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review 2014-09-13 00:12
Full Length Story
The Governess Club: Sara - Ellie Macdonald

Sweet Sara Collins is one of the founding members of the Governess Club. But she has a secret: She doesn't love teaching. She'd much prefer to be a vicar's wife and help the local community. But this quiet mouse doesn't want to upset her friends, and she resolves to help in whatever ways she can.

 

Nathan Grant is the embodiment of everything that frightens Sara. Which is why she can't understand why the handsome but reclusive and gruff man is so fascinating to her. When Sara decides it's time to take a chance and experience all that life has to offer, Nathan is the first person she thinks of.

 

Will Sara's walk on the wild side ruin her chances at a simple, happy life? Or has she just opened the door to a once-in-a-lifetime chance at passion?

 

My Review:

Although this is the first full length novel in the series, it felt a bit flat for me. In the novellas, the limited word count helped to keep the plot moving forward and the characters' defined. Here there was a lot of repetition and wishy-washy feelings from the heroine.

 

Nathan was the best kind of anti-hero and I was endeared to him from the start. He was much more emotionally damaged by his years in politics than even he realized, so the love story with Sara was as much about Nathan regaining his sense of self as it was about love. Also, the man is so damn sexy he made eating a pasty quite the intimate affair.

 

Sara was emotionally and mentally damaged by her parents' obsession with being the perfect church couple (her father was the vicar) and her mother's disapproval of Sara at every turn. I needed time with the story to finally warm up to Sara before I cheered her on to go get her man. I sympathize with her panic attacks, but she couldn't even trust her friends in the club to be honest with them. She was so coddled by Claire, Jacob, and Louisa that it was more like she was a kid sister.

 

If you are already invested in the series by having read book 1 and 2, this is not a bad read to follow up on. It was a solid story as a stand alone. However, the repetition was near enough to be considered filler to push the story to the required word count and not story dictated, so don't be so quick to jump into this story unless you have the time and patience. 

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review 2014-09-12 23:45
So good, the copy editing issues didn't matter
The Governess Club: Bonnie - Ellie Macdonald

Miss Bonnie Hodges, governess to the Darrow family, is desperately trying to hold it together. Tragedy has struck, and she is the sole person left to be strong for the two little boys in her care. When the new guardian arrives, she hopes that things will get better. She wasn't expecting her new employer to be the most frustrating, overbearing, and ... handsome man she's ever seen.

 

Sir Stephen Montgomery is utterly distracted. He should be trying to figure out how his two best friends were killed in a suspicious accident and why the new young viscount seems destined to be the next victim. But he can't concentrate on anything but his growing infatuation with the beautiful, mysterious, and utterly captivating governess.

 

Together they're doing their best to save the two boys, but will Stephen's feelings for Bonnie get in the way of their search for a killer?

 

 

My Review:

This is the second book in the Governess Club series. Normally, I don't go for Scots as leading men because Highlanders don't appeal to me. By the end of the book, I wanted the Sexy Scotsman (Sir Stephen) for myself! What a bad-ass, true-to-the-ideal of alpha male - all without a hint of being domineering or egotistical! In a word: dreamy.

 

Bonnie was no slouch herself; she wasn't a martyr either. Rather, she cared for her traumatized young charges (the older being the new viscount, a title he should have received in 20-30 years in the future) beyond her professional duties. Stephen, as well as the reader, knew he could trust in Bonnie to help find who was creating chaos at Darrowgate. I loved their intimate tea times together. Again, the sex scenes were at the right level of heat and emotional pull (sexy Scotsman has no problem helping his lady clean up afterwards....like I said, dreamy).

 

There were still editing issues that became noticeable (last 5% of the book) but I was so won over with the writing and the story that the issues were not a barrier to giving this story all 5 stars.

 

So very much recommend, as a stand alone (the mystery is self-contained to this book) or read as part of the series. Novella length (about 110 NOOK pages from a total count of 123).

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review 2014-09-12 23:24
Copy Editing Loses Stars!
The Governess Club: Claire - Ellie Macdonald

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?

 

My review:

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.

 

Recommended read.

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