A former American foster child and a twenty-first century English Earl. What could they possibly have in common? They're about to find out!
A mischievous and sensual contemporary English Earl. A history loving American lottery winner, a potential marriage of convenience, loveable estate characters, the Earl's romantically inclined sister and her three playful old school friends, a Halloween ball, secret passages and ghosts stories, all make up the novel A Contemporary Countess.
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When Darielle St.James became the sole winner of New York's biggest lottery jackpot in history, she knew her life was about to change. But even she had no idea how great that change would be.
After using her new found wealth to help her closest friends and her two foster brothers and sister, she set about assessing her own goals. Hounded by the curious press and fortune hunters, she moved into a small secure apartment building overlooking Central Park, and started work on her first novel. Now she had both the time and the means to write.
Online research for her novel, leads her to the estate of Adam Darfield, the Earl of Avanleigh, a struggling English aristocrat whose name is oddly similar to that of her Regency hero. Adam, she discovers has only recently inherited the title. He and his sister Susie run Avanleigh Estate, which is sadly in need of funds due to the enormous death taxes imposed at the loss of their father.
Dari's childhood dream of living in a beautiful stately home suddenly comes to the forefront, and she writes to Adam with an interesting proposal. She would like to come to Avanleigh for six weeks to write her novel in the historic setting for which she is willing to pay a large fee, giving them a chance to get to know each other, and if all goes well, to marry. Citing arranged marriages from the past, from Jennie Jerome to Consuelo Vanderbilt, Dari makes a good case.
Adam, stunned at the unusual request, is encouraged by his romantically inclined sister Susie to take Dari up on the offer. Six weeks will give him a chance to get to know the beautiful young American, and the fee she has offered will help with the taxes. While he is not committed to anything, marrying her would ensure the financial future of the estate for many generations to come. It was after all, what his own ancestors had done.
Dari arrives at Avanleigh to find both Adam and Susie are easy going and fun to be with. Things are going incredibly well. But as time goes on, both Dari and Adam, each begin to think the other is just a little too good to be true and are both afraid to hope that what is developing between them could be real.
When Susie's quirky and playful aristocratic friends from her childhood boarding school years arrive at the estate for their annual vacation, Dari discovers the truth. Adam has a reputation as an aristocratic playboy. From his youthful nickname the Voracious Viscount, to the current epithet the Randy Earl, his nicknames are numerous. Furious at her discovery, Dari confronts Adam, who reluctantly admits his past. But Adam has decided he adores the unpretentious Dari, and he convinces her to stay.
Dari is head over heels in love with Adam and loves the estate, with its historic connections to the infamous Henry the Eighth, ghost stories, hidden passageways and long time easy going staff. And Adam has awakened a sensual side in her that she did not know she possessed.
On the eve of her wedding, Dari and her new friends are celebrating her bachelorette party in the historic 'Henry Room' at the estate Dower House where the infamous king himself once slept, when they discover something that changes everything.