Reviewer: Marlene Breakfield
Title: Countess of Scandal - 1st in the Daughters of Erin trilogy
Author: Laurel McKee
Publisher: Grand Central
Release Date: February 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance
Year/Setting: 1790's Ireland
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Laurel's Website: ammandamccabe.com/mckee/index.htm
Eliza Blacknall is a daughter of the landed gentry, who originally came from England but settled in Ireland, but she is sympathetic to the Irish people, who have always lived there. Because the people of Eliza's class treat the lower classes badly, Eliza wishes to help them. At fifteen, Eliza is a free-spirited girl, who loves William Denton, the younger son of an Earl. However, Eliza is upset when Will joins the army and arrives in one of those red coats, which she hates so much, and they depart on bad terms. Will is stationed in the West Indies and Eliza yields to parental pressure and marries an Earl. Seven years later, Eliza is a widow living in Dublin, and she is working undercover for the Irish cause. When Will arrives in Dublin, Eliza feels the old sparks, but he is still a soldier.
Countess of Scandal is a well-researched, thought-provoking, historical romance, which enriched this readers knowledge of a very tumultuous time in Irish history. While at times action-packed, this book is a little dark and violent as it describes the atrocities performed by both sides during the uprising. Unfortunately, Eliza is a little too idealistic and naive for my tastes. She seems to have blinders on about the danger her family will be in, when the fighting begins. While I understand Eliza's need to help the Irish people, stirring up rebellion without getting her family out of danger seems ill-advised. Will is torn between his love for Eliza and his duty to the crown and his family. Eliza leads him a merry chase, as he tries his best to keep her safe. While I really enjoyed the history contained within this book, for some reason, I couldn't seem to connect with Eliza and Will. I can't seem to pinpoint a reason for this, that is just the feeling, I had upon closing the book. However, there is one character, who greatly intrigued me, and that is Anna, Eliza's sister. The next book in the series, which is about Anna, looks to be a keeper.
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