An Unconventional Countess by Jenni Fletcher
Biscuit shop owner Anna Fortini is fed up of having to fend off gentlemen with amorous intentions toward her pretty young assistant Henrietta. When Captain Samuel Delaney enters her shop with his friend, it’s very obvious Samuel’s only there to distract her while his friend attempts to woo Henrietta. She finds herself unwillingly intrigued by Samuel, though, especially when it becomes apparent he doesn’t approve of his friend’s actions. The story really gets going when Samuel’s grandmother comes into the picture, though, and I’d just like to say that I could have read an entire series of books about Lady Jarrow and her adventures. She was FABULOUS.
As a business owner and an attractive single woman, Anna’s seen more than enough of how the men of the upper class behave towards those they think are beneath them, and that’s before you even consider that her mother was cast out by her own family for marrying below her station. She’s quite righteously prejudiced… but interestingly enough, so is Samuel, for all he’s set to possibly inherit an earldom, because his father was the family black sheep and apparently a wastrel of the first order. The two of them have a lot in common, as they slowly discover throughout the story. I really enjoyed the fact that though there was an almost instant attraction between the two - and Lady Jarrow quickly started meddling to bring them together - they still took the time to get to know each other and realise that their goals and beliefs were mutually compatible.
I’ve read quite a few Jenni Fletcher books, but she normally writes in the medieval sub-genre of historical romance and I believe this is her first venture into the Regency space. I very much hope it won’t be her last, because this is a genuinely delightful story - and I’d love to read Henrietta (and hopefully Sebastian’s) story too! Five stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title from the author.