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Guy Gavriel Kay
For Darkness Shows the Stars
Diana Peterfreund
The Heiress - Lynsay Sands So, I enjoyed The Countess, the first book in the series about the Madison sisters, if you're interested you can check out my review of it here. I actually think I liked Christiana's sisters more than her and I was really loooking forward to reading a story centered around Suzette, cause she seemed so spunky. The whole story through which we meet the sisters is a bit farfetched, but it seems like the author realises this and it is funny as well.

In the Countess we're introduced to Suzette and the possibility of a lovestory between her and Daniel, a friend of the main hero in the Countess, Richard. Suzette is looking for poor man who'll let her keep part of her dowry to pay of her father's debts. When she asks Daniel about his income, he thinks she's just another fortune-hunting debutante and tells her he's poor as a churchrat. What he hadn't counted on was Suzette's proposal as a reply to this.
During all the sneaking around with the dead man, often in a carpet, Daniel needs to distract Suzette. And what better way to do this than kiss her. And effectively compromise her. When she finds him in her room she thinks he has come to accept her proposal and he doesn't know how else to explain his presence. And after that he's not sure he doesn't want to marry her.

So I did like to explore the relationship between Suzette and Daniel a little more. What I did not appreciate however, was the complete retelling of the Countess from a different viewpoint. This is the first part of the book and it continues after this storyline is concluded, but the first part felt really rushed and I think you have to have read the Countess in order to make sense of everything that's going on. Else it will probably all seem a bit vague.

Suzette is a really likeable character and Daniel is too and together they have wonderful chemistry. I really believed Suzette in her heartbreak when she was convinced Daniel didn't love her. Sister loyalty is also strong in this one and I really appreciate that. I also really liked Daniel's mother, who we meet towards the ending of the book.

I did like the book, though the first part I just kept thinking: yes, I know all this, when is the good (original) part gonna show up?? And then it did and I really liked the last part of the book, so because of this and because I really liked Suzette and Daniel, it still gets a good rating. But the author better not pull something like this again with the book I'm sure she wrote about the last Madison siter! Third time is not the charm in this case.

My rating: 3 stars