Throwback Thursday: COUNTESS CONFIDENTIAL by Barbara Dawson Smith
This week I found a long lost treasure – personally speaking – after searching high and low for it. I read Barbara Dawson Smith‘s Countess Confidential early on in my journey to the world of romance reader. I remember thinking it was a heartwarming tale, but I never kept track of the novel, nor did I read anything more by this author at the time. You see, I was still in the stage of sowing my wild oats and hopping from the pages of one novel to another – so I most likely couldn’t tell you the names of most of the novels I read in those days (except, my first…it’s likely that everyone remembers their first.)
But when I rediscovered Countess Confidential – after a very hectic Google search that involved typing in variations of the title and the hero’s name (which I happened to recall): “The Confessions of a Countess,” “Countess Confessional,” and “Countess Simon.” The last of which yielded the following result:
Needless to say, Simon Cowell is not even close to what I had in mind…
I was about to give up, when in a last ditch effort I typed in everything I could recall about this novel, summed up as “Countess Simon romance novel historical.” Yes, it wasn’t much, but fortunately for me the Google gods were listening and happened to answer the desperate pleas of this romance novel enthusiast, and I finally found the novel that would become this week’s Throwback Thursday pick:
New York Times bestselling author Barbara Dawson Smith mesmerizes readers once again in her latest novel of a woman forced to enter the aristocratic world she despises–only to find a man she can’t live without…
This is the story of how I, a penniless upstart, became a countess.
I never set out to be the heroine in a romantic tale of derring-do. As a spinster of five-and-twenty, I was much too practical to imagine myself tracking a dangerous criminal or falling prey to ardent nonsense. Nor did I ever envision myself entering the gilded ballrooms of society where indolent aristocrats nibbled cake and traded gossip. But that was before my father was wrongfully imprisoned as a jewel thief.
Determined to uncover the true criminal, I posed as an impoverished widow and secured a post in the grand household of a noble family – the very family that had cruelly cast out my mother many years ago. Of course, they knew not who I was. To them, I was merely a servant, an invisible hireling. And little did I know, my daring plan would throw me into the path of Simon Croft, the almighty Earl of Rockford.
Arrogant, charming, and too handsome for his own good, he might have walked straight off a pedestal in a museum. I had no use for such a rogue, yet from the moment of our first meeting, he tempted my unruly heart. And soon, he threatened my schemes as well, for Simon had secrets of his own….
-Claire, the Countess of Rockford
As I start to reread Countess Confidential, I’m rediscovering all the elements I loved about it in the first place. The mystery and the humour keeps me turning the pages. The banter between Simon and Claire escalates into an unconditional love. Claire is such a strong character, and willing to go to extreme lengths to protect those she loves. Simon is a good foil for her, loving but no less determined.
I know I’m going to enjoy reading towards the happily ever after as much as I did the first time!
(aka Google Gods Disciple)