My review is cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/reviews/Mar09/thecountesslendsahand.BD.html
Cecile Lambeaux has fallen completely, inextricably in love with Sir Nathaniel Covington, sensing a loneliness in his soul that matches her own. The problem is Nate is the son of a duke and Cecile is a ladies’ maid. To help her catch his eye, Cecile’s employer, Meredith, la Comtesse de Chevalier, offers to pass her off as a noblewoman.
Meredith might have the best of intentions, but her lover, Christopher Whitby, knows the ruse is headed for disaster. As Meredith sets her plan in motion, her own relationship with Chris becomes strained, as her past has made it difficult to fully trust in the permanence of his love.
Cecile finds that the plan has worked better than she ever could have imagined. As she learns more about Nate, her love for him only deepens. For Nate, what began as a simple affair with a mysterious beauty becomes so much more as he works to uncover all of Cecile’s secrets. But even as Nate falls for Cecile in return, the shadow of her deception hangs over them, threatening to ruin their burgeoning relationship.
Will secrets and lies ruin Meredith and Cecile’s chances at happiness forever?
Passion, deception, and love make for a heady mix in Bonnie Dee’s sumptuous historical romance. The Countess Lends a Hand is an enchanting tale with not one, but two love stories which captured my attention. Cecile and Nate are two characters who would be perfect for one another were it not for the social divide that would prevent society from ever accepting their relationship. Both of them are scarred by their past and find comfort, acceptance, and love in one another. I was drawn to their story because they were characters I felt needed to find happiness. Watching them try to do so, with all the obstacles in their path, made me unable to put the book down.
While Cecile and Nate are the focus of the story, I will admit the biggest reason I picked up The Countess Lends a Hand is that I loved its predecessor, The Countess Takes a Lover, and wanted to read more about Meredith and Chris’s relationship. Meredith is the same boisterous personality and Chris the steadfast one, but their depths of character, showcased perfectly in The Countess Takes a Lover, are further delved into. The road to happiness isn’t always smooth, and though Meredith and Chris hit a few bumps, the one thing I was relieved to find is that their love for one another was always strong. Their storyline I find difficult to discuss without spoiling it, but I can say that it grabbed my heart and I am so very glad Ms. Dee let me revisit two characters I adored so much.
Sinfully sensual and emotionally gripping, The Countess Lends a Hand is yet another fantastic tale by the supremely talented Ms. Dee.