About the Book:
Title: To Covet a Countess
Author: Sapna Bhog
Series: The Elusive Lords #2
Publication Date: Nov. 8, 2021
Synopsis: Nicholas Delmore, the Earl of Hawksley, was not expecting a snowstorm-sieged London evening to end with a dagger held to his throat. Nor did he anticipate his spirited attacker to have glossy black tresses and lush red lips that might invite a lesser gentleman to steal a kiss. But before he can demand his beautiful assailant to identify herself, she faints dead away in his arms.
Sania Aaryan has no choice but to trust the breathtakingly handsome Earl of Hawksley with both her life and her sister’s. Trusting him with the truth, however, is out of the question. Because fleeing India for the icy shores of England was rash. Impulsive. And it might have saved her life—only to land her into the arms of a man who poses an entirely different kind of danger.
Now Sania is experiencing a world filled with luxury and opulent decadence. But starry nights and fairy-tale balls cannot chase away the shadows of Sania’s secrets. Especially when her terrible past arrives in London with an eye for icy vengeance…
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When Sania Aaryan flees India with her sister and heads to her cousin in England, she never expected to be caught in a snowstorm and turned away from her cousin’s home by the butler. With her cousin out of town and nowhere safe to wait out the winter storm, Sania decides to break into her cousin’s home, but she is caught by the Earl of Hawksley. Hawk is shocked when he sees a beautiful woman trying to break into his neighbor and friend’s house, and he stops the interloper. However, when he realizes who Sania is and how desperately in need she and her sister are, he honorably steps in to help them until Sania’s cousin returns. Hawk takes the sisters back to his home, and romance blossoms. However, many obstacles stand in their way, including social pressures, the danger Sania fled from, and Hawk’s past.
Sania is a strong and courageous woman who will do anything to protect her sister. She is such an admirable character, kind and caring, astute and intelligent, and a wonderful sibling and friend. Hawk is also quite compelling, and he proves repeatedly that he is an honorable and respectable man. Together, they make quite a pair, and they definitely bring out the best in each other. I like how both slowly become more confident and self-assured because of each other’s influence.
Like the first book in the series, there are powerful messages about racism in England during this time. Sania and her sister are from India, and, like their cousin, they face prejudice because of that. She knows he will face difficulties if he marries her because she is Indian and considered unsuitable, and she refuses to put him in that position. The discrimination makes her feel unworthy of his love, and she fears ruining his reputation. Hawk deals with feelings of unworthiness as well, though for different reasons, and he doesn’t think he’s good enough for Sania. Throughout the story, both characters must face these feelings and decide if their love is worth fighting for.
The romance between Hawk and Sania is almost instantaneous, and the chemistry between the pair is palpable. Though they face a lot of internal and external obstacles, their feelings prove stronger than society’s unwarranted censure, prejudices, family strife, and perilous antagonists who threaten them. They are challenged, both separately and as a pair, and both make mistakes at different points in the story. Hawk, in particular, must prove to Sania that his love is unwavering. However, through it all, their ever-growing feelings are filled with chemistry and passion.
Other characters in the story are fabulous, including Sania’s younger sister and Lara and Wolf, the couple from the first book who have large roles in this book, too. Since Sania and her sister flee to and stay with Lara and Wolf, the couple becomes an important part of the sister’s lives as well as great allies. I love how supportive and protective Lara and Wolf are, and it’s always great to revisit beloved characters and see what’s happening in their lives.
I thought this was a wonderful love story and a strong addition to The Elusive Lords series. The characters are dynamic and layered, and the plot is intriguing. I also appreciate the themes and messages, which are highlighted in the first book as well. I’m super thankful to Entangled Publishing, Netgalley, and Sapna Bhog for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review, and I’m eager to see who will be the focus of the next book in the series.
- The romance.
- The secondary characters.
Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review of the first book!