twin died) or even though this was the first ball you ever attended, I just so happened to make that one as my grand appearence...and so on and so on. Far too many convienences...

2)The cliche...The villian just HAS to tell the "helples" heroine their ENTIRE evil scheme while thinking that their
Ivana Azap Feješ
Christiana assumed she had met and fallen in love with the man of her dreams, Dicky Fairgrove. But once they are married Dicky dissolves all the charm and turns into a cruel, spiteful man always criticizing Christiana and refusing any callers or to go to any balls. When Dicky suddenly drops dead one afternoon, she decides, along with her two sisters Suzette and Lisa, to put him on ice (literally) and head to a ball to try to snare a husband for Suzette as their father has run up some gambling de ...more
Diana~ (Kiss Me Books)
The Countess by Lynsay Sands was my first book by the author and I have to say, I really enjoyed it so I'm definitely looking forward to her next books! The book itself was sexy, witty, and amusing with a very engaging plot. It's slightly part mystery and romance but it fit well together. Throughout the entire story, I was clueless as to who the main culprit was, so if you like mystery with a touch of spice in the romance department in your historical romance books, then this is the one for you! ...more
Yesy (The Book Vagrant)
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-in-books

I skipped through the last bit not gonna lie. I mostly just wanted to see how the mystery played out.
Nov 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Not at all realistic, but totally fun!

I think the basic plot is pretty well covered by the blurb, so I'm not going to go into it. It is worth mentioning, however, that there is quite a bit of humor involved in this book. Especially when everyone is trying to dispose of The Body! While it wasn't perfect, I really enjoyed this lighthearted story.

I'd recommend this to those who love trashy romance novels with wacky plots.
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Countess was my first book by Lynsay Sands and I have found yet another author to watch and catch up with! This was a fun, sexy book...if you can get past the tad bit silly plot of hefting around a dead man numerous times! Christiana assumed she had met and fallen in love with the man of her dreams, Dicky Fairgrove. But once they are married Dicky dissolves all the charm and turns into a cruel, spiteful man always criticizing Christiana and refusing any callers or to go to any balls. When Di ...more
Bambi Unbridled
I have been a big fan of Lynsay Sands more recent historicals such as The Highlander Takes a Bride, and I am really looking forward to Always (on hold at the library), so I thought I would try some of her other books while I wait. I am so glad that I did, as The Countess did not disappoint.

I listened to this book while I was working on a craft project over the weekend, and I laughed out loud so many times. I love it when a book puts me in a good mood... and my ratings are always based on how a b
"Two nights," she said tightly. "We cannot risk any more than that."
"Two nights," Suzette agreed on a breach of relief. Christiana shook her head. "We are mad."
"The mad Madison sisters," Suzette said with a sudden grin.
Sandy M
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Oh, my heavens, what a wonderful time I had with this book! Lynsay Sands, of course, is a fave of mine, love her historical romance novels with a passion. This book is all you expect from her and then some. That then some is the humor. Though the story is full of mystery and misery, the wittiness, fun, and romance interspersed throughout makes this book one of the best of the year. It’s only February, but I know that already.

We learn right off that Christiana is in a bad marriage, one full of ve
Feb 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Christiana could not help but agree to marry Dicky after their whirlwind courtship. He was courteous, charming, and quite frankly treated her like a princess. But that all changed after their "I Do's". Instead of the fairytale marriage she expected, Dicky became cruel, mentally abusive and alienated her from her friends and family. When Dicky suddenly drops dead she is definitely no heartbroken widow. Instead she and her sisters hide the body away and attend a ball. Needless to say it is quite t ...more
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lynsay-sands, 2011
I didn't realize that Sands had another historical romance until I happened across this one at BN the other day. I had to give it a try since I really liked her Scottish highlander series. This one was a regency novel which I can be picky about, so I was surprised by how much I liked it. What was great about this one was that not only did it have that great romance I was looking for but it also had a little mystery to go along with it.

Christiana is the main character, and the book starts off wit
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
What fun! I almost wanted to make a new category of books to put this in -- SENSATION NOVEL! It's intentionally over the top, and an absolute pleasure to read.

Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies...

The most considerate thing Christiana's husband, Dickie, does in a year of marriage is to suddenly drop dead, leaving her a widow. The timing is a bit off, though, because Christiana's sister is in desperate need of getting married, and they simply can't go into mourning until they
Sands writes really light-hearted, funny romps. Though The Countess started out rather serious, it wasn't long before the silly side of the story emerged. This is the start of a new trilogy about three sisters with large dowries who must marry to save their family from ruin. I read them out of order because I didn't realize they were connected. I really enjoyed them, though they were rather farcical at times. They're told in tandem, which means they were kind of redundant at times, but overall t ...more
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cynthia by: Laurie Garrison
A great story that had me in stitches with some of the laugh-out loud passages. Reminiscent of "Who's On First". Any easy-to-read and pleasing tale of murder, blackmail, and stolen identities.

Christiana turned back to her sisters, most distressed to find her earlier good cheer suddenly replaced with a deep depression, and the blurted mournfully, "Do you know I've never seen Dicky daked? A wife should see a naked Nicky."

"Or even a naked Dick," Suzette put in dryly.

"Suzie!" Lisa gasped, blushing
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
Apparently, I'm on a Lynsay Sands kick. I tend to do that with this genre, especially once I find an author I really enjoy. And for once, I started with the first book in a series! Go me! And while I do usually love series that focus on a particular family and all of their romantic dealings, I feel like I already know where this series is going. Who's going to end up with whom, what troubles will plague them, etc. It's fine to allude to it, but it's so clearly obvious from this first book. That ...more
The insanity Lynsay Sands brought to this book is the reason she is one of my favorite authors.

There’s no way of reviewing this without massive spoilers and that would take away from the fun. Just know that you will love the characters, especially Haversham. I had my suspicions, Haversham. Yes I did.

Lesa Divine
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another historical romance author I see myself reading more of.

Christina married to a horrible controlling man. But to find out he isn't who she thought he was.
Once marrying him he changed.

But with her father in debt and her sisters in trouble. Her and her sisters work out away to get one of the sisters married.

Takes a turn... Murder....hidden lives...secrets...scandalous...lies and sexy time.
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at: http://www.longandshortreviews.blogsp...

If a reader is searching for a madcap comedic romance with more twists and turns than a pretzel, they can’t go wrong with this delightful and entertaining romp by Ms. Sands. The Countess kept me guessing and smiling all the way through.

The main crux of the story is two-fold. How can a woman overcome the degradation of her first husband’s cruelty and trust a man who looks just like him? How can a man overcome his need for revenge and l
Book Review Diva
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"The Countess" By Lynsay Sands

Christiana Madison thought the man she married was her prince charming, and that she would spend the rest of her life with him. Instead she married a man who berates her constantly, robbing her of her self confidence. One afternoon, her sisters arrive unexpectedly and start questioning Christina as to why they have not seen her in over a year, letters have gone unanswered. The questioning starts Christina questioning her marriage to Dicky, and why he has never given
Jen Davis
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Christianna got a bum-deal when she married Dicky. He made promises of love and devotion, but on the day they got married, he dropped his facade of a white knight. And in the year since, he has been unloving and cruel. He insults her at every turn; has cut her off from society and those she loves. And there is nothing she can do about it. Until fortune smiles on Chrissy and Dickie drops dead.

It seems Chrissy's father has some gambling debts he can't pay off. So she and her sisters Lisa and Suze
Lover of Romance
Christiana, because of a gambling debt from her father, was forced to marry, a man that she once fell in love with and found charming and irresistable, however the minute he put his ring on her finger, everything about him changed. He was no longer the man she once knew, but someone that for a year, emotionally abused her, and Christiana desperate to escape but has no idea on how to go about it. Then her husband falls dead, and so as a temporary measure to escape a scandal until she can get her ...more
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Someone described this book as a “historical romance Weekend at Bernie's” and that was like putting a plate of cookies under a box held up by a stick and the box was labeled “RHG Trap” and how could I not?


I really liked this. Amid the ridonkadonk, Sands does a good portrayal of how an abuser can slowly whittle down his partner’s self-confidence and isolate her until he can do whatever he wants. I think it’s notable that Dicky/George i
Nov 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I can't say exactly what I was expecting, but this was totally different from that! Right from the beginning of the book I was laughing, a lot, something you don't normally do while reading a regency romance. The best description I could come up with would be to say this book reminds me of the movie Clue. Lots of running around, dashing back and forth, attempted murders, an actual murder, blackmail, sex, scandal - and it's funny and lighthearted! Totally different from any regency I've ever read ...more
Lynsey A
Decent read. This is what I would call a "light and fluffy romance" hence my shelf. Even though there was some "excitement" trying to find the blackmailer and the murderer, I would still call this a light and fluffy read.

There were also some "awww" moments. All in all an enjoyable, quick read. (If one has time to read, which I didn't have a lot of while reading this book.)
Amanda D.
What the hell was this book.

By far, it's one of the oddest historical romances I've read and I suppose I can give it points for originality. I wasn't aware that the heroine suffered emotional, verbal, and financial abuse from her husband. Content warning for that because it certainly caught me off guard.

Ultimately, it was a bit too madcap for my taste and I second everyone's comparisons to Weekend at Bernie's.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 04, 2015 12:22PM  

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LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author who is known for her hysterical historicals as well as the popular Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series. With her witty and charming personality, Sands describes books as, “Waking dreams or stories, tales to amuse, entertain and distract us from everyday life.” She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to ...more

Other books in the series

Madison Sisters (3 books)
  • The Heiress (Madison Sisters #2)
  • The Husband Hunt (Madison Sisters, #3)

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