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?
When it comes to historical romances, tales of governesses rule my world; they are my ultimate catnip. So a series (this is Book 1) of romances about governesses was a definite click worthy (not to mention, the books are 99 cents each).
This book is about novella length at a total of 125 NOOK pages (factor in cover, copyright, and excerpts from six other Avon books = book is about 105-110 pages long). The shorter length seem to fit the story perfectly...or vice versa, but just to say there was no filler or added material that detoured into sequel bait territory. The reader meets all four governesses right in the first chapter, when they are setting up their club/future independence.
One of the ways that I enjoyed this particular story about governesses is that the author stuck much closer to the truth between employers (wealthy, titled families) and their employees (and the different class structure among the employees) of the time period (1820s England). No benefit of the doubt is given to employees who are caught in compromising or intimidating situations with people from higher stations, especially female employees. I tend not to like the upstairs/downstairs love affairs, as they don't really ring true to me.
I liked Jacob right off the bat and knew he was more than a tutor. Claire was formal to Jacob, which would have been a reality when a new employee enters the house. They bonded quickly when Jacob asked for Claire's advice, and the love story told from then on was strong. I liked that Claire wasn't an idiot while being attracted to Jacob; when Jacob would slip up and say something that would reveal his identity, Claire questioned him. I tend to skim/skip sex scenes, but I didn't for this book because it was a natural extension of their emotional bond to physically mate (and he took care knowing she was a virgin). There was just the right amount of groveling at the end.
I wanted to give this book another half to full star, but the copy editing was non-existent. This was the work of a publishing house (Avon) and they failed to do the most basic of editing work, especially in the first chapter - crucial for the reader to understand the motivations behind setting up the Governess Club. It was hard to determine who was speaking when conversations were formatted into one paragraph; never mind that boxes with question marks were in places that quotations marks should have been. The editing smoothed out for most of the book until the last 5-6 pages, then the horrible formatting and proofreading errors began anew. I don't blame the author, as there was no writing issues I found, just the proofing ones.
Since I already had the second book on the NOOK, I dived right into it so I could stay within the club.