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The Counterfeit Widow

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Deception and disguise in Regency England! Perfect for fans of Georgette Heyer, Mary Balogh, Jane Aiken Hodge and Jane Austen. Can Charity give her sister a chance for happiness? Regency England When their mother dies, Charity and Prudence Leonard hatch a plan to escape from their tyrannical stepfather. Determined to give her beautiful sister a chance to marry, C Deception and disguise in Regency England! Perfect for fans of Georgette Heyer, Mary Balogh, Jane Aiken Hodge and Jane Austen. Can Charity give her sister a chance for happiness? Regency England When their mother dies, Charity and Prudence Leonard hatch a plan to escape from their tyrannical stepfather. Determined to give her beautiful sister a chance to marry, Charity disguises herself as a young widow and takes Prudence to London for the season. But when the sisters cross paths with the shrewd and cynical Earl of Tyndale, it seems that they are in danger of being discovered. And as the earl’s fascination with Charity intensifies, she must fight to outwit the man who could unravel her careful plans… The Counterfeit Widow by Dorothy Mack is a classic Regency Romance with a bold and courageous heroine.


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Deception and disguise in Regency England! Perfect for fans of Georgette Heyer, Mary Balogh, Jane Aiken Hodge and Jane Austen. Can Charity give her sister a chance for happiness? Regency England When their mother dies, Charity and Prudence Leonard hatch a plan to escape from their tyrannical stepfather. Determined to give her beautiful sister a chance to marry, C Deception and disguise in Regency England! Perfect for fans of Georgette Heyer, Mary Balogh, Jane Aiken Hodge and Jane Austen. Can Charity give her sister a chance for happiness? Regency England When their mother dies, Charity and Prudence Leonard hatch a plan to escape from their tyrannical stepfather. Determined to give her beautiful sister a chance to marry, Charity disguises herself as a young widow and takes Prudence to London for the season. But when the sisters cross paths with the shrewd and cynical Earl of Tyndale, it seems that they are in danger of being discovered. And as the earl’s fascination with Charity intensifies, she must fight to outwit the man who could unravel her careful plans… The Counterfeit Widow by Dorothy Mack is a classic Regency Romance with a bold and courageous heroine.

30 review for The Counterfeit Widow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    What a fun read! Ms Mack gives us a resourceful heroine, who circumnavigates the restrictions of the society she and her sister are born in, with creativity and toughness. Female protagonists short of money with bad relatives are standard tropes in Regency romps. As are heroines with a secret that could spell ruin, if revealed. Dorothy Mack weaves them together, in a gripping yarn. Charity, the heroine tries to shield her dying mother and beautiful little sister from the 'charming' conman/predator w What a fun read! Ms Mack gives us a resourceful heroine, who circumnavigates the restrictions of the society she and her sister are born in, with creativity and toughness. Female protagonists short of money with bad relatives are standard tropes in Regency romps. As are heroines with a secret that could spell ruin, if revealed. Dorothy Mack weaves them together, in a gripping yarn. Charity, the heroine tries to shield her dying mother and beautiful little sister from the 'charming' conman/predator who is her mother's younger husband. Who feels that he is entitled to sex with his stepdaughter. Something Charity disabused him of with a quick slap across the face with a riding crop when she's accosted. Years of psychological cat and mouse follows (the reader is spared details) and when their mother dies, Charity grabs her sister Prudence, and £800 of Mr Rapey's money, and flees from Ireland to England. Her mother's family disowned her years ago, so Charity and her sister have no one to turn to. But, how can just the two of them and a maid, make their way in polite society, so that Prudence - who is beautiful, and good hearted- can make a good marriage? Well, if Charity is a widow, she can set up her own establishment, chaperon Prue to balls, etc. So she writes to an old, titled school friend living in London. She rents a house, hoping to give Prue a Season. Enter the hero, the cynical Earl of Tyndale, who's young, well off cousin is sighing after Prue, to his mother's horror. Who are these mysterious sisters, who appeared out of nowhere? And why is the elder one, the widow Mrs Charity Robards, so disinclined to talk about their background, and eager to keep him- one of the ton's most eligible- at a distance? It's a race against time, as to whether disaster will strike, in the form of disclosure or evil stepfather, or triumph will happen via Prudence making a good match to secure her future. A smart, grown up heroine who manoeuvres her way through a tricky situation, with an understandable distrust of men. A shrewd, charming, rakish hero, with a jaded view of women, and the instincts of a detective. This book has it. Marvellous!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Despite the three star rating, I did end up enjoying this book. Charity and her younger sister escape from their evil stepfather and flee to London. Charity takes on an alias and pretends to be a widow in order to be a proper chaperone for her sister Prudence. Prudence is an instant hit, especially with Philip, who happens to be Lord Tyndale’s charge. Tyndale thinks there is something suspicious going on and starts hanging around Charity to find out what their secret is. In the meantime he start Despite the three star rating, I did end up enjoying this book. Charity and her younger sister escape from their evil stepfather and flee to London. Charity takes on an alias and pretends to be a widow in order to be a proper chaperone for her sister Prudence. Prudence is an instant hit, especially with Philip, who happens to be Lord Tyndale’s charge. Tyndale thinks there is something suspicious going on and starts hanging around Charity to find out what their secret is. In the meantime he starts to fall for her. The story has a big focus on Tyndale and his transformation from happy bachelor to a man in love. The story picks up with Tyndale and his widowed mistress. I guess it must have been a requirement for publishers at this time to have the hero’s have mistresses; it seems like a very common trend in these regency stories. Personally, I would have found the story much more enjoyable if that aspect had been left out. Anyway, I actually grew to like his character and thought his transformation was believable. I also liked Charity; I wish she had been present a little more and that we could have had more courting between the two. As it was, I thought the romance aspect was a little lacking. I kept expecting the stepfather to show up and was waiting for something to happen. That element of the story fell a little flat, when he does finally make an appearance the whole thing felt anticlimactic. Overall, I did enjoy the story, but it wasn’t a favorite. Content: Clean. Talk of mistresses, but nothing detailed. Since she was a widow and they had been together for so long, it felt more like a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kitcatscratch

    I previously read 2 Dorothy Mack stories and gave them 3 stars. I honestly thought the books were good solid reads and had no complaints. Perhaps I was rating them compared to the books that I've read that I considered 5 star reads. I usually try to rate a book more heavily based on that particular author's works. So for me a 5 star Lauran Kinsale would be based on Laura Kinsale books. A 5 star Elizabeth Kingston would be based on her body of works that I have read. This doesn't always work beca I previously read 2 Dorothy Mack stories and gave them 3 stars. I honestly thought the books were good solid reads and had no complaints. Perhaps I was rating them compared to the books that I've read that I considered 5 star reads. I usually try to rate a book more heavily based on that particular author's works. So for me a 5 star Lauran Kinsale would be based on Laura Kinsale books. A 5 star Elizabeth Kingston would be based on her body of works that I have read. This doesn't always work because sometimes you just read a book and really, really think it's poorly written. To loosely quote Oscar Wilde, there are no immoral books, just poorly written ones. Anyway, the point being that for whatever reason I read this book and realized something. Dorothy Mack is a really good writer. Her characters are always well fleshed out. I never find myself bored with any one character and skimming parts. Her pacing is par excellence. I have yet to find one of her stories where any part drags or is rushed. Simply put they are good, solid stories. I find an overused description of HRs is that they are like "Georgette Heyer." I rather like Heyer and have some favorites that I re-read (Sylvester, The Convenient Marriage: A sparkling Regency romance from the classic author and Devil's Cub). I hesitate to say that Heyer is cleaner than Mack's works because anyone who's read "The Devil's Cub" knows that that woman must have been drinking while writing that as you have a forced kidnapping, attempted rape, a relentless pursuit across France, duels and killing/almost killings. Still...I loved it for all it's un-PCness. (Is that a word?). Similarly, Mack does reference mistresses and in this particular work, you have a stepfather who tries to force himself repeatedly on his eldest stepdaughter only to then turn his attentions to his younger stepdaughter. For all its heavy themes, it is clean in the sense that the author does not try to make it salacious by going into dramatic detail just for prurient sake. I really liked the H who is, quite frankly, going through a mid-life crisis. The author doesn't say this, she SHOWS this with his thoughts and actions. He finds his life not quite fulfilling and his relationship with his somewhat long term mistress shallow. Enter the h. A woman you really like and admire. You can see how these 2 characters would be drawn to each other. If they had met earlier or later in their lives, I don't think they would have connected as well. It really was a case of them being at the right age, the right frame of mind, the right time. If there was a weak character it would be the h's younger sister. A more weak character you've never seen. Well, yes, actually you probably have! But still, when you have such strong characters, the weak ones become quite glaring. However, I simply enjoyed the story too much. The villain, such as he was, was vanquished rather easily but in the end, I think it's because people like that are bullies and thrive on intimidating what they see as a weaker person (not necessarily in character but more...defenseless). Once confronted by what he considered a stronger person, he backed down. So in that sense, I was a little torn because the villain really seemed smart and capable and it started to build up to be quite the showdown. The showdown, such as it was, was a tad anticlimactic. I console myself with the thought that he was actually a coward and was chased away by a stronger force. Or something. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think to go back and re-read the 3 star books. I feel that I misjudged them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    My Romantasy

    Superb One of the author’s best romances; very much in the vein of Georgette Heyer. Great heroine; fabulous hero; lovely sub-plots. All round thoroughly enjoyable read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kim Power

    Delightful SPOILER ALERT : It may be strange to say that a book with incest as the act upon which the plot turns is delightful, indeed i found it so. The courage and ingenuity and intelligence of Charity, the fundamental decency and Kindness of Tyndall, and the sweet romance of the ingenues as they triumph of the perpetrator to find their HEA makes it so. There is no downplaying of the damage of horror of the plot’s lynchpin, but it forges a remarkable character in Charity. There are no detailed Delightful SPOILER ALERT : It may be strange to say that a book with incest as the act upon which the plot turns is delightful, indeed i found it so. The courage and ingenuity and intelligence of Charity, the fundamental decency and Kindness of Tyndall, and the sweet romance of the ingenues as they triumph of the perpetrator to find their HEA makes it so. There is no downplaying of the damage of horror of the plot’s lynchpin, but it forges a remarkable character in Charity. There are no detailed descriptions of the attempts. The writing is excellent, the dialogue witty and Mack does not ignore her cast of supporting actors.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    I really liked this book. Charity was such a wonderful character - strong and courageous, but completely selfless when it came to her younger sister. And that the Earl of Tyndale would start to see through the disguise and start to fall in love with her... Lovely. I liked Prue as well and was happy with her outcome as well. Often a younger sister who is pretty but not particularly smart is written as an annoying character, but Prue was worthy of Charity's sacrifice. Overall it was well written wit I really liked this book. Charity was such a wonderful character - strong and courageous, but completely selfless when it came to her younger sister. And that the Earl of Tyndale would start to see through the disguise and start to fall in love with her... Lovely. I liked Prue as well and was happy with her outcome as well. Often a younger sister who is pretty but not particularly smart is written as an annoying character, but Prue was worthy of Charity's sacrifice. Overall it was well written with enough danger, romance and interesting people to keep me happily reading to the end.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Utterly charming Another charming book by Dorothy Mack. Believable characters, interesting plot, as usual this is hands down finer than the vast majority of traditional recency romances. While no one can equal Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Mack has her own unique style: a mannered o!d fashioned voice that is immediately recognizable!e. Immensely enjoyable and hard to put down.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    http://hibiscus-sinensis.com/regency/... ... this excellent review led me to buy this book: it lived up to expectations. What I really liked -- it never went down the path of melodrama or "misunderstandings" that lasted longer than they should. Mack is worth tracking down. http://hibiscus-sinensis.com/regency/... ... this excellent review led me to buy this book: it lived up to expectations. What I really liked -- it never went down the path of melodrama or "misunderstandings" that lasted longer than they should. Mack is worth tracking down.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura Thomas

    An emotional read Charity is a strong and loyal lady who certainly deserved Tyndale and their HEA, great story and characters, would recommend.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie's Kindle

    The authors account of being stalked by a family member who intends to molest you was uncannily accurate.It made my stomach churn and my palms sweat. The feeling was all too familiar. After the death of their mother, the valiant escape from their stepfather was noteworthy. Once hidden in London, their game of camouflage had to continue. Hiding in plain sight. Being seen by the right people to find a husband for Prudence the youngest sister. Charity has decided to sacrifice herself for Prudence. The authors account of being stalked by a family member who intends to molest you was uncannily accurate.It made my stomach churn and my palms sweat. The feeling was all too familiar. After the death of their mother, the valiant escape from their stepfather was noteworthy. Once hidden in London, their game of camouflage had to continue. Hiding in plain sight. Being seen by the right people to find a husband for Prudence the youngest sister. Charity has decided to sacrifice herself for Prudence. Charity will wear the mantle of a widow so that she can act as chaperone to her sister. The right side act is precarious and being caught will ruin them both.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Goldsmith

    From the very beginning, the selection of language and sentence structure was an excellent reflection of Jane Austenesque. Some modern readers find it slow going, but those of us that are Regency purists will find this a delightful book. Mack's characters are well crafted and logical in their required deception. I am eager to read more of Dorothy Mack's books. From the very beginning, the selection of language and sentence structure was an excellent reflection of Jane Austenesque. Some modern readers find it slow going, but those of us that are Regency purists will find this a delightful book. Mack's characters are well crafted and logical in their required deception. I am eager to read more of Dorothy Mack's books.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    I liked this story, but So. Many. Words. I found it to be excessively wordy. It sometimes distracted from what was happening. I am a proponent of efficient speaking, why use ten words when three will do?

  13. 5 out of 5

    kattie

    The Counterfeit Widow I loved this story. I recommend everyone to read this book. I look forward to reading more of her books. Katie

  14. 4 out of 5

    abiodun

    Lovely story Simple, heartfelt pure love. Not a bad story, though it tended to become too wordy and descriptive in some parts. All in all an enjoyable one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    excellent love story ...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Sissons

    Nice quick read. Just what I was looking for to escape :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Swati Pant

    I really liked this book. The female lead was very brave and resourceful. The male lead was not an out and out asshole and did listen to his conscience, and was self-critical.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ellie Thomas

    I was charmed by this story and totally bought into Charity and Prudence's dilemma. There was enough romance and suspense to keep me completely involved in the story and Kenton made a plausible hero. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was charmed by this story and totally bought into Charity and Prudence's dilemma. There was enough romance and suspense to keep me completely involved in the story and Kenton made a plausible hero. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Frances

    It was worth reading, but certainly not 5 stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    A little too dry for my taste. For some reason I didn't care about either the heroine or hero. When I look forward to doing laundry or the dishes, I know the romance has seen better days. A little too dry for my taste. For some reason I didn't care about either the heroine or hero. When I look forward to doing laundry or the dishes, I know the romance has seen better days.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Valerie Bates

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marianne Burke

  23. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Willis

  24. 4 out of 5

    sue carroll

  25. 4 out of 5

    marilyn mock

  26. 5 out of 5

    judith von kieckebusch

  27. 4 out of 5

    Diana Skipper

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gerrie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Wilma L Stammer

  30. 4 out of 5

    Janet Freyberg

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