Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Book review - The Corrupt Comte by Edie Harris (historicaleroticromance) 4/5 stars

The Corrupt Comte
Historical erotic romance 
4/5 stars 


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.

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The Corrupt Comte is a really unusual historical romance with intriguing characters and an interesting plot.  Its leading characters are unique.  They have both suffered abuse, albeit in different ways, and this has left them with mental scars.  The heroine also has a severe stutter which has lead to her being extremely poorly treated by her parents, and to her being shunned and isolated by high society.  The author has done a great job with the book, you are transported back in time to a completely different world.  She brings the period and characters to life with her descriptive, natural writing style.  I used to read a lot of historical romances, but I became bored with the repetitive, run of the mill storylines - The Corrupt Comte is a refreshing change, and is the complete opposite of run of the mill.

After escaping from sexual abuse in the army, Gaspard becomes a spy.  Masquerading as a foppish 'molly', Gaspard pretends to like men so he can exchange sexual favours for secrets.  He desperately needs money to escape this dark, dangerous existence.  When he finds out Claudia has a huge dowry he hatches a plan to marry her and use her dowry to pay his estate's debts.  But he soon discovers that underneath the stutter and quiet exterior that Claudia is an intelligent, captivating woman who becomes just as enticing as her dowry.

The plot is a little dark in places, but the spying storyline is interesting to read.  I will admit to finding it slightly confusing in places though, especially near the beginning when I was still trying to work out who all the characters were and what their role in the various spying plots were. 

Gaspard and Claudia are unique characters with a unique relationship.  Their interactions were fascinating to read with emotions and passions running high.  The chemistry between them is sizzling with some really hot scenes.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers who are looking for a slightly different historical romance.  The Corrupt Comte gets four out of five stars.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

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