Review: The Kiss That Made Her Countess (A Season of Celebration Book 3) by Laura Martin


Print Length: 272 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Historical (June 25th, 2024)

From Desperate to step into Society just once before she’s forced into an unhappy marriage, Alice sneaks into a masquerade ball…only to catch a dashing stranger’s eye! He’s also determined to be distracted from his troubles, and Alice can’t resist ending their enchanting evening with a kiss. But the next day, when he comes to warn her that their encounter was observed, she learns he’s the Earl of Northumberland…and the only way to save her reputation is to become his convenient countess!

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

On the whole, I found this to be an okay read, but it wasn't without it's problems. I liked Alice and Simon together, and the way that the author made the reader aware of the fact that there was desire between them, but managed to keep it at bay while they instead focused on getting to know another another.  

One of the main problems I had was the fact that this book seems to move at a breakneck speed where weeks at a time pass "off the page" (meaning we are told that a week has passed, or a month, whichever), and while I can appreciate the author trying to convey that the book takes place over the course of months instead of days, we see so little of our characters either alone or together that I never really felt like I got a deeper sense of who they were. Even when they were having supposedly meaningful conversations, at the end of the day they didn't seem to matter. Alice tells him uncomfortable truths, he runs off, gets drunk and comes stumbling home. He tells Alice he cannot be more, a few pages later he is giving her more. 

The  other problem that I had with this one is the fact that despite the fast pacing, it still manages to become tedious. 

Simon is so plagued with guilt and the thought that he is "stealing" his older brother's life and/or that he is "unworthy" of love and happiness just because he is alive and his brother isn't. And it makes sense to a point. But then he and Alice have a heart-to-heart where she makes him understand that every time he leaves, every time he pushes others away, he is hurting them. 

And yet, even after the pair grow closer, what does he do? Gets upsets and leaves her (this time is worse than the others as she definitely should not have been left to walk home alone after what had happened to her). And while yes, it's understandable due to the circumstances, but there is absolutely no reason why he couldn't have gotten a note to her somehow to alleviate her worries. 

Then of course, he chases after her when she's decided she's had enough and decides to declare himself in love and of course, she forgives him without making him actually prove it to her. But that, I've come to learn, is typical for historical romances. 

All things considered, while this particular novel didn't work for me, I would give this author another chance.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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