My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Ok, this was good. I really enjoyedThe Countess's Client by Alison Richardson. I’ve been meaning to read this trilogy for sometimes now but kept putting it off thinking I might not like the worldly countess Anna much. But I was wrong. Why? Let me tell you...
Anna is Prussian. She is a general’s only daughter. Anna discovered sex quite young, loved it so much so that she pursued her affairs with different soldiers very discreetly until she got married to a much older man. Her affairs begin again after she becomes a widow soon afterwards. Anna doesn’t believe in love and celibacy. She’s a noblewoman and a snob to the core. And she does take her interest in sex very seriously! It’s a ‘healthy hobby’ for her as you’ll find in the first few paragraphs of the book. But, to the society, Anna is seen as a virtuous widow as she’s very discreet. At some point her father thought she needs a change so he sends her to Paris to visit with her cousin, Robert.
Even though at first, they played at niceties, soon, after an awkward situation, Robert discovers that Anna is as worldly as they come. And she doesn’t mind anything that involves sex. Anna is also relieved to find that her cousin doesn’t mind about her ‘hobby’. On that note, one day, Robert proposes to take her to this brothel he frequents just for fun. Anna was bored as it is since she couldn’t do much about her hobby for the fear of scandal. Apparently, at Prussia, it was easier for her.
So Anna accompanies Robert to the brothel but it’s of no help. Robert spends his time doing you-know-what but for Anna it’s... again, boring. She tries voyeurism, as the brothel doesn’t cater to women’s needs but that is no fun for her. So she spends a lot of her time listening to the prostitutes talk and crack jokes, exchanging information on the clients. It was kinda funny to read their dialogues. And these dialogues lead her to this apparent uncouth, lowborn Englishman that the girls don’t like servicing. They hate that he doesn’t even touch them or take off his clothes, except for the access to their p*ssy.
One day, when the opportunity is offered to her on a platter, a bored Anna instantly comes up with an idea. What if... what if she can service this man acting as a prostitute? This will help her shake off her boredom and her forced celibacy; a very convenient arrangement. She’ll hardly meet a lowborn man at the upper echelons of the society, right?
Oh she how wrong she was, as we find in the later parts of the story!
It took some time and a big amount of money to convince the Madame but Anna is finally there to service her ‘client’. To her surprise, she finds that the man is quite handsome; tall, strong and muscular. She already knew what he expects from the girls, so it was not a big surprise but Anna does notice the size of his... erm, manhood which is quite generous. They go at it without any second thoughts. The man is happy about her performance and asks to meet her next week on the same day. And so, she keeps meeting this man for a few days, until one day, he felt like talking to her, letting her touch him in other ways than he has to the other prostitutes. Anna learns that he’s actually Scottish and that he is here to work for the King. This man is an inventor of sort, a ‘mechanic’. Indeed a lowborn! And he loves her upper-class English accent so much that he likes calling her ‘duchess’.
As the intimacy grew (though Anna would never acknowledge, other than the good sex and his big d*ck), the man even tells her his name- James. Sex was way too good for Anna to give it up but James botches it up one day by asking her to become his mistress and leave the brothel. Of course, he thought she’s a prostitute and nothing else. Anna is disgusted! What?? How dare he? When she stammers out some excuse, an angry James leaves in a huff. Anna leaves too, deciding that her adventure (or misadventure) has gone on far too long.
The real fun begins when she sees James again, which was indeed an upper-class gathering. Anna already knew she has every chance of meeting James due to his occupation, and there he was, glaring at her because he thought after spurning him, she has now become the mistress of an elderly Earl, or something like that!
Honestly, Anna was surprisingly fun to read. She was a stuck-up character, a promiscuous woman, yes but she was no simpering twit. She was smart, had a very interesting personality; a way of looking at the world haughtily, all the while feigning boredom. Her POV doesn’t rub you raw, rather entertains you. I felt as if she’s challenging me with an ‘I’m like that, take it or leave it’-kind of way. I had to accede, though I don’t generally like promiscuous heroines. I also liked that the author doesn’t really emphasize on her other affairs but rather let’s her action with James take up the story.
Although she’d never admit her wild attraction to James, Anna’s body always gave her away. James, wow that man was just way too HOT. This story is from Anna’s POV, even then you feel for James and how crazy he was for her! He’s a ‘simple’ man, and I don’t mean simple as in stupid. His POV of the world is way different than Anna’s, so when she refuses to make her affair to him known (because he’s lowborn), James doesn’t understand the ‘whys’ of it. The sex is great; he knows she’s hot for him just as he is, then why not?
The so-called reprisal he sought after Anna spurned him again made me a little uncomfortable, yet it was kinda sexy too; A game of will and wit that you’d have to read to understand. I think James is the perfect match for someone like Anna. I can’t wait to start book 2 to see what happens next!
Very good writing, entertaining dialogues and characters with some hot sex scenes. 4 stars.