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background and takes a job as servant in the household of the esteemed Westerholme family, armed only with an outdated housekeeping manual and sheer determination.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...
The Countess Below Stairs is the first book I've read by Eva Ibbotson, and it won't be my last. This book was a lovely written romance, and I can't wait to read more from this author.
After having to flee from Russia Anna, the Countess and her family find themselves with no money. Willing to do anything to help her family, Anna finds a job working for Rupert, the Earl. Quickly Anna is loved by all there, from the other help, to the dowager, and most important Rupert. Of course, no good romance to go without a mean, and spiteful wrench. Rupert is engaged to Muriel, and just as quickly all can tell Anna is a kind person, they can tell Rupert's fiance is not a nice women.
The Countess Below Stairs was a thick book with close to 400 pages, but I read it as if it was 100. I couldn't stop reading it. It wasn't cheesy, and most importantly I liked the main characters. Anna wasn't dependent on a man, and she certainly wasn't whiny, and Rupert also was a great strong character.
My biggest complaint with romances is they can be cheesy. I'm one that rolls there eyes at jewelry commericals (have you seen those lately..uugh). The Countess Below Stairs has just the right amount of romance. The only problem I had with this book was I wish Rupert and Anna had more interaction. I get that back then people fell in love quickly, but a couple of more moments between them would have felt more believable to today's readers. Regardless, I knew they cared for each other, so it wasn't all that important.
The Countess Below Stairs was a enjoyable romance. If your looking for a light romance I would recommend this book.