Follow three best friends who navigate love and independence as governesses in Regency England in this delightfully charming installment in the Governesses series.
Mary Woodward, a young veteran governess, has one job: guiding a young debutante through her first season in high society. And up until now, keeping her fous and avoiding temptation has been easy. But never before has the father of her young charge been as devilishly handsome as the single, wealthy Earl of Asten.... Convinced to risk it all, Mary let's herself enjoy one night of magic at a masked ball in Asten's arms, but will they both regret everything when the Earl learns her true identity?
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As in the first book, Kelly has managed to pack all that one would hope from a larger book into this
Mary’s story is the second in this charming series that follows three friends in service as governesses in London. After the betrothal announcement of her latest charge, Mary left that home to stay with Julia (book 1) and her husband while she evaluated new options for employment. Several letters of enquiry have hit the trash bin until she reads a letter from Lord Asten arrives. His daughter, Eleanora is entering her first season, and he’s concerned about her apparent withdrawal and lack of enjoyment in all things having to do with this time.
From the first, Mary is solidly her own woman, from chiding the Earl when she is kept waiting for an appointment, through her often plain-spoken reprimands that show him she is not swayed by his looks or title. Eleanora is a bit more difficult to bring to her side, but a face off (admittedly above the reach of her position) with a friend of the Earl’s widow who is taking great liberties, soon have Eleanora on her side.
Mary was a bit more reserved and tightly wound than Julia in the earlier title. This worked really well for her personality though, as she is both the longest in service and having had withstood the scandal of her mother’s faithlessness after her father’s death. She’s worked hard to build a solid reputation, and no matter how attracted she is to Eric (Lord Asten) she won’t risk it.
For his part, Asten is unwilling to allow himself a dalliance with his help: he’d spent the past 14 years as a widower, devoted to duty and his daughter. A bad marriage had him unwilling to risk his heart, but Mary intrigues him on so many levels, he can’t see through the lust for the truth.
A costume ball, passion in the folly, his daughter’s obvious growth, happiness and new suitor and her quiet manipulations set him straight…but it may be too late.
As in the first book, Kelly has managed to pack all that one would hope from a larger book into this read in 2 hours large novella. Heart, heat, a touch of growth and revelation as well as moments with the three friends together, and you get a wonderful story. Eric is honorable and loyal, Mary is passionate, intelligent and caring. Together they are marvelous. A wonderful instalment in the series – a perfect series for a quiet hiding away moment where happy endings are guaranteed.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions and expectations are my own responsibility.