Tella is used to relying only on herself, and the man who jumps in to interrupt a fight is at first a liability, then an annoyance as he refuses to leave her to handle her investigations alone. When they begin to work together instead of in parallel, dashing Lord Henry Fitzwilliam (“The raw bones of his face fit together in a way that was handsome; and the nose was regal enough to match that posh voice”) eventually learns Tella’s true identity and shocks her by treating her no differently—at least until a proposal of marriage complicates everything.
Despite Fitz’s assurances that he doesn’t want her to change, Tella remains afraid of commitment: She refuses to end her nighttime adventures because she blames herself for her mother’s death, and she’s convinced that anyone who gets close to her will be put in similar danger. This attitude of martyrdom persists through most of the book, making Tella a slightly frustrating heroine, but Fitz’s charm, warmth, and increasing ardor more than balance it out. Though historical accuracy is questionable at best, those who enjoy some whimsy and fun in their historical romance will love this adventurous tale. If you’ve been searching for a gender-bent Regency era Batman in love, this is your book.
Takeaway: A swashbuckling Regency romance alive with adventure, passion, and secret identities.
Great for fans of: Donna Thorland’s The Rebel Pirate, Lisa Kleypas’s The Ravenels series.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
While its original cover was both evocative and apt, The Caped Countess has been reissued with a fresh new cover with a style that highlights the action/adventure nature of these Regency romances.