Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Just when she thinks everything is alright and the bad times are over, Ginny Blanchard finds that someone else wants to interfere in her life and the raising of her son. Her husband, Henry had died, and she for one is glad he did – he was a cruel man who delighted in hurting her and causing her unhappiness. Little did she know that this someone was Simon Webber, a cousin of the family who will act as a substitute father for her young son, Jack. He has been made trustee of her son’s inheritance and until he becomes of age, both her and her son will have to answer to him.
She wants more than anything to get rid of the man who invades her house, and will do all she can to make sure he has a very uncomfortable stay with her, or so she hopes. Harriet tries to make her understand that he might not be the sort of man who would hurt her, or cause her problems with her son – he might turn out to be a nice man who has her and her son’s interests at heart. Ginny doesn’t see it that way, though and wants to be left alone to live her life with her son and friends.
I found this story to have great characterization; Ginny is a woman who has been hurt all her life while being married to a cruel husband, so she expects every man she meets will be the same sort. She tries to come to terms with what has happened to her over the years, but she finds it hard to trust anyone now that she has the chance to go out into polite society and find another beau. The reader can get to understand why Ginny feels the way she does, and also get into Simon’s mind – even though he seems to mellow out once he is in her good company.
Simon is a no nonsense sort who doesn’t like to be kept waiting, so he doesn’t like Ginny when he first meets her, and who can blame him – after all, she doesn’t want him there. He is impatient, brusque and harsh at first, yet he is amazed at why she is so nasty to him when he arrives – he expected a teary widow, but she was something else entirely. He likes the look of her, and wonders why someone as beautiful as her is so bitter, but then he doesn’t know the whole story. He begins to like her company after a time, but he doesn’t dare tell his best friend, Adam that or he will make fun of him terribly.
It is more a case of if the two of them can settle their differences and come to an agreement, they can make a friendship in the house work, but I somehow think that even Ginny wants more than that.
The Desires of a Countess is a riveting read - it has a depth about it that makes readers want more from their heroes and heroines.