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Captain Durant s Countess is the second in the The London List series This is a regency period historical romance, published by Kensington and released in February of 2013.Maris married Henry, an Earl, many years older than herself Although they attempted a normal marriage, the Earl was impotent Now Henry is in his eighties and his health is very poor The only male heir is a nephew that Henry holds responsible for his daughter s death To keep him from inheriting, Henry devises a plan.Ma Captain Durant s Countess is the second in the The London List series This is a regency period historical romance, published by Kensington and released in February of 2013.Maris married Henry, an Earl, many years older than herself Although they attempted a normal marriage, the Earl was impotent Now Henry is in his eighties and his health is very poor The only male heir is a nephew that Henry holds responsible for his daughter s death To keep him from inheriting, Henry devises a plan.Maris feels she owes Henry everything and she is completely devoted to him She is also suffering from guilt and sadness because of the situation with David, the Earl s nephew So, even though she detest Henry s idea of preventing David from becoming the heir, she goes along with it.Captain Durant, Reyn, was commissioned by Henry to impregnate Maris He is paid a handsome sum of money, which is needed terribly because his dear sister is quite ill But, then he has second thoughts.I have read other romance novels that employed a variation of this theme So, the storyline isn t completely original, but it is at least different from the usual regency period historical romances that focus on society rules, balls, gowns and so on.For me this one was a little bland and predictable Things just work out too easily The villainous David came up with the most surprising twist in the book toward the end and I really liked the way all of it turned out.The story ends up being a sweet romance Captain Durant finally gets a real job and grows up emotionally Maris gets her happily ever after as do all the other secondary characters.There were some rather modern thoughts and phrases again, which has become my big pet peeve in current historical romances, but for the most part this one stuck to the script in that regard The story is enjoyable enough, but it didn t have anything that made it really standout especially I m giving this one a C I ended up really enjoying this romance even though I am not terribly fond of this particular plotline The situation always gets tricky when someone has to hire a man to get a woman pregnant but in the end, it worked very well for Maris and Reyn One thing that really did not sit well with me though was Maris s marriage She married a man who treated her like a daughter while she was growing up with his daughterso that was just a bit off for me but I did see the deep caring and compassion sh I ended up really enjoying this romance even though I am not terribly fond of this particular plotline The situation always gets tricky when someone has to hire a man to get a woman pregnant but in the end, it worked very well for Maris and Reyn One thing that really did not sit well with me though was Maris s marriage She married a man who treated her like a daughter while she was growing up with his daughterso that was just a bit off for me but I did see the deep caring and compassion she had for him I also was not sure how Reyn could turn himself around because when we first meet him, Maris finds him in a most wickedly comprising position but turn around he did I really fell for the dashing, confident, wickedly charming captain He dealt with the awkwardness during their times together in a good way and with that, opened his heart to Maris Maris was also a bit hard to warm up too but I really took to her in the second half of the book when she is finally free to just be herself.So while the first half of the book was a bit slow and awkward, the second half let Maris and Reyn really discover the true force of their feelings and was very delightful There was a nice little twist at the end that seemed to end the whole odd situation in a very positive manner and I also loved the three little epilogues They just brought a nice smile to my face to see this couple a few years in the future each time Plenty of steam and some wonderful secondary characters in the form of Reyn s sister and her beau add to this romance Recommended for fans of love growing out of unusual circumstances with heat, fun and no major drama 4 stars Review copy provided by eKensington via netgalley Countess Maris Kelby has a compatible marriage Her husband, like a father figure, married her as an act of protection Unable to consummate their marriage, they ve had an intellectual and peaceful relationship After years of comfort, the Earl of Kelby is aging and realizes that he has no heir The inheritance and control of the family s vast museum worthy collection will go to his nephew, a man the Earl despises In an attempt to produce an heir, the Earl hires Captain Reynold Durant to get hi Countess Maris Kelby has a compatible marriage Her husband, like a father figure, married her as an act of protection Unable to consummate their marriage, they ve had an intellectual and peaceful relationship After years of comfort, the Earl of Kelby is aging and realizes that he has no heir The inheritance and control of the family s vast museum worthy collection will go to his nephew, a man the Earl despises In an attempt to produce an heir, the Earl hires Captain Reynold Durant to get his wife with child Reyn is known for his service to the Crown and being loyal Reyn s sister is extremely ill and he can t afford to help her until this unconventional and scandalous offer arises Desperate to help his sister, Reyn agrees He never expected to be so drawn to this innocent 34 year old woman Teaching each other to live again, they find themselves in a precarious situationeven though a friendship andhas begun to grow between them Maris belongs to the Earl of Kelby and the Kelby line.This was a charming slow growing historical romance With all the back ground mechanizations, Reyn is amazingly gentle and kindeven offer friendship when Maris is so isolated by her station in life I enjoy this story I found it extremely entertaining There was a few modern day phrases that might upset those who like to keep totally true to the times dialect but I didn t find it distracting Captain Durant s Countess was an immensely pleasurable and charming read.This ARC copy of Captain Durant s Countess was given to me by Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review Publish Date February 21, 2013.Forreviews, check out Tome Tender Maris, Countess of Kelby loves her husband As the daughter of his secretary and best friend of the earl s daughter, Maris grew up on the earl s country estate and has admired him from a young age, sharing his scholarly passion for the archaeological treasures uncovered by him as well as the previous Earls of Kelby Ten years ago, following her father s death, the earl married Maris to protect her Though they do not have a physical relationship, they have a genuine affection between them and Ma Maris, Countess of Kelby loves her husband As the daughter of his secretary and best friend of the earl s daughter, Maris grew up on the earl s country estate and has admired him from a young age, sharing his scholarly passion for the archaeological treasures uncovered by him as well as the previous Earls of Kelby Ten years ago, following her father s death, the earl married Maris to protect her Though they do not have a physical relationship, they have a genuine affection between them and Maris would do anything to make her elderly, dying husband s dearest wish come true Which is how the sheltered and very proper countess comes to be standing in London s notorious Reining Monarchs Society, a private club where people can act out their sexual fantasies in private, facing a very naked and uncooperative Captain Durant, and determined to stay until she has convinced him to carry out the task for which he took her husband s money.Coming home after leaving the military to find his beloved younger sister in serious health, Reynold Reyn Durant knows he needs a sizable sum of money to move his sister out of London and give her damaged lungs a chance to heal It could be her only hope of survival A vaguely worded advertisement in the London List gives him the means to help his sister but, after taking the money, Reyn s conscience intervenes and he decides he can t sleep with another man s wife for money..no matter how desperately that man needs an heir to save his estate and his life s work from his villainous nephew That s before he meets Lady Kelby a prim, proper, starchy and surprisingly innocent thirty four year old woman to whom the worldly Reyn is inexplicably drawn.This storyline usually doesn t appeal to me but in Maggie Robinson s talented hands, it works She brings together a buttoned up woman who has never known passion in her life and a charming, passionate rogue who shows surprising gentleness and vulnerability Then she throws them into a situation where a happy ending seems impossible but, as this is a romance, we know somewhere down the line a happy ending awaits I like that Robinson takes her time with these characters, allowing them to gradually come to know one another and us to know them I also appreciate the fact that she keeps their emotions tied to reality showing the pleasure Maris experiences as she slowly opens her mind and heart to a physical connection with a man while at the same time dealing with the guilt in knowing that these wondrous feelings are a result of betraying her husband not so much physically, but emotionally even though he s beenof a father to her than a true husband Then there s Reyn a surprisingly gentle and vulnerable man who finds himself developing genuine feelings for this woman who is beyond his reach, because she is married but also because of her station, her education and the fact that she is five years his senior There s plenty of sizzle in this book but it was ultimately the complexity of the characters, the emotional depth and tenderness that kept me immersed in the story The secondary cast of characters is richly drawn, especially Reyn s sister The villain of the story is dealt with in an interesting, and humorously fitting, manner though I felt he got off a bit too easy considering his crimes But, in the end, I was not as concerned about his fate as that of Reyn and Maris Don t let the premise of this book or the fact that neither the hero nor the heroine is very likable in the beginning put you off Stick with the story and you will be rewarded with a hero and heroine who reveal themselves to be worthy characters with genuinely good hearts who deserve the tender, heartwarming and thoroughly satisfying romance that Maggie Robinson has given them Posted at Reader Copy received from Kensington in exchange for an honest review This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar And sometimes a plot line is there just so we can have gratuitous sex In Captain Durant s Countess, Maggie Robinson has introduced a plot line that requires some pretty fancy footwork Yes, we ve seen this set up before in romance novels It s just that accepting money for impregnating another man s wife might seem a tad bit sleezy to some I must admit that it isn t one of my favorite romance themes It triggers so many of my hot buttons However, I m always w Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar And sometimes a plot line is there just so we can have gratuitous sex In Captain Durant s Countess, Maggie Robinson has introduced a plot line that requires some pretty fancy footwork Yes, we ve seen this set up before in romance novels It s just that accepting money for impregnating another man s wife might seem a tad bit sleezy to some I must admit that it isn t one of my favorite romance themes It triggers so many of my hot buttons However, I m always willing to accept the plot and see how the writer handles the situation It seems our heroine Maris isn t too lucky in her choice of a husband Oh sure, Henry s a nice guy and all Maris and Henry are friends Even with the great age difference, Maris has grown to love Henry You see, Henry has a slight problem He is no longer able to salute anything, if you get my drift He wasn t always that way, or at least that s what we suspect since he had a daughter The daughter, Jane, is now dead I m also assuming he had a wife, although not too much is said about her Of course, you know, Henry s problem means that Maris has never experienced any wild whankey woo Except, that is, for the occasional hand puppet show performed by Henry, if you get my drift There is that itsy bitsy affair Maris had with David Who is David you ask Well, he is the nefarious villain of the piece He is also the person who Henry holds responsible for Jane s death Also, Henry doesn t know about David and Maris We know that David is evil because he somehow caused Jane s death, he had an affair with Maris, he is blackmailing her and he wants to spend his inheritance, kick the servants out, visit brothels and hang out at Almacks Henry, who seems to be fairly intelligent, decides the only way to stop this evil nephew is for Maris to have an heir We all know that Henry s Mr Toad hasn t been working for a long time His solution is to hire a good toad deed doer, one he knows is in working order Ta dahEnter our hero, Reyn.When we first meet Reyn we know right away his Mr Toad is the inflatable kind You see, Maris is off on a TSTL journey to find Reyn and ask him why he s not doing what he s promised Where do you think she finds him Why in a brothel, of course Boy o boy, does she get an eye full Not only is his Timothy Toad working, but it s humongous and probably angry, aren t they all Now, we also know that Reyn is a rake, a rogue, immoral and a profligate Why Because at the moment Maris barges in on him he is whipping a needy woman s behind Of course, he is a hero, so he isn t enjoying it Because he is not the villain, he volunteers to have a medical examination just to make sure that his Mr Toad hasn t picked up any special little insect And, let me say this, while I thought Maris insisting he be tested before any foraging was done was humorous, I also thought it was mighty 21st century thinking Anyway, after some arm twisting, Maris and Reyn are soon embarked on baby making.In the past, I have enjoyed Maggie Robinson s stories and I was looking forward to reading this one We all know that no matter how objective we try to be, reviews can be very subjective I m saying that because, as I said earlier, this story just happened to push a number of by hot rant buttons Let s start with Henry Even though all of the baby business is Henry s idea, even though he strongly encourages Maris and Reyn in their endeavors, it is still infidelity I m not a total stickler with the infidelity issue in romance novels It all depends on how it is written Sadly, in this case it had the feel of being sordid The problem I had with this was neither Maris nor Reyn wanted any part of this idea Maris especially had some strong moral debates going on inside her head In the end she is forced to accept the inevitable and, I believe that is what I have the strongest objection toothe forcing There wasn t anything to balance that struggle, there wasn t any really good reason for Henry to force the issue What we get are some really hot encounters between Maris and Reyn, however, for me they were uncomfortable Aside from that hot button, I also had some problems with circumstances being brought up and never finding out why, who or what For instance why are the male servants called John What is in those treasure boxes What s with the emerald Whose jewel is it Was it stolen Are theregems Why did Henry die so suddenly Why isn t Reyn s reading problem exploredHenry seemed like such an interesting man, I wish his characters back story had beenfully developed Finally there is David, the villain David actually has a wife and child A wife and child we find out about almost at the end of the story The resolution to the villain David s story thread was wrapped up too neatly and too quickly I don t have a problem with numerous threads in stories, if there is a reason for them, if they are developed and if they are tied up at the end Otherwise, they are just distractions.While I applaud Ms Robinson s tackling of the historical surrogate child without the baster plot line, I was a little disappointed in Captain Durant s Countess The story had a bit of a disjointed rushed feel about it Maris and Reyn had possibilities that were never totally explored and I was expectingdepth to this story Of course, this doesn t mean I m giving up on this series, it s just means this particular book didn t work so well for me Lady Anne s Lover will be coming out in July of 2013 and I will be keeping my fingers crossed.KaysBlog MR is a relatively new author for me, but I have already read about 1 2 her backlist and this one has turned out be a very sweet read of hers I mean our hero Reyn, was just the sweetest big shaggy bear of a guy He had romantic fantasies of how his meetings with Maris would go and they didn t always have sex in them, sometimes it was about having tea or sharing a meal That is what I thought was unique So Reyn has been hired for his potential prowess, because the old Count is unable to get his MR is a relatively new author for me, but I have already read about 1 2 her backlist and this one has turned out be a very sweet read of hers I mean our hero Reyn, was just the sweetest big shaggy bear of a guy He had romantic fantasies of how his meetings with Maris would go and they didn t always have sex in them, sometimes it was about having tea or sharing a meal That is what I thought was unique So Reyn has been hired for his potential prowess, because the old Count is unable to get his Countess preggers So yes a coo coo in the nest for you you troupe Reyn for his part had a sick sister that he needed funds to take care of her, so he was willing to play the stud, even though Maris had to track him down and convince him of it Now for me, I am ok with that troupe and like to see how our author figures out a way to get our lovebirds out of the situation and MR did it the right way and gave us 3 fun epis at the end They were all cute and sweet of course I bet that Reyn wasn t able to keep his word though and that Maris wasn t going to let her snuggle bunny escape her clutches This only loosely connected to the List series and only in the way that Reyn found the job and can easily be read as a standalone .DOWNLOAD ♬ Captain Durant's Countess ♩ Tucked amid the pages of The London List, a newspaper that touts the city s scandals, is a vaguely worded ad for an intriguing job one that requires a most wickedly uncommon candidate Maris has always been grateful that her marriage to the aging Earl of Kelby saved her from spinsterhood Though their union has been peaceful than passionate, she and the earl have spent ten happy years together But his health is quickly failing, and unless Maris produces an heir, Kelby s conniving nephew will inherit his estate And if the earl can t get the job done himself, he ll find another man who can Captain Reynold Durant is known for both his loyalty to the Crown and an infamous record of ribaldry Yet despite a financial worry of his own, even he is reluctant to accept Kelby s lascivious assignment until he meets the beautiful, beguiling Maris Incited by duty and desire, the captain may be just the man they are looking for But while he skillfully takes Maris to the heights of ecstasy she has longed for, she teaches him something even valuable and unexpected Better than it had any right to be with that plot device. Not a bad read, but I just couldn t get into it as a whole There were elements that I really liked, but it was not consistent. Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.Quick Dirty To save historical items for future generations, Maris agrees to have an affair with a man approved by her husband in order to produce an heir.Opening Sentence You cannot go up there, madam The Review Some of my earliest memories are of a wonderful afternoon were I was swept away to stories set in a historical time period with swashbuckling heroes and damsels in distress or a sheik stealing away a woman from a caravan These stories are ones Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.Quick Dirty To save historical items for future generations, Maris agrees to have an affair with a man approved by her husband in order to produce an heir.Opening Sentence You cannot go up there, madam The Review Some of my earliest memories are of a wonderful afternoon were I was swept away to stories set in a historical time period with swashbuckling heroes and damsels in distress or a sheik stealing away a woman from a caravan These stories are ones that linger on even once we grow up and often forget the heritage of historical book in our reading lives In truth, my main area of focus is contemporary but I was delighted to be able to be drawn back in time with Reyn and Maris story.My only quibble with this book is just the means of bringing our hero, Captain Reynold Reyn Durant and heroine, Countess of Kelby Maris Kelby together The producing an heir to protect the family is an old one and has been used countless times However, this theme is not one that I like but Ms Robinson turned it around for me and I appreciate her skill.On a side note, this book does start with Maris walking in on Reyn and a woman involved in some whipping and this is something I was not expecting at all So I want to ensure you all know about that up front.The relationship between Maris and Reyn is at the epicenter of this story and one that I truly enjoyed Our hero discovers quite quickly how charming and enjoyable spending time with Maris will be in and out of the bedroom While Maris is dealing with guilt over this relationship and other things that occurred in her past.Lord Kelby does make a brief appearance in the first portion of this book and does in fact encourage this relationship between Maris and Reyn which was a little off putting But does make you wonder how many times in history the heir was in fact not the child of the titled gentleman.The other male figure that plays a huge role in this novel is Lord Kelby s heir, David, an all around nasty piece of work This man is the reason for Lord Kelby s concern over the history and wants to ensure the succession is passed down to someone who will treasure it There is also a belief that David was responsible for Lord Kelby s daughter committing suicide.By the end of the story I was pleased with the progression of both of our main characters and truly saw were they had experience growth and maturity separately and together.Now since this is a second book I always like to give you an idea of whether it is a good idea to jump into the series here or not This book could very well have been a stand alone historical and that is how I read it The story has depth and it was nice to have a complete arc in one novel when I seem to be stuck in cliffhangers for all of my current favorite reads If you are looking for a good historical and I haven t scared you off after my review then I say, Read it I enjoyed it Notable Scene You must come It is your duty Don t talk to me of duty, madam I ve done my share and have the scars to prove it Maris s gaze couldn t help but follow his large brown hand, where it rubbed against a muscled thigh slashed with a long red line.He noticed Bayonet wound There s still a ball in my shoulder, too Hurts like the devil when the weather is damp, which is pretty much every day in England Look your fill I ve nicks and knots everywhere Even my pretty face didn t escape the French Some ladies like it, though He grinned rakishly, the saber scar doubling his dimple.Maris could see where some ladies would.He was not yet thirty, but there was a worn look about him that went beyond whatever injuries he d sustained Dissipation, she thought, but something else as well She watch as his fingers drummed against his thigh, and quickly realized where her eyes were straying.A few minutes in this horrible house and she was good as corrupted But that was necessary, wasn t it, if she were to go through with Henry s plan FTC Advisory Kensington provided me with a copy of Captain Durant s Countess No goody bags, sponsorships, material connections, or bribes were exchanged for my review