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Guarding the Countess by Lily Reynard was definitely a breath of fresh air. I love me a good medieval romance so I picked this up totally randomly cause I was bored. Then I began reading, and found a gem that hooked me pretty much right from the beginning. I loved the flow of the story, as well as the historical aspects as went so well with it. The book wasn’t a short read by any means but I wasn’t bored once. Needless to say but I’m a new fan!
Guarding the Countess is set around the time of King Charles II (in 1666) with nicely done descriptions of that era. Bonus was the incorporation of historical figures such as Charles II himself and his famous mistress Barbara Palmer. If done well, I really enjoy it in a historical novel because it lends the story a different kind of richness. I’d recommend Morgan O’Neill’s Elizabethan Time Travel series if you’re interested in checking out a few more novels that takes this direction. But, for me, Guarding the Countess—though oftimes pretty dark and intense—romance-wise came off very sweet. Kit and Antonia were simply adorable together. Their journey to HEA was by no means a smooth sailing but they belonged to one another pretty much the moment they met. I give the author a round of applause for her knack for storytelling, her character-building and the way she incorporated those historical characters into this novel.
Antonia, a widowed Countess, have been trying to fend off suitors most of the past year and a half since her husband passed away from small pox. It seemed like though they had a big difference in age, the marriage was a success, in the sense that they had affection for one another and the sex life wasn’t dull either though it didn’t result in any offspring. Antonia is still grieving her husband’s passing but the majority of those suitors didn’t care. It’s mainly because now she’s an extremely wealthy widow and greedy, fortune hunters had no time to wait despite the rumors that Antonia’s beauty was marred by the pox which she contracted while taking care of her husband. Unfortunately, it was no rumor because it did happen. Poor lady’s face was marred, still red from the wounds, though they’re healing and may fade quite a bit in the coming years. But there was no doubt she’s scarred for life.