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Guarding the Countess is the fifth book in Jess Michaels’ The Scandal Sheet series of Regency-era historical romance novels. I haven’t read any of The Scandal Series books, but I’ve read (and enjoyed) several of the books in Michaels’ 1797 Club series.

Naomi’s most recent husband has recently died, and since she finds the circumstances to be suspicious, she hires Marcus (a captain) and Everett (a marquis) to investigate. They agree to help, but then someone attempts to shoot Naomi in front of their house, they decide that she needs their protection in addition to their sleuthing skills.

And wow, do Marcus and Everett take their “Protecting Naomi” job seriously. The three of them embark on an intense affair, and Naomi finally has an outlet for her sexual drive- which had been disregarded by her previous husbands. But Marcus and Everett have unresolved issues regarding their feelings for each other, and there’s still someone out there trying to kill Naomi.

The mystery was fairly predictable, but given the length of the narrative, it works well. It’s unreasonable to expect a meandering path to resolution in a novella. The important thing is that the denouement was super melodramatic; it was a perfect match for the frenzied attraction between our triad.

I would recommend Guarding the Countess. I don’t read a lot of MMF (or MFM for that matter), but I liked this one quite a bit. It was fun, and although they (quite literally) fell into bed almost immediately, I did like the exploration of the long and complicated friendship that Marcus and Everett shared. Jess Michaels writes such lovely books, and I really need to add more of her back catalog to my TBR queue.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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