Format: ebook, 262 pages
Genre: Historical Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2013, August 27
Source: Won an early copy on Twitter in author-held giveaway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars – Great Read
Blurb from Goodreads:
Gaspard Toussaint is known throughout 1820 French society as the “molly comte”, a foppish throw pillow of an aristocrat. But his entire life is a twisted mass of secrets and lies as a spy for the Crown. His final covert act will have him fleeing his broken country forever…but before he can escape, he needs the power and safety that only money can provide. And no one has more money than English heiress Claudia Pascale.
The only child of a wealthy tradesman, Claudia has continually failed to catch a husband—due in large part to her uncontrollable stutter. Spurned by a dashing French lieutenant and desperate to escape her parents’ household, she joins forces with the seemingly harmless Gaspard to learn how to properly ensnare a spouse: through seduction.
All too soon, Gaspard’s lessons in delicious domination and sinful submission make Claudia suspicious that he is not what everyone believes him to be. And Gaspard realizes his quest to possess her is becoming less about her dowry…and more about the woman herself.
Warning: Contains an aggressive Frenchman with extremely loose morals, a determined heiress who can’t refuse a dare, and bedroom games where boundaries were made to be crossed.
My first encounter with Edie Harris’ writing was an awesome one! It’s been a while since I read a historical romance, and even longer since I read an erotic historical romance. I won THE CORRUPT COMTE months ago on Twitter and while other (review) books, contemporary romance books, kept pushing it down the reading list, it was never far from my mind. That’s why when I was looking for the next book to read in a short and temporary lull in review books to read, it sprang right to the top of the reading list.
Some historical romance readers don’t like the spy trope. I however love it and when I look for historical romances to read, if the blurb mentions the word spy, you can bet I’ll get the book. THE CORRUPT COMTE is about spies too. I counted four of them in Gaspard’s group so there’s more books to come, of that I’m sure. I loved the plot Edie Harris concocted for this one and how she mixed it with the romance. It never felt as though there was romance and a plot. It al clicked together and formed one cohesive story where one would not be as good without the other.
Both Claudia and Gaspard are fabulous characters. They are (as I love them the most) flawed and imperfect and Edie Harris made them work so well for me because they are both not what they seem. They only show the world what they want them to see but can see through all that with each other. Their HEA wasn’t an easy one, both of them went through emotional barriers to accept the other one and accept the feelings they had for each other and it was beautifully written!
This book had me mesmerized, with its flow and writing, its story, its wonderful and brave heroine and its deliciously dirty, sexy hero. Gaspard Toussaint elevated dirty talk to a whole new level for me. Edie Harris’s writing is exquisite! It’s compelling, beautiful and emotionally gratifying. Just for the writing alone this book is awesome and a must-read for lovers of erotic historical romance.
I loved Edie Harris’s writing. In this historical setting it worked really well and I’m curious to experience her contemporary voice as I know Edie is also working on a contemporary romance series. I can’t wait to get my hands on, but after reading THE CORRUPT COMTE I’m also hunting down her other historical romance because it certainly whetted my appetite for more.
– the scene in the closet in the first chapter > that Gaspard is sexy and hot! Despite his disguise as a “molly” comte.
– the BJ scene after the engagement ball > Gaspard gives Claudia power and control and she takes and runs with it in a splendid way!
– the scene with Sabien towards the end of the book > powerful and emotional scene
His gaze drawn unwillingly back to the unknown, dark-haired girl standing alone across the room, he frowned to feel a faint heat at his nape, wispy tendrils creeping down his spine to curl and solidify into an…an awareness, of sorts, low in his belly. It was a thoroughly uncomfortable sensation, foreign and unwelcome, and the longer he studied her, the less he was able to ignore it.
He wanted to bite her. Something about her skin, her scent, the way she subtly shifted toward him, had him longing to take a bite out of Claudia Pascale.
She wanted to escape her parents’ household. What was happening to her there?
No, he wouldn’t ponder it now. Now was for the rising bubble of lust traveling from his heavy groin to tingle up his spine until it burst at his nape, making his vision blur and his ears ring.
Kissing a woman was nothing like kissing a man. A woman eliciting a breathy moan reduced him to a pile of ash. A woman dancing her tongue past his lips turned him hard as stone. A woman straining forward, her arms bound on either side of her body, her throat taut beneath his fingertips as she tried to get closer, closer to him, as though determined to crawl inside his soul…it drove him to the precipice of insanity, and he teetered on the edge as he gripped her to him.
She was a feast for a starving man, and Gaspard had lived too long in famine.
As if the devil possessed his tongue, he found himself asking, “Is there nothing about her you find appealing?”
Sabien sighed, scratching along his jaw where his night beard was just starting to shadow the skin. “I suppose…if she didn’t talk, bedding her might not be such a hardship.”
Gaspard’s back teeth clenched. “If they can talk, you’re doing it wrong. A universal law of fucking.”
His eyes told her that he wanted to eat her for breakfast, have her for tea, and
gorge himself on her for dessert.
But she didn’t want him talking—she wanted him licking. Tasting. Feasting upon her. Frantic to have his mouth on her, Claudia disobeyed and reached for him, clutching at his silky hair. “More,” she moaned, whipping her hips into the thrust of his finger. She was close, so close, and he had to know it. Had to feel how the first tremors were beginning to shake her, starting from the base of her spine and clawing through her heavy, heavy limbs. “P-please.”
This man, with his lies and his secrets and the hungry way he looked at her, touched her…this man put a song in her blood, answering some yearning call buried in the deepest recesses of her terrified heart.
The power in the room shifted suddenly, a palpable tug on the very center of her being. No more predator, no more prey. No longer did he hunt her. In this moment, he belonged to her, and Claudia—empty, yearning, desperate Claudia—fully embraced that rabid starvation living in her soul.
She needed him to feed her desperate hunger, to give her something tangible on which her aching soul could feast, and she loved him.