So y’all were reading Truly over at Wattpad yesterday, right? And it’s all a good time, light and amusing, and then you get to the end of chapter 7 and – gasp – that’s it. Until next Monday, there is no more!
Your cheerful mood evaporates.
You wander through your house in search of chocolate, fists clenching and unclenching, and you realize there is no chocolate and also no chapter 8 and you start to feel a little angry.
Then you find wine and have a glass, even though it’s only lunchtime, and then you have three more glasses and you get to the murky bottom of the bottle and you’re not angry anymore, or happy, you’re just feeling maudlin and a little bit horny, but also suffused with a woeful sense of how difficult life is.
Now you’re in the mood to read this week’s recommendation!
Here’s the blurb—
Gaspard Toussaint is known throughout 1820 French society as the “molly comte”, a foppish throw pillow of an aristocrat. But his entire life is a twisted mass of secrets and lies as a spy for the Crown. His final covert act will have him fleeing his broken country forever…but before he can escape, he needs the power and safety that only money can provide. And no one has more money than English heiress Claudia Pascale.
The only child of a wealthy tradesman, Claudia has continually failed to catch a husband—due in large part to her uncontrollable stutter. Spurned by a dashing French lieutenant and desperate to escape her parents’ household, she joins forces with the seemingly harmless Gaspard to learn how to properly ensnare a spouse: through seduction.
All too soon, Gaspard’s lessons in delicious domination and sinful submission make Claudia suspicious that he is not what everyone believes him to be. And Gaspard realizes his quest to possess her is becoming less about her dowry…and more about the woman herself.
Warning: Contains an aggressive Frenchman with extremely loose morals, a determined heiress who can’t refuse a dare, and bedroom games where boundaries were made to be crossed.
I’ve recommended Edie Harris to you before. Her Wild Burn is a Western historical, sexy and angsty and super interesting. Love Songs is a much lighter Regency historical, a clever romp. I also really enjoy her contemporary voice — she’s got some self-published books coming down the pike that I’m very much looking forward to.
But The Corrupt Comte is singular. Gaspard and Claudia are rich, sorrowful, wounded characters, so wounded that you might find yourself feeling as though there’s really no hope for them. (Think of Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm to get an idea of how wounded I’m talking.) But Harris invests them with such erotic poignancy, such brutal tenderness, that you can’t stop turning the pages, hoping against hope for an ending that will give them the companionship they desire and the peace they both deserve.
If you like historical romance — or erotic stories about spies who keep knives in their sleeves — or stuttering protagonists — or beautiful language — or weeping — or (like me) all of the above — this one’s not to be missed.