Only Four Titles Left

The Racy Revelations of a Countess

Fiction - General
232 Pages
Reviewed on 05/06/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

In Only Four Titles Left - The Racy Revelations of a Countess by Jainey Bolingbroke and Jane Scott, Angela had always felt a special pull towards England from when she was just a little girl, although she was born and raised in New Zealand. Determined to find her place in England's privileged circles, Angela left home at 19 to follow her dream. Although her plans of meeting a distinguished Englishman met with many obstacles, she finally found her destiny in the arms of the four-titled Lord Bravington. For several years, Angela lived her dream of marital bliss by Richard's side as they travelled around the world and lived in total luxury amidst their bizarre assortment of acquaintances. However, between their lavish lifestyle and her husband's habits, Angela had some hard lessons to learn.

Only Four Titles Left - The Racy Revelations of a Countess by Jainey Bolingbroke and Jane Scott is a captivating story set against a rich English background in the last half of the 20th century. It is a tale of one woman's life journey filled with adventure, love and loss, fortunes and misfortunes, trials and triumphs, and everything in between. The story is brought to life through a writing style that is very befitting of the time and place, and a main character that is so fascinating you will feel compelled to follow her life journey to the very end. Only Four Titles Left is a true depiction of the intended theme. I found Angela's story to be so deeply touching and it was uplifting to see how she always managed to carry on despite the endless challenges that came her way.

K T Bowes

Only Four Titles Left by Jainey Bolingbroke and Jane Scott is a really lighthearted novel, documenting the life of a child of 1950s New Zealand as she grows up and sets her heart on marrying a titled Old Etonian. The reader is jollied along with Angela as she flits from New Zealand to England and back again, with short and entertaining interludes in other European countries. Her dream of finding a title takes her to immense highs and breathtaking lows as she meets members of the English gentry, none of whom seem particularly worthy of their title. It’s a sobering storyline, as Angela constantly lives by her wits and lurches from one bad situation to another. There is a sense of timelessness about the novel, so much so, it is easy to forget that the main characters have strayed into the realms of middle to old age, as they cavort like nubile twenty-year-olds and venture into scrapes I would hope never crossed my grandparents’ genteel minds.

It’s a very entertaining novel with heaps of tongue in cheek humour. The English culture jars against that of small town New Zealand, but the sense of Christchurch across half a century is historically accurate regarding the social scene. The reader can imagine the Anglicised pomp and superiority of the titled class, who leaked their inequality into a land formerly unstained by their prejudice. The novel bounces along with Angela miraculously coming out on top in most situations, despite some rotten luck along the way.

The novel is written in the third person with frequent asides from the main character. Angela is of an optimistic nature and her speech tends to be very upbeat, which makes her likeable to the reader. The style of writing maintains a surface appearance to the characters, in the spirit of many mid-20th century novels. The main character gets herself into some dubious situations which would completely rock most people, yet she stoically pushes on with her sense of eternal optimism. In the spirit of the 'stiff upper lip' of the British aristocracy, the reader is kept remote from how Angela really feels about each disaster as it arises. The storyline moves quite quickly at times and slower in others, and when the novel finishes just after the millennium, Angela is in her late fifties. Yet she climbs on the back of a motorcycle and enjoys the amorous attentions of a much younger man, without reference to her age. Because the novel seems so tongue in cheek, the authors are able to get away with it.

The writers clearly have a dry sense of humour which comes across easily. Each of the protagonists ends up with their just deserts, which is satisfying and fits with the overall tone of the novel; some of the justice meted out is really quite funny. There is a sense of longevity with Angela’s character which is unusual. It’s as though she’s drunk from the fountain of youth because at almost sixty years old she is thought desirable in a swimsuit and seems to find romance and sexual conquest with dizzying ease. The reader is carried along with skill, not questioning it. Angela’s attitude towards sex seems a little numb, which is something of a statement about how women were treated in that social class in the late 1900s. For Angela, it's a shame as she gets so much of it. This was a really interesting novel which is very different from much of what’s out there. It’s an easy read and truly hilarious in parts.

Tina Gibbons

Only Four Titles Left: The Racy Revelations of a Countess by Jainey Bolingbroke and Jane Scott details the roller coaster ride of Angela MacLeod's life. She was a young woman growing up in New Zealand with a love of all things English, triggered by an overheard conversation in which her mother revealed she had once been engaged to marry a titled Old Etonian. Angela was obsessed with pursuing what her mother had failed to achieve. Angela lost her father at a young age and always seemed drawn to older men for romantic interludes. At nineteen years old, she sailed for England in the early 1960s. After a mess of misadventures with older aristocrats in England, she found the love of her life back in New Zealand, bearer of four titles, whom she married and with whom she produced two sons. The story is told in an international setting. Wherever Angela traveled, there was no lack of excitement and the tale follows her from riches to rags and back again.

Angela MacLeod was an interesting and determined character indeed. She set out to attain a title, and got four of them when she married the Earl of Bravington. Tricky Dickie, as she referred to him, was her true love. Although I found him more insane than anything else and couldn't understand why she tolerated his attitude, his cheating, and his gambling, he was still interesting. Angela stayed loyal to him. She had grit and perseverance. She muddled through hard times with the same attitude as when she was rich, which made her very likeable. She dealt with her demons and weaknesses after being dumped by the love of her life, which made her human and relatable. She had such a wild array of experiences that you won't believe they all happened in the span of one young woman's life. Highly entertaining and funny at some points, and tragic in others, Jainey Bolingbroke and Jane Scott kept me enthralled with the ups, downs, and twists of Only Four Titles Left: The Racy Revelations of a Countess. I enjoyed it very much.

Mamta Madhavan

Only Four Titles Left: The Racy Revelations of a Countess by Jainey Bolingbroke and Jane Scott is an engaging novel that revolves around Angela, who is a courtesan, and her revelations about the world of aristocrats and the ups and downs that happen in her life. Angela is eager to marry a man with a title because she has a liking for all things English, even though she lives in New Zealand. Her dreams become reality when she meets a man with a few titles and she ends up marrying him. As the story progresses, we see Angela going through a lot of misadventures, but what charms readers is her passion to live life the way she wants to.

The story shifts to three different places as Angela travels the world with her husband. Angela's character is memorable, and her perseverance and her temperament to handle the unexpected happenings in her life is admirable. Angela's determination to live life and have fun, no matter what the consequences, is indeed bold. The story is upbeat and all the twists and turns in the plot are unexpected and manage to surprise readers.

It's a fun read and the characters are also portrayed in a manner which enhances the energy of the plot and the story. The writing style lends simplicity to the scenes and makes them seem more real and palpable. The story also has an underlying message of compassion and understanding which is conveyed very subtly. A fun read and the humor reflected through the story is enjoyable.

Christine Nguyen

Only Four Titles Left: The Racy Revelations of a Countess is a novel about young Angela from New Zealand who always felt different. She always had a fascination and fixation with England and "The Old Etonians," as her mother was once engaged to one. "The Old Etonians" are Englishmen of the aristocracy in England that go to Eton and have graduated there like dukes, barons, and anyone with a title. Angela and her best friend, Prue, would spend countless days role playing that they were part of the English aristocracy. Angela makes her dreams come true when she travels to England to meet some members of the aristocracy and to make contacts. Her dream is to marry an "Etonian" and, in her quest to marry one, she goes through many adventures and through many men. Angela eventually meets Tricky Dickie or Richard, the Earl of Bravington. She could score big here, as he holds not one illustrious title, but four. Is he the one?

The authors, Jainey Bolingbroke and Jane Scott, really nail English humor and English mannerisms in this hilarious book about the upper class of England. The dialogue is a real treat to read as it makes the reader laugh out loud in many instances. And the heroine and main character of the book, Angela, is a true delight. Angela is brave, unique, gutsy, and amazingly positive. Readers like myself could not help but fall for her charm and gumption. I highly recommend this book as it's so funny.