A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long

“She was struck by the width of his shoulders, a great shelf tapering elegantly into a lean frame.  In his hands rustled sheets of foolscap upon which he’d no doubt written the words meant to improve their collective souls. Bent over his notes as he was now, he looked as if he were supporting the weight of invisible wings

She could have sworn that then every pair of feminine shoulders rose and fell in a sigh when the vicar looked up, a smile, faint but warm, inclusive but impersonal, ready on his face, before he dropped his gaze again to his notes. The perfect vicar smile. She’d spent enough time in a theater to admire stagecraft. She’d spent enough time with men to be cynical about all of them.

She had no use for any of them anymore. That, of a certainty, was part of her new life.”


As you can probably tell from that little excerpt, the heroine of A Notorious Countess Confesses (the 7th book in my Pennyroyal Green series), Evie Duggan is decidedly world-weary—and weary of men—when she flees to Pennyroyal Green from London. Her meteoric rise in London society (from Covent Garden stage to Courtesan to countess) and subsequent plummet after her husband’s (suspicious, the ton likes to say) death have left her jaded, raw and weary, and she wants to begin a new life—a life that definitely won’t include men, for whom she’s always been a commodity. Not even the devastatingly handsome vicar (she’s jaded, mind you, not blind) can shake this conviction. But when London gossip follows her to Sussex, it’s to the vicar she’s forced to turn for help in ingratiating herself with the women of the town.

Of course she learns Adam Sylvaine is like no other man she’s ever known. She’s used to handsome men. She’s used to powerful men. It’s his other qualities—a preternatural self-possession, a palpable confidence, his calmly commanding presence, his ability to see right through artifice and call her on it, giving her no choice but to be real—which fascinate her very much against her will. And ultimately she senses that, in his way, he’s the first truly powerful man she’s ever known. And as Adam discovers the real Evie Duggan, he begins to admire her character as much as her vaunted beauty.

It was a pleasure writing a conflict that was so fraught in so many ways. The key was to take two people  who seem like polar opposites—one respectable, one scandalous, one experienced, one much less so, from two different worlds and so forth—and find the ways in which they are so similar and so ultimately right for each other. In fact, the things they have in common are a result of the lives they’ve each led: a certain unassailable strength and resiliency, depth and maturity, the courage to make difficult choices, a passionate commitment to protecting the people they love, a powerful sense of duty, a need to belong, a secret loneliness…and great explosive wells of passion.

The path to love isn’t an easy or smooth one for either of them, and I had a wonderful time putting the two of them through some exquisite torture…which made writing the ending all the more satisfying. 😉 I hope you get a chance to read it and let me know whether you think these two belong together.


PRIZE ALERT:  Julie Anne Long's publisher is giving away 3 copies of A Notorious Countess Contesses.  So pop in and post a comment to be entered to win. 

Evie wants a new life.  If you could have a genie that said you could have an entire new life, what would you wish for?  An empty island with a sexy butler? A mountain top cabin with drop off of your internet shopping packages?  A Penthouse in Scotland?  Tell us!


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32 Responses to “A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long”

  1. Allisia says:

    I finished this one yesterday! I loved it, you did a great job as always!!! I just wish your next one came out sooner,lol. I was wondering will you be writing Amy Pitney's story? I know she is not one of the main family's but I'd love to hear how she finds the man that will love her for who she is!(maybe Seamus 😉 )

  2. alisha woods says:

    I love Julie Anne's books. I haven't been able to get a copy of this one yet so it would be great to win one.

  3. Diane P. Diamond says:

    I love the review of this Julie.  What a refreshing change to read about a Vicar falling in love, rather than Dukes and other Lords'.  Not that I mind those, and I love anything that you write.  I love this beautiful cover too.
     I want to step into your books and live in Pennyroyal Green, it sounds such an idyllic place.  :-)

  4. Rosemary K. says:

    The Notorious Countess Confesses definitely proves that opposites attract.  A strong heroine adds spice to the romance and you have certainly created one in Evie Duggan.   I am looking forward to reading about her romance with Adam Sylvaine.

  5. Fernando says:

    It is an extract of book fantatico enclosedly has made me see the woman of in the one that I am inspired love the baroness mas near my

  6. Maryp says:

    Wow.. just finished this book. What an emotional roller coaster. I feel drained.. but happy. Even though I've been "visiting" Pennyroyal Green" for awhile.. I feel that I really got to "know" the residents in this book.
    As for a "new life" ..for me it would include all of my current family and friends.. but I'd have a house on the beach and enough money to not have to worry about bills or think before buying something I want.

  7. shan says:

    Oh I so want to read this !!!

  8. shan says:

    Oh I so want to read this!!! If I could have a new life it would be somewhere far from the madding crowd…

  9. Marilyn Adam says:

    I have read all but two of your books and so far Adam is my favorite character – so much integrity and honor in him. I melt when I read the descriptions of ardor you write – it is literally spine tingling for me.
    I wish I could go back in time, when conversation and the company of friends and family was the entertainment of the day, and reading, of course! I feel I am there within your books in the time and the place.

  10. Kim says:

    I haven't gotten to read this one yet, but I'm looking forward to it. For some reason, Target's not carrying it. As for a wish, perhaps I'd ask the genie to win the lottery. That would allow a lot of changes.

  11. ki pha says:

    Thanks for the giveaway chance. So love the Pennyroyal series! If I could wish for a new life I would want to have a humongous library built or connected to my house. I would also love to have a house in Scottland and in England, you got to love both of them!  But I would also love to be able to travel around the world and to have a hunky sexy man but who knows. :)

  12. Betty Hamilton says:

    Oh, this sounds like a wonderful book!! Powerful men….. Alpha men are my very favorite!! I would so LOVE to win a copy of this book!!

  13. Charlet Riffle says:

    Love Pennyroyal Books.  Trying to read them all as they come out but a little behind. 

  14. Jane L says:

    Sounds wonderful.  Can't wait to read it.
    I'm not sure what i'd wish for if I found a genie.  I should think on that  in case it ever happens.  Lol.

  15. Jocelyn says:

    I love that you've written about an experienced woman! The reformed rake is such a cliché in the romance genre and you've refreshed the whole archetype by letting us look through Evie's eyes. I was waiting for Adam's story – he's such an unusual character with his empathy and healing gifts. It's also nice to see a man of the cloth depicted in a positive light – they do exist, after all:) And the hard work you put into researching the details of the Regency period shines through in all your books –  I always feel that I'm picking up a historical education incidentally because of the care you take in recreating the period.
    As for a new life, I've just done that by moving to Denmark from Ohio, so I'm still recovering:) Learning Danish is quite a challenge, as well as adjusting to a new culture and climate. But I love it here (especially the biking culture!) and I wouldn't change anything. As a bonus, Italy, Spain, or the UK are just a quick flight away. And who knew that Poland was so lovely? For my next new life, I think I'll travel a bit less and go somewhere I already know the language – like the Big Island of Hawai'i, where I graduated from high school. I'll swim in the ocean and read romance novels on the beach all day (too bad I can't get paid to do that!;)

  16. Hi Ladies!! Thanks for stopping in!!
    Allisia — I'm so glad you enjoyed the story!! You probably haven't seen the last of Amy Pitney. :) Every character in my books is eligible to re-deployed. :) Seamus is a rogue — wonder if he can be redeemed? 😉 

    So sweet, Diane — I'm so glad you enjoy my books! I hope Pennyroyal Green is a place you always want to visit. 

    MaryP, I'm quite pleased you enjoyed that rollercoaster ride!! :) And I'm so pleased you enjoy spending time with the denizens of Pennyroyal Green, because there are more stories to come!! :)

    Ki Pha — you're so sweet — I'm thrilled you enjoy the series so much!

  17. Jocelyn—thank you for saying such kind things! :) I think Adam is my favorite hero yet, for so many reasons, and judging from a slew of reader email and messages, many readers feel the same way. His strength and heroism comes from within; it isn't necessarily built into, say, a title, or a background of wealth an privilege. And I think Evie, as unlikely as she is, might be his perfect match. And congratulations on your move to Denmark—that's AMAZING! So very cool! A beautiful place, from what I understand. And I've always wanted to visit Poland — another beautiful place, and I do have a Polish publisher, so maybe one day. :) I can imagine learning Danish is a challenge — I can wing the romance languages, but Danish is so very different. Best of luck to you there!! :)

  18. Maybe31 says:

    I love this book!     It's NOT my favorite…  (Like No Other Lover and What I did for a duke are my favorite) but I really enjoy it and it's one of my top reads this year!     Evie is one gutsy heroine.   :)    Really like her.   :)
    I am pretty happy with my life but who wouldn't love a vacation home in some excotic place!

  19. Colleen says:

    Oh if a genie came into my life and let me change something… I would want my soulmate to appear. Thanks for sharing! 😀

  20. Ashley DeGroot says:

    Can't wait to start the Pennyroyal books :)

  21. Michelle G. says:

    So excited to see more coming from the Pennyroyal series, it's been wonderful so far.

  22. Barbara Elness says:

    Wow, that's a tough question.  I've kind of done that by moving across the country to a new state and starting over, but if I could choose a new life, I think I'd love to live in a castle in Scotland, complete with a sexy Scot to keep me company, and I'd need the money to keep it up of course.  😀

  23. Janice says:

    My new life would be one without illness and my health is restored.  I already have a loving soulmate so I would want to carry that over into my new life.  Would love a copy of the book to read something different.

  24.  I am so looking forward to reading this one. This is such a great series. How the Marquis Was Won is on my keeper shelf !!

  25. glossaria says:

    I just got my hands on this title today– just in time for the weekend, yay!  I'm very much looking forward to it; I was hoping Adam might get his own book someday!
    I like a lot of things about my life now, but if I had a genie granting wishes… you know the library in the Disney version of "Beauty and the Beast?"  THAT.  I want to live there.  Plenty of room for all my books, and there are gardens, and… well, I wouldn't mind the Beast, either. 😉

  26. Jeri says:

    sounds like a lively story and different.. I don’t think I have read a vicar romance in regency times before.. as far as wish is concerned, I would love have power to change the world and enforce peace especially considering the situation in majority of the countries.. maybe professor X like power.. 😉

  27. Elaine says:

    It's wonderful to see two people look underneath the outer shells to find that they are alike. It's also interesting to see a man of such integrity as the hero of a Regency novel, rather than a rake needing to be reformed. Seeing someone whose goals I can truly admire is a treat. And Evie, without the "credentials," has a similar bent for helping people. Wealth and beauty are the stuff of Regency fantasies, but it's nice to see people who are comparatively "ordinary" and decent getting some ink.
    Looking forward to my next visit to Pennyroyal Green.

  28. I love the Pennroyal Green series and can't wait to read this one!

  29. Ann Sheiring says:

    I adore the Pennyroyal Greene series and am so excited about this next one. I would love a beautiful home in the English countryside. Of course there would be a handsome gentleman with a rockin bod to keep me company, lol 

  30. ELF says:

    I'd love a nice place in Hawaii with a maid and cook and internet, lol.

  31. Na S. says:

    I would love my own castle in Scotland.

  32. Colleen says:

    I am curious if a winner was chosen for this post?

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