Monday, January 7, 2013

The Reluctant Countess - Review, Interview and Giveaway!

Happy Monday!

Welcome to my stop at The Reluctant Countess blog tour! This tour is organized by Romance at Random and by the author Wendy Vella. My stop includes a review of the book, an interview with Wendy Vella and a giveaway. Enjoy!

Author: Wendy Vella
Title: The Reluctant Countess
Publisher: Random House
Imprint: Loveswept
Publishing date: 14th of January 2013
Genre: Adult: Historical, Regency, Romance
Pages: 302 pages in e-version
Source: From the publisher


From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.

Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.

Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: The Escape Diaries, The Devil’s Thief, and The Magic.

My review:

The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella was good and warming read during the cold winter evenings. It was easy to read and entertaining. It had great characters and the pacing was fast. The author was also very good at setting the surroundings and as a sum you have a great Regency romance filled with some mystery.


The plot was different. It was not original, but the way the author captivates the reader makes up for that. Sophie, the Countess of Monmouth is entering the scene of London's season and her appearance is creating a lot of questions, especially for Patrick, Earl of Coulter.

It seems that Sophie did not even exist until her much older husband made her a widower. Patrick is very suspicious and intrigued by Sophie at the same time. As the story folds for reader, there is much more for Sophie's past than it seems.

The Reluctant Countess was very character driven and had many great characters.


Sophie seemed like an ice queen in the beginning, overly beautiful and cold towards any attention. You quickly find out, that she is kind, brave and lovable- she just has a lot to loose and hide. I truly like her courage and sassyness, there was more spark in her than it seemed.

Patrick is a man who does not know what to do about Sophie - she creates mixed feelings with him. Patrick is very attracted to Sophie, but it's not only simple attraction. He also understands who Sophie is and sees right through her. While doing it, he does not care what is her background, he cares who she is now.

There are many other characters worth mentioning, Patrick's best friend Stephen who is loyal and lovable, Amelie who grows from a grey mouse into a beautiful woman once out of her mother's terror. There are very interesting and captivating side stories which make this book very enjoyable and great.


The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella is a great Regency romance, which I would recommend to everybody who likes character driven historical romances!

5 Flowers! 

4 stars.

Thanks goes to the Loveswept for providing me with the review copy!

Wendy Vella has agreed to the interview with Me and Reading, so ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the author of The Reluctant Countess - Wendy Vella!


The interview is divided into several sections. First section is about the author, second section is about her book, writing it, about characters etc, third part is about her favorites.

Part I

1.       Please describe yourself with few sentences. Who are you?

First can I say thanks so much for having me on your wonderful blog today.

I was born in the North Island of New Zealand the youngest of three kids and married my husband 29 years ago. We have two children who surprisingly have matured from horrible teenagers into exceptional adults. I’ve always loved to read and write and my husband occasionally reintroduces himself to me and I know then I’ve been indulging in both for to long. I work full time and write in the evenings and for fun I get out on the road on my bike and pedal. 

2.       Who did you want to become when you were a kid? What did you dream about?

I wanted to be Jill Munroe played by Farrah Fawcett Major in Charlie’s Angels, (mainly because she had such a cool hair do). I dreamt about being an Olympic gold medalist and wasn’t to fussed about which sport took me there.

3.       What brought you to writing? When did the idea of writing your first book formed?

I was twenty when I went on my travels and when I was temping in an office in London the idea came to me to write my first book. I was bored and started scribbling and then it just grew from there. I still have that book hidden deep in the bottom of my wardrobe.

4.       What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have any hobbies?

I read as much as I can and do a lot of road cycling but in all honesty I don’t get a lot of down time. I spend a lot of time with my family following their sporting activities.

5.       What is the most difficult aspect of being a writer for you?

Actually I find all the social media stuff the hardest. I can write most of the time without to much effort but I’m pretty hopeless at the rest of it. I’m working hard at learning about it, but I can honestly say it’s not easy.

6.       Who or what is your Muse?

I’ve never been asked that question before but thinking about it I would probably say my family. Their belief in me is always constant and I wanted to succeed so that wasn’t misplaced.


Part II

Let’s talk about your books!

7.       Would you briefly give us an overview what The Reluctant Countess is about?

The Reluctant Countess is set in the Regency Era. It’s a story about two people Patrick and Sophie who were born into different classes, but are destined to meet amongst the intriguing and often wicked world of London society. It’s about trusting another person when you have never had reason to before and about overcoming your past in order to secure your future. It’s a Cinderella style story with plenty of quirky characters to move the story along. There are misunderstandings and passion, laughter and adventure, and of course there is a very happy ending. 

8.       What went through your mind when your first book was published? How did you react?

I got the news by email and just sat there stunned actually. I’ve thought about that day for so long I just couldn’t believe I had managed it. I then yelled loudly and my family came running. We rang everyone and then proceeded to drink a bottle of bubbles.

9.       How do you write? Do you sketch a plot first, create characters first and then starting to write?

I don’t plot at all; usually I start with the characters, building them in my head and then I work on their names. It’s funny but that’s really important for me, if the names aren’t right then I can’t get the book started. The story starts to form after I have them organized.

10.   What do you think is the most important thing while writing?

For me it’s getting what’s in my head down before I forget it. I write in my lounge on a lap top with my headphones on so I can be around my family. There are plenty of distractions and for the most I can tune them out but sometimes when I’m tired it takes a bit of effort.

11.   Where did you get the idea for The Reluctant Countess from? How was it born?

I was looking for a competition to enter and found one that gave you the starting scene of a book. The scenario was a ballroom with a handsome Lord and a mysterious Countess and that was where The Reluctant Countess came from. I actually never entered the competition but it worked out well in the end.

12.   I truly enjoyed the characters in your book. How do you create the characters?

The characters really just developed with the story in this book which is unusual for me. I had a Countess and an Earl so the main two were already given to me and the opening scene set up their personalities. Patrick was mistrusting of her from the start and Sophie hid her terror of the unfamiliar world she was thrust into by being cold and informal. I have some great supporting characters in this book too, which I hope everyone loves as much as I do, they’re formed to help build the main characters and move the book along.

13.   Which character can you mostly relate to in The Reluctant Countess? Why?

Probably the hero Patrick because deep down he likes to protect people and when Sophie comes along he believes she a fraud and going to cause trouble so he wants to stop her and then he realizes that in fact it’s her that needs his protection. I’m a bit like that I always want to keep everyone safe and stop any trouble from brewing. 

14.   I must ask you about new book to be published. What will it be about? Anything you can tell us already?

Not yet I have a few works in progress, I’m writing a contemporary too, so that will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Part III – Favorites

15.   Who is your favorite author?

That’s hard, I have several but if I had to pick one I would say Julia Quinn.

16.   What is your favorite book or series?

The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn

17.   What is your favorite song?

Bryan Adams – Everything I Do I Do It For You

18.   What is your favorite season?


19.   What is your favorite food?

French Fries

20.   What is your favorite car?

Ford-Mustang Shelby GT500Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

21.   What is your favorite color?

Emerald Green

22.   What is your favorite movie?

Persuasion 2007 by Jane Austen

23.   What is your favorite time of the day?


24.   What is your favorite weather?

Crisp, clear and a cool day

Thank you so much Wendy for answering all my many questions! It is highly appreciated!


About the author:

Wendy Vella is a lover of all things romantic. She started reading her first Georgette Heyer book at a young age and instantly fell in love with the Regency era. Writing is something she has always found time for; she penned her first novel at eighteen though she says it will never make an appearance further than the closet in which it currently resides.

After having her two children Wendy then joined RWNZ and started honing her chosen craft by entering competitions with some success and attending conferences. Her Clendon and Readers Choice award-winning historical romance The Reluctant Countess will debut in Jan 2013 with Random House in their Loveswept line.

She has an addiction to reading and loves a wide range of genres while her first love will always be historical. She relishes novels steeped in Romance and excitement with feisty heroines and delicious heroes, especially when they are set amongst the treacherous waters of London society.

Wendy is a sucker for a happy ending having secured her own. She has been married to her own dark brooding hero for 28 years and shares her home with two wonderful children, two dogs and anyone else who happens to be visiting at the time. Born and raised in a rural area in the North Island of New Zealand, Wendy loves the beaches and lush green rolling hills of her homeland and is proud to call herself a very patriotic Kiwi!

Visit my website:


“THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS” can be purchased from Random House INC

We’ll be giving away 1 print book & 3 Net Galley Preview copies – US only on the print. In order to participate, leave a comment below the post together with your email.

Happy commenting and thanks for coming by!

Happy reading!



  1. I love my historical reading. Wendy is a new author for me. With a lovely sexy wonderful cover!! Thanks for answering all the questions and I love the Bridgertons too. Ever read the Bedwyn family from Mary Balogh?
    lisakhutson at cox. net

  2. Congratulations to Wendy on the up-coming release of The Reluctant Countess February 14th! I was thrilled to find out that it's available for pre-order at Amazon for my Kindle when I checked in on Amazon this morning!

    I loved your interview and being able to find out more about Wendy and about the characters in her debut book.

    Historical romance is my favorite genre and I find that reading books set in the Regency are so interesting because of all the conflicts that affected society at the time. Whenever I think of that time period I think also of the architecture, literature, fashions, politics, and culture that affected not only the wealthy but also those less fortunate.

    I was curious if any of the uncertainty caused by the Napoleonic wars or the periodic riots in London are referred to in Wendy's book since Patrick and Sophie are from different levels of society?

  3. I just recently started to get into historical romance. I will definitely check this book out! Thanks!

  4. I do like historicals if well written. This story sounds great. Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy of this story.
    US resident
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com