Tuesday, February 22, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: Seducing The Governess by Margo Maguire
384 pages By Margo Maguire
BLURB ON BACK OF BOOK:
A proper governess should never...
Assist a handsome stranger, along on an unfamiliar road...unless the rake happens to be her new employer.
Take a position in a crumbling manor...especially if the household staff has been replaced by unruly former soldiers.
Allow her young charge entree to her heart...for once done, it will be impossible to maintain proper distance.
Permit her charge's uncle a breathtaking kiss under a star-lit sky...henceforth she will most certainly lose composure whenever he is near.
And above all, she should never, ever fall completely, irreversibly in love with her employer...for nothing good can possibly come of it.
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Margo Maguire has written a wonderful tale that is small parts Jane Eyre, and Beauty and the Beast all mixed together to make a delectable read.
Mercy Franklin is on her way to the Ashby estate to care for the new Earl of Ashby's young, recently orphaned niece. Mercy herself just lost her parents, who, she shockingly finds out, were not her parents at all. Near destitute, Mercy has no choice but to seek employment. While waiting for the mail coach, Mercy is almost run down in the street by a bunch of ragtag looking soldiers. Behind them, is a horseman, who has to draw up quick to avoid her, and falls from his horse. Shades of Jane Eyre. The man is large, imposing, and badly scarred on one side of his face. He is also quite rude. But Mercy finds herself giving it right back to this imperious looking man.
Imagine her surprise when she is brought in to meet the master, Nash Farris, The Earl of Ashby, and he turns out to be the man on the road. The estate is in deplorable condition, as Nash has been away at war, only returning home because of the untimely, and ultimately suspicious deaths of his two older brothers within a year of each other.
Nash is a wonderful hero. Still trying to come to terms with his war injuries, the loss of both his older brothers is also hard to bear. And what does he do with his 8 year old niece, a withdrawn, quiet child? Then there is that governess, who sparked his desire out on the road with her pert comebacks. Now, she was under his roof. Close.
I also like that Nash brought a lot of his ex-soldiers with him and put them to work at the estate so they would have a roof over their heads. The man is compassionate, and turns out, very passionate, an honorable man.
Mercy was very likable. The compassion she feels for charge, Emmaline, is palatable and real. And that compassion extends to Nash, his scars do not put her off in any way, a fact Nash find astounding. Watching the two of them try and fight the physical pull between them makes for a great read. Mercy had a stern upbringing in a vicar's home, and she is determined that Emmeline is not subjected to such an environment. However hang-ups linger, Nash has ignited such desire in her, it can only be sinful, she surmises, her father's teachings ringing in her ears.
A sub-plot concerning an ailing Earl who hires a solider, Colonel Briggs to try and find his two granddaughters, who were orphaned out as toddlers is interlaced through the book. I wonder who one of the granddaughters is?
Regardless, Nash realizes he must find some heiress if he is to ever get Ashby Hall back to its former glory. How convenient one of his neighbors has a marriageable, pretty daughter. Too bad this young lady, Helene Carew, who can barely look Nash in the face, does nothing for him at all. Not like Mercy.
I started to suspect who might be behind the possible murders of Nash's brothers, but not the reason. The ending was well played out, and the plot points satisfactorily addressed. But enough is left open for another book easily.
The yearning and heartbreak felt by the hero and heroine is well done, and a lot of the secondary characters add to this story nicely. A fully realized love story filled with real emotion, and two lonely people torn between desire and duty.
I recommend this book very much.
3.5 STARS OUT OF 4 FOR THE BOOK
KOVER KUDOS: Lush, colorful, and romantic. The hero's face is partly hidden, so you could surmise that is the scarred part. Nicely done~
3 out of 4 stars for the Cover