The Accidental Countess: Playful Brides #2 by Valerie Bowman

Book Review:

A story that is hinting at influence from Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Valerie Bowman imbues influences from the classic into this fresh comedy of manners (and errors) to bring an  enjoyable, witty romance escape. Bowman’s characters are delightful and the dialogue is witty and rapid fire: the whole trope of mistaken identity is a familiar one, and while not new has a fresh twist on the way to a happy ending. 
Cassandra has held a torch for her cousin’s intended – and only wants a chance.  Julian has been at war against Napoleon, and isn’t quite ready to take up the mantle of husband, particularly unwanted is the arranged marriage. While at war, Cassandra had kept up a regular correspondence, and Julian wants nothing more than to meet Cass and see if she is everything he expects.

Julian and Cassandra have a wonderfully well-portrayed connection and their affections, despite the multiple deceptions and miscommunicated moments holds strong and true. While there was a very convoluted middle that often felt more keystone cops than a path to a happy ending, the humor kept me enjoying the moments and reading on.  While loosely tied to the classic Wilde story, which is more a passing influence than derivative, and quite enjoyable. I’ve not read the first in this series and I will be remedying that – this is a perfect get away from it all story to while away a weekend afternoon.

The Accidental Countess: Playful Brides #2 by Valerie Bowman

Title: The Accidental Countess
Author: Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides #2
Also in this series: The Unlikely Lady, The Irresistible Rogue, The Unforgettable Hero, The Untamed Earl, The Legendary Lord, No Other Duke But You
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 320
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 41 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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For seven long years, Lady Cassandra Monroe has waited for the man of her dreams to return from the war. Unfortunately, he happens to be engaged to her flighty cousin. What Cass wouldn’t give to take her cousin’s place! When he mistakes Cass for Patience Bunbury, a fictitious friend her cousin has invented to escape social obligations…even with her future husband, Cass thinks this is her chance.


After defeating Napoleon at Waterloo, Captain Julian Swift is not quite ready to settle down and enter into his unwanted arranged marriage—especially when the real object of his affection turns out to be a beguiling beauty he meets at a party. Patience Bunbury is witty, independent, passionate…and, unbeknownst to him, the cousin of his current fiancée. When the truth about Cass comes out—and Julian discovers that their courtship is anything but accidental—will he surrender his heart to a woman who really is too good to be true?

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Valerie Bowman

VALERIE BOWMAN grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally dog, Roo. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.

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