Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Runaway Countess by Leigh LaValle (e-book)



After months of assisting the Midnight Rider in his daring Robin Hood plan to "rob the rich to feed the poor," Mazie has finally been captured. Now she has to face Trent Chadwick, Earl of Radford and Lord Lieutenant of the area the Midnight Rider has been plaguing.

She is determined to keep her secrets, resist him and fight him to keep the identity of the Midnight Rider safe.

But Mazie does not count on having the fight the attraction she feels for Trent.

Trent is determined to catch the Midnight Rider and uphold the law. He rides to Radford in order to interrogate Mazie and discover all her secrets.

But Trent isn't prepared to feel so attracted to his prisoner and enemy.

Mazie and Trent stand on opposite sides of the law. Mazie is guilty of breaking the law but insists that she is justified in doing so. Mazie is all heart -- and Trent is all logic.

It is a clash of minds and wills. And the exchanges between Mazie and Trent are intelligent and heartfelt. And the story of the Midnight Rider also grabs one's attention.

Part of the story is the journey the two characters take in order to discover the true meaning of justice and right -- and it made for a riveting read. It was frightening to see Mazie dig herself deeper into the mires of lies and deceit and I wondered how she would find her way out of it.

Trent was wonderfully empirical. I loved his determination to bring the Midnight Rider to justice -- and I loved his sense of justice.

I did wish LaValle took more time to expand on the relationship of Mazie and Trent. I did not feel that it went beyond physical attraction for Mazie. In Chapter 23, for example, when she looks at Trent, all she can think of is how attractive/handsome he is.

There are also a few gaps in the story -- especially about Mazie's family history. But the focus of the story was the puzzle that was the Midnight Rider: the gradual uncovering of information about the Midnight Rider and the discovery of the far-reaching misdeeds that has been happening in Radford from Trent's father's time -- LaValle did this so well.

LaValle resolved everything nicely and plausibly -- albeit too neatly and conveniently -- I'm glad Trent was able to maintain his integrity up to the very end.

This is Leigh LaValle's debut novel. I look forward to her next work. ^_^


Disclosure: I won this copy in a giveaway.

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