The Count's Last Mistress

Bess Greenfield
The Count's Last Mistress
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Release Date
March 2013
Historical Romance

She despises him on principle.

New York heiress Jeanne Delancy chooses the wrong time to escape her troubled past and begin anew in Paris. After her friend disappears amid the political upheaval of 1871, the idealistic artist vows to protect the abandoned child she's come to love until her friend returns. When a handsome, charismatic, and suspiciously inquisitive count offers her an absurdly lucrative commission several months later, Jeanne can only assume he is the same loathsome "comte de Chaumenay" who seduced and deserted her friend long ago. As much as she'd like to refuse his offer, her conscience compels her to give the war hero the opportunity to prove he's worthy of knowing his son, a test she knows he'll fail. But the independent woman who thinks herself immune to temptation underestimates the gallant Frenchman in many ways.

He'll stop at nothing to win her over.

Haunted by battle and the death of his brother, aristocratic cavalry officer Olivier Valencourt is elated to discover the existence of a child who could only be his brother's illegitimate son. Unfortunately, he has no proof, and the beguiling American beauty caring for the boy in her Montmartre hovel offers only lies and evasions. While he admires her courage and probable good intentions, Olivier is not about to entrust his nephew's welfare to a woman who frequents dance halls to earn a living. To gain custody, he plots to win her confidence and cooperation through patronage, patience, and his never-before-tested powers of persuasion. But it doesn't take long for the bohemian's unconventional wisdom and innocent sensuality to obliterate his self-control and avert his agenda entirely. While the strong-willed opposites struggle to reconcile their deepest longings, dangerous alliances and scandalous secrets threaten a tragic repetition of history.

Book Review by Linda Hays-Gibbs (author,reviewer)
Jun 16, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
98 people found the following review helpful
THE COUNT'S LAST MISTRESS is a sweet story of love.

Olivier Valencourt, the comte de Chaumenay, has a letter to deliver to Claudine, his dead brother's lover. He is grieving and in pain from war injuries. The problem is he finds another woman living in Claudine's house. He is convinced she is a madwoman, as she does nothing but lie to him.

Jeanne Delancy is using the name Jeanne Henri. Her close friend Claudine entrusted Jeanne with the care of her young son Alex. Claudine's lover broke her heart when he left her, and Jeanne now thinks this man is Claudine's lover because his name is Valencourt. She tells him that Alex is her son and sends him away, but she's worried he can see the boy is his because they look so much alike.

Olivier decides to follow her to see if she will lead him to Claudine. Jeanne is so beautiful he can't control his thoughts and finds he is worried she is a low woman. He decides he needs to get Alex away from poverty and this horrible woman that frequents bars drawing pictures. She is poor and evidently selling her favors, which he would love to sample himself. He also sees he needs to ease the boy away from her gently.

Olivier then makes a plan to offer her employment as an artist to decorate his home...

In THE COUNT'S LAST MISTRESS, the personalities of the characters develop before your eyes. They become real to you and you do not want the story to end. They have flaws and fears but they overcome so much in a very turbulent time in France.

I will not give any more of the story away but there is so much more. The supporting characters grow too so there are several stories within the story. I was amazed and hope there is another to follow this one soon.

The story captivated me from the first page. The love scenes are so passionate and real. I also liked the fact that the hero was such a manly man. His story was just as tragic as Jeanne's but they outgrew the depression and despair to find their hopes and dreams.

Great job, Bess Greenfield, for a story worth reading.
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