The Count's Blackmail Bargain

The Count's Blackmail Bargain For Handsome Italian Count Alessio Ramontella, Seducing Women Comes As Naturally As Breathing Alessio Lives His Life Based On Two Criteria First That Success And Satisfaction Are Guaranteed, And Second That All His Dealings Are Discreet And Conducted Between Mutually Consenting PartiesThen He Meets Innocent English Beauty Laura Mason She S Sweet, Tempting And Off Limits Alessio Must Decide Should He Ruthlessly Pursue Laura Until She Gives In

Anne Bushell was born on October 1938 in South Devon, England, just before World War II and grew up in a house crammed with books She was always a voracious reader, some of her all time favorites books are Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Middlemarch by George Eliot, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bront , Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and The Code of the Woosters by P G Wodehous

❮Reading❯ ➹ The Count's Blackmail Bargain ➱ Author Sara Craven –
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 189 pages
  • The Count's Blackmail Bargain
  • Sara Craven
  • English
  • 14 June 2019
  • 9780373125678

10 thoughts on “The Count's Blackmail Bargain

  1. says:

    Well, well, well Sara Craven wrote a Regency House Party novel and forgot to tell Harlequin Presents Not that that is a bad thing This was an enjoyable slow burn story with a dollop of drama at the end.The story opens with the hero s valet I mean butler waking him up to inform him that his aunt is on her way over and he should get the married woman in his bed out of the apartment ASAP The hero has a hangover and is regretting his one night stand He regrets it even when his aunt uses it to blackmail him into seducing his cousin s current lover away from him Seems she has plans for her son that don t include an English wine bar waitress The banker hero reluctantly agrees to host the cousin, the heroine, his mother and her nuisance dog at his castle in Umbria There he will lure the heroine away from the cousin and his aunt won t go public with his affair with the married woman Little does the hero know that the heroine is only window dressing for the cousin The cousin doesn t want to marry his mother s choice, so he is paying the heroine to act a part for two weeks Heroine will be glad to give up her wine bar job so she can concentrate on her PR job that has the hero s bank as a major client And the rest in bullet points view spoiler 1 Hero falls in love with heroine at first sight He references Petrarch s obsession with Laura same name as heroine Of course the hero doesn t know he s in love he s just um interested.2 Heroine has very few clothes There is a lot of dressing up for dinner, siesta time, and reading Heroine makes a beeline for Jane Austen, of course She also plays the piano in an empty room It was the hero s mother and it makes the old servant weep with joy to hear it 3 The cousin comes down with a heavy cold and stays in bed for days, thus leaving the H h to their own devices.4 Auntie is most disagreeable as is her dog But the heroine takes pity on the dog when he is left tied up with no water and from then on, the dog is her faithful friend.5 The weak cousin keeps showing his disagreeable side and he leaves the heroine stranded with the hero when his mother insists he go to the coast with her to recover and see friends 6 Hero stops his seduction when he realizes the heroine is a virgin He is full of guilt because his Laura shouldn t be disrespected like that 7 There is a spectacular thunderstorm that blocks the road.8 Heroine throws herself at the hero and they finally have sex.9 Auntie shows up and tells heroine how the hero was just using her because he was being blackmailed.10 Hero is angry about the aunt and doesn t explain himself very well The cousin is angry at the heroine for not dressing the window correctly.11 Heroine leaves in tears In a pout, the cousin forges the hero s signature so the heroine loses her job 12 A month later, the hero disowns both aunt and cousin and then hunts down heroine who is home early with menstrual cramps Hero proposes and heroine claims it isn t romantic because no sex, but the hero says it s about love not sex HEA hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Poor heroine I don t know which I feel sorry for her the fact that she went to Umbria and was stranded at the villa for over a week just minutes away from Assisi, or that the sexually experienced Conte Smarm Bucket who sleeps with married women and is stupid enough to get blackmailed into seducing our little sweetheart by his viper of an aunt is destined to be her H.The h has agreed to be a pretend fiancee to a mamma s boy who wants him to marry a wealthy heiress Mamma s boy viperous mother blackmails the H, her nephew, into seducing the h or else she ll spill the beans on his ONS with a total blithering idiot who happens to be married The H agrees and puts a plan in place.Given all the potential for a comedy of errors, humor and banter, slammed doors, and the eye winks of a blackmailing caper, this fell flat The plot was there, but the execution simply was not One of the distinct ironies, is the evil viper aka Auntie hates the English miss as a money grumbling trollop when Auntie wants to marry her own son off to the daughter of a wealthy Italian who is going to give the Viper beaucoup lira If wish they still used lira in Italy Which they should Who doesn t want to spend 1600 lira on bell peppers at the market Did I buy the romance Kind of, but I almost always buy the romance even when faced with evidence that says no I don t know exactly WHEN the H fell for his Laura , but he was convincing at the end.For a Sara Craven, the hero is veritable pussy cat to the h with one exception view spoiler he s cruel to be kind because she s a virgin and he s not worthy hide spoiler

  3. says:

    4.5 stars Alessio, an Italian count and banker, is blackmailed by his aunt into seducing Laura away from his cousin and the aunt s son, whom she wants to betroth to a friend s daughter In exchange the friend will forgive Lucrezia s debts and pension her off for life Lucrezia uses Alessio s one night stand with a married woman as leverage Alessio reluctantly agrees because he doesn t want to shame the cuckcolded husband he might act immorally at times, but he s not a complete degenerate What neither realize is that Laura has actually been hired by Paolo to act as his pretend girlfriend Far from being a tarty gold digger she s only agreed to the pretense because the money he promises will help fund her younger brother s education Alessio and Laura end up falling madly in love, but how will Laura react when she discovers Alessio s masquerade The answer is not well, of course Sara Craven writes angst and longing just the way I like it, intense and painful Luckily though these feelings and, therefore, the romance aren t overshadowed by the subplot which tends to happen in some of Craven s novels Not much happens in terms of knockout action, but it s Alessio s and Laura s simple yet romantic interludes meals, swimming lessons, piano recitals, etc and their deep feelings for each other that drive the romance forward Another plus is the lack of flashbacks which the author tends to frequently use The advantage to having them meet in the current timeline means that the narrative doesn t suffer from choppy pacing and shallow emotional depth, which can sometimes happen with this device This is my favorite romance yet by Sara Craven Here are highlights to illustrate why Likes Smitten, sexy alpha hero Sweet, virginal heroine without the martyr complex or Mary Sue tendencies Gothic undertones a remote Italian villa high up in the forested hills, wolves, a thunderstorm, a lord of the manor with questionable motives, bodice ripping Literary references to Petrarch and Austen and devices symbolism Laura not only tames her own lone wolf , the hero, but a neglected dog as well Regency romance tropes masquerades deceptions, rake with a conscience, impoverished heroine nobleman hero romance Sensual love scenes Did I mention bodice ripping LOL Plenty of hero s point of view Villains who actually receive their comeuppancesNitpick Hero s frequent evening wear of unbuttoned waistcoats without the jacket They look awesome on hunks, but sloppy and unsexy if wearing unbuttoned Love to hate Hero s relatives who were deliciously wickedPotential triggers safety information view spoiler The story starts with Alessio waking up in bed the morning after a one night stand with a married woman, but this is before he meets the heroine and there s no description of sex between them Heroine had just dumped her boyfriend of two months because she didn t feel deeply enough about him to sleep with him She later masquerades as the pretend girlfriend of the hero s cousin, but she never kisses or has sex with him.There s a one month separation between Alessio and Laura By this time, both are so deeply in love that I believe neither had the desire to sex up anyone else hide spoiler

  4. says:

    H was deliciously awful at the beginning but then became awfully delicious I want yours to be the face I see when I wake each morning I want to see you smile at me across our dining table I want to teach you to swim so well that you will dive off the side of our boat with me I want to be with you when our children are born, and to love you and protect you as long as we both live His groveling and declaration of his love was great 4,5 stars.

  5. says:

    Count Alessio spends the night with a boring woman, and wow it s so annoying trying to get her to leave the next morning He just manages, and then his auntie shows up, with this crazy scheme Alessio is to seduce the English girl his cousin is bringing home, or auntie will tell the boring woman s husband about her hook up with Alessio Alessio agrees to this crazy scheme, even though boring woman is really boring, because the husband doesn t deserve to find out about it That Way.It s a bit flimsy, but then so is Laura s story The cousin is trying to get out of his mother s plans to marry him off to a nice rich Italian girl, so he s hired Laura to spend two weeks with him, to get his mother off his back Laura is going to use the money to send her little brother to camp Some sort of medical bill for a family member, or saving an orphan would also have been acceptable, because taking money and taking part in a crazy deception scheme for one s own material benefit would just be selfish and wrong.I do really love this set up, such juicy secrets to keep the heroine and hero apart Just imagine, after the inevitable seduction, what s going to happen when Laura finds out It s just going to be devastating Laura s backstory includes a job for a PR firm that also handles work for Alessio s bank, and since this is mentioned several times, it s no surprise that this will feature somehow in the suffering Laura is going to suffer.Alessio has this huge house out in the middle of a forest of wolves, and maybe even bears This is so delightfully gothic, and my favourite thing about the setting It s so timeless I was only reminded that modern things like mobile phones and electricity existed when they couldn t be used Who needs a Greek island or a Manhattan penthouse when you can have a lair with wolves howling in the distance I want every single HP I read from now on to have a house with wolves.Laura spends her days reading Jane Austen and playing the piano And her early flirting with Alessio, although she could have done with of this and less of the music and classics She starts with Mansfield Park, and although she doesn t comment on it, I m so pleased, because Mansfield Park is underrated and romance heroines should read and enjoy it Laura also finishes Pride and Prejudice, but doesn t want to start Emma because she doesn t want to leave halfway through the book In fact, it s all very literary Alessio starts quoting Petrarch, and while this means the story then has to deal with the Laura poems and the Laura story, it does it lightly If you re going to quote lyrics about a one sided passion for a woman married to someone else, it lends a great deal gravitas if the lyrics are in Italian and than 600 years old.Laura has all this time to read and play the piano because the cousin gets a cold and stays in bed for a week His mother does not leave his side during this serious illness, so the two villains are out of the way for most of the story, and thoroughly engaged in fun activities that keep them from making trouble Laura does her best to keep up the pretence of being desperately in love with the cousin she visits him every evening for ten minutes, with his mother lurking outside the door It s pretty clear to Alessio that she s not at all impressed by the cousin s dangerous illness, so he doesn t have as many qualms of conscience about seducing another man s girl.And he s really hot for her from the moment he sees her He s got good flirt talk, and he spends a lot of time thinking about the technicalities of taking off Laura s clothes, and he s always smelling her and touching her hair I found his fashion sense to be a little off putting initially he wears white trousers and a black shirt in one scene, and white shorts in another It made me think of lawn bowls, which is not sexy Plus, he does spend a lot of time avoiding her, which is perhaps him trying to be a bit noble about his whole deal with the auntie, and it does give Laura plenty of time to read and to yearn for him.This book had so many perfect things in it Italy, wolves, Jane Austen, fussy man colds, hot sex, terrible betrayals it s my favourite Sara Craven so far.

  6. says:

    Apart from the cracker beginning and a really sweet ending, it s a slow sleepy read Nothing much happens for pages at length but it has its moments.The H is the surprise package Unlike most SC Hs, he s actually a nice guy and not quite the unprincipled amoral toad he starts out as.Yes, he s the kind of guy who sleeps around with wives of acquaintances, if not friends And then lets himself be tamely blackmailed into an even reprehensible schemes by his scheming aunt Break up my son s engagement to this unsuitable English girl by seducing her or I tell on you and your mistress to her husband Not the kind of H who inspires respect or liking.But then he s also sweet, considerate and thoughtful, and he also reads and quotes Petrarch That s an oddly sweet and meaningful touch to this otherwise average read He does seduce her in the end but by then it s because he wants to and not because he has to Also now it s really a case of what webs we weave because the h s also been doing a bit of deceiving herself as she and the om the cousin are not really involved but she s been just helping him get his intimidating mother off his back.So all this culminates into a greatly dramatic exit and then a highly sweet and endearing reconciliation Ciao the dog deserves special mention for being the character with most depths

  7. says:

    Okay the opening scene in this book is the H in bed with a MARRIED woman after a night of sex They played Strip Poker and then he poked her Plus he cheated at the game I was like no way am I going to like this book ever But surprise, surprise, I did I just have to block that scene from my mind because I hate seeing an H in bed with anyone but the h He hadn t met her yet so I don t know why I hate stuff like that But I do Well, his evil Aunt shows up just as he is trying to get her to leave and blackmails him into seducing her son s new girlfriend away from him or else she will tell the lady s husband Just so gross The h is actually a decoy and the son hired her to make his Mama give up her dream of him marrying a family friend s daughter She of course is a good person and the son is a slimy toad The H knows something is off but his Aunt is just a total pain in the tush The slimy toad get s a cold and is at deaths door according to his mother so that leaves the h and H alone alot She is of course attracted to him and they end up together It was very sweet atually He quoted poetry and was all around a decent guy and he really regrets his one night stand He finds out that she is a virgin and freaks The Aunt stirs up trouble and the h goes home thinking the H was an evil seducer and liar I really don t want to give any spoilers but I totally loved the book I took one star off because of the opening scene I can t help it I am a freak.

  8. says:

    Hero has a mistress who is married His aunt threatens to make the affair public unless he manages to seduce the girl her son is bringing home Hero agrees He will seduce Laura so as to keep his aunt quiet but Laura is sweet and perfect and he falls for her He tries to be noble but eventually he can t resist her When Laura finds out his scheme all hell breaks loose Very enjoyable read Good angst, likable characters and great chemistry between hero and heroine Epilogue could have been better.

  9. says:

    Couldn t get past the first chapter finding hero in a married woman s bed.It s just me.Plus, the whole plot seems confusing right now.

  10. says:

    The story is based around Italian Count Alessio who after being caught being involved with a married woman by his vile Aunt is blackmailed by her to seduce her son s girlfriend in order to break them up Said vile Aunt has arranged for her son to marry the daughter of one of her rich friends If Alessio doesn t do this then his aunt will spill about the affair and cause a massive scandal.Meanwhile, Laura has agreed to go on holiday to Italy with Paolo the son and pretend to be involved with him in order for Paolo to get his mother of his back about the arranged marriage When they arrive they are staying in Alessio s villa in the countryside Alessio has an immediate attraction to Laura, regardless of the blackmail, and sets out to woe her plus that all important seduction As he progresses he realises that Laura is innocent in every way and has to fight both his own feelings towards her and the guilt he has of what he is being forced to do by his Aunt The blackmail plot line is something that s very common in the Modern line, however this one was slightly different than the standard i.e girl has to save her family business etc It was interesting and the relationship between the two develops really well, their feelings for each other are written very well and the result is very satisfying.However, there are a few things that I just didn t like about the book First is that I couldn t warm to Alessio due to the fact that he was sleeping with a married woman at the beginning Yes, I know it happens, but he didn t seem to have any guilt about it apart from the worry of a scandal and being inconvenienced by her wanting to see him again, and I just found myself having no sympathy for him, being blackmailed by his Aunt was his own fault Secondly, Laura was a little bit of a martyr, and just kind of too good to be true Last of all, it seemed kind of dated, this was only written in 2006, yet seemed much older, both in the language used and other parts, an example of this is the fact the Alessio wore an outfit of cream denim trousers and a black polo shirt at least 3 times Whoa there, it seems like he would be suited to be in a Ralph Lauren catalogue in the 80 s Despite this I did find that I enjoyed the book and the story was interesting Originally posted at

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