A Countess Below Stairs

Eva Ibbotson
4 out of 5 stars
A Countess Below Stairs

So lately I’ve been on a historical romance kick, it seems to be all that I’ve read in the past month. Most of the books I’ve read have been quick trashy, some more than others, romances based in 1800s England. They were decent enough stories but unworthy of being written about.

When I picked up this book at the library three days ago, I was not expecting much because of the summary. The summary lead me to belive it would be like my guilty pleasure books, minus the descriptive sex (this is from the YA section). Instead of a mindless read, this book actually taught me things I had been ignorant of. Especially in relation to Russian politics before WW2. This story also differed from all the others because it goes into most of the characters back stories at least a bit. This led to a better developed understanding of the whole plot. Another thing I liked about this story that differed from many other is that the lead societal male is returned from war with battle scars. Not purely physical. This led to a much better developed male protagonist. The female protagonist, Anna, was such a wholly beautiful person. She was a hardworking woman who despite her upbringing overcame her obstacles. Now this statement leads one to believe that Anna started poor and ended up wealthy, but it was the inverse. Anna starts out as a wealthy aristocrat in Russia and ends of becoming a poor housemaid in England. I really liked everything about this novel, that’s why I gave it four out of five stars.

For those of you who have not read this book before here is the Goodreads summary:

After the Russian revolution turns her world topsy-turvy, Anna, a young Russian Countess, has no choice but to flee to England. Penniless, Anna hides her aristocratic background and takes a job as servant in the household of the esteemed Westerholme family, armed only with an outdated housekeeping manual and sheer determination.
Desperate to keep her past a secret, Anna is nearly overwhelmed by her new duties—not to mention her instant attraction to Rupert, the handsome Earl of Westerholme. To make matters worse, Rupert appears to be falling for her as well. As their attraction grows stronger, Anna finds it more and more difficult to keep her most dearly held secrets from unraveling. And then there’s the small matter of Rupert’s beautiful and nasty fiancée..

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