**I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
Series: The Governess Club #1
Published by Avon Impulse on September 3, 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
AMAZON • B&N • Goodreads
For fans of Christina Dodd and Elizabeth Boyle.
Claire Bannister just wants to be a good teacher so that she and the other ladies of the Governess Club can make enough money to leave their jobs and start their own school in the country. But when the new sinfully handsome and utterly distracting tutor arrives, Claire finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance that could change the course of her future.
Jacob Knightly has a secret. He is actually the notorious Earl of Rimmel. He's just posing as a tutor to escape his reputation in the city. He never expected to fall in love with the kind and beautiful governess. She is the first person to love him for himself and not his title.
But when Jacob's true identity is revealed, Claire realizes she has risked her reputation and her heart on a man she doesn't truly know. Will Jacob be able to convince her that the Wild Earl has been tamed and that she is the true countess of his heart?
I’m not much of an historical romance reader. I like the idea of them – period settings and romance, it’s a winning combination for me – but for some reason or other I just never read them. You can blame entering the blogging world and reading some of my favorite blogs who review historical romance (I’m looking at you Nite Lite Reads) for piquing my interest and giving me the genre reading itch. So I started with Ellie Macdonald’s The Governess Club: Claire. I liked the idea of the series – a group of 19th century governesses band together and make a pact: to achieve total freedom and independence. To do this they form the Governess Club in which they will each set aside money and after five years, pool their resources and get a place of their and open a school. The idea of this series got me all whipped up in a Jane Eyre-esque frenzy, what with the focus on governesses and all. I found this to be a quick, sweet read.
This first installment begins with Claire Bannister, a member of the club who, due to her family’s misfortune, is now a penniless governess. She dreams of regaining her family’s lost estate so that one day the Governess Club can take up residence and open their school. A wrench is thrown in her plans thanks to the new tutor the family she works for has hired: Jacob Knightly, a penniless but arrogant tutor with a secret to hide. Needless to say these two are attracted to one another; attraction turns to something deeper and a sweet romance develops.
The chemistry is nice and I think Macdonald did a good job of making Jacob suitably unlikeable but undeniably charming from the beginning. As his arrogant demeanor starts to erode, you begin to warm up to him. Claire is smart, independent, and focused on meeting her goal. She is unwavering in following her path towards independence and that’s what I loved most about her character. In fact, in the end, she never compromises her dreams and that’s a very appealing characteristic for a heroine.
The sexy times felt a little unrealistic to me. Claire succumbs to her desires but I had a hard time reconciling that with the practical, focused Claire I loved. Jacob presses Claire on her past and she opens her heart to him. He’s obviously hiding something and I also had a hard time believing our smart Claire wouldn’t have pressed him just as fervently to reveal his past thereby avoiding a conflict ridden big reveal.
Again, my favorite part of The Governess Club: Claire is Claire’s unwavering determination to make her dreams come true. She doesn’t compromise which makes the romance and the story that much more satisfying. This is a quick, sweet read and a nice introduction to historical romance as a genre. 3 Howls!