Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime, holds a title but no wealth. Instead, she leads a precarious life following her alchemist father from court to court as he strives to turn lead into gold. Sadly her father makes enemies and financial ruin more successfully than gold. Lady Ellie struggles to hold their place in Queen Elizabeth's court, but while she gains a few friends, she meets mostly disdain.
William Lacey, Earl of Dorset, is another nearly impoverished noble. He comes to Elizabeth's court attempting to find a rich bride and release his family from overwhelming debt. When he falls in love with Lady Ellie, the two are torn between duty and attraction. Caught in the middle is Lady Jane Perceval, Will's intended bride and Ellie's close friend. The Other Countess gives a descriptive glimpse of Elizabethan England with its politics and religious upheaval. It provides an intriguing story for teen readers while educating them about the culture of England in 1582.
I also recommend The Queen's Lady, Lacey Chronicles #2.
Recommended ages-13 and up