REVIEW: Theresa Romain’s TO CHARM A NAUGHTY COUNTESS, Or Just To Love Her?

To_Charm_A_Naughty_CountessMiss Bates assumed that Romain’s To Charm A Naughty Countess would provide a few hours of fun with some histrom fluff, one of the ephemeral romance novels that one reads and promptly forgets. She was surprised to find a unique, well-written, angst-filled novel with flawed but likeable protagonists, tackling challenging issues for the hero, in particular. Recently, historical romance has the maddening habit of using long, cumbersome titles that are likely to  misrepresent the content. This is true of Romain’s novel, as it is of others. Miss Bates reckons that the “fluffy” titles are a buying inducement; if so, it has the opposite effect on Miss Bates, as does the smirking heroine cover, which also graces Romain’s novel. Miss Bates, however, does not dictate the terms of the genre … though she’d like to. 😉 In Romain’s novel’s case, the title serves to tell the reader what this novel is not about. The hero, Michael Layward, Duke of Wyverne, is the least charming duke Miss Bates has ever encountered in the pages of a romance novel. Charm is one weapon he is incapable of wielding in winning his countess, Caroline Graves; honesty, intelligence, and humour serve him well and are preferred qualities, to Miss Bates at least. His countess is beautiful, smart, kind, and compassionate; she isn’t naughty, a word Miss Bates despises, conjuring only nasty images of ludicrous Benny Hill episodes. To Charm A Naughty Countess surprised Miss Bates and she very much enjoyed it. It is not flawless, but it is one of the better historical romances a reader could spend time with this year. Continue reading