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Publisher's Summary

Anna, a young countess, has lived in the glittering city of St Petersburg all her life. But when revolution tears Russia apart, her family is forced to flee to England.Armed with an out-of-date book on housekeeping, Anna determines to become a housemaid, and she finds work at the Earl of Westerholme's crumbling but magnificent mansion. The staff and the family are sure there is something not quite right about their new maid - but she soon wins them over with her warmth and dedication. Then the young Earl returns home from the war - and Anna falls hopelessly in love. But they can never be together - Rupert is engaged to the snobbish and awful Muriel. And anyway, Anna is only a servant. Or so everybody thinks.
©2007 Eva Ibbotson; (P)2007 W F Howes
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Lenee on 11-17-10


If you like a simple little story to be entertained, this is a good one. Don't have to think too much about this one, but that's what I like about it. How can you not like Anna?! and Muriel is soooo offensive! The whole eugenics thing brings in such a twist! Davina Porter definiatly makes this book shine! I thought this might be trashy, and i was hoping, but it wasn't and really i didn't mind! This is one of the better examples of storytelling i've come across. If you like davina porter try the outlander series!!

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

By connie on 02-06-12

paint-by-numbers masterpiece

Take Marion Chesney???s Lady Rose, make her an immigrant countess and drop her "downstairs" into a Heyerite plot set post WWI rather than Georgian, Regency or Edwardian England. If this description appeals to you, you can be in for a treat.

The history detail is thin overall and the plot predictable but (lovable!) --and so well spun that I was waiting in suspense for the predicable to happen. The characters are caricatures but it's all knot together well and remixed to please those who know and enjoy the likes of Heyer, Chesney, and Elizabteh Ashton (at her best). Yeah it???s a Heyer imitation, but not a pale one. This is good clean diversion (if you don???t try to deconstruct the fairytale of the happy social class differences!)

I immediately searched for more novels by the late author. The other Audible offerings are from her children and YA fiction. The only other full length title that seemed non YA, Company of Swans, is not in the same class as the Secret Countess (both the adult titles would be suitable for YA who enjoy such fairytales).

This is 3 star stuff elevated to four stars by the divine delivery of Davina Porter and the author's playful humour.

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By JAJ on 02-21-09

Easy Listen

This is a light hearted tale, easy to listen to, pick up and put down, enjoyable romance.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

By jayne on 07-16-11

another warm bubble bath!

this has to be one of my favourite "Evas" - you obviously have to suspend belief when you dip into one of these stories but as a "time-out" from day to day stresses they cant be beaten. just a good old romantic fairy tale!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Karen on 11-07-15

Light, but thoroughly entertaining

I chose this book for the narrator, but have found it to be a very entertaining book and have listened to it a number of times

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By Vanessa Hughes on 09-11-15

Sweet romance

A lovely innocent romance with a fabulous collection of secondary characters. I've listened to this 4 times now. Davina Porter's narration is, as usual, brilliant.

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