Love lost and found…
As a girl, Euphemia Darrow had fallen desperately in love with the younger son of the Duke of Clarenden, Nicholas Montford. But he broke her heart with a cold dismissal before he left to join the army. Rather than pine for him, Effie found another purpose for her life. Forfeiting the notions of having a husband and children of her own, she poured her heart and soul into the Darrow School—her creation. It was a place for girls like herself… the illegitimate and often forgotten children of noblemen. She would rear those girls, teach them to fend for themselves, to retain their dignity and independence in a world of men.
Years later, fate brings Nicholas back into her life. Now the only surviving son, he is the heir to the dukedom, he’s also a master spy, working to protect the crown from threats foreign and domestic. Unable to resist the beautiful girl who has now grown into a remarkable and fascinating woman, Nicholas finds himself once more under Effie’s spell. All his efforts to protect her from his father’s wrath by ending their association have failed. But his father is now on his deathbed, and freedom lies ahead—freedom to finally pursue the life he’s always dreamed of… a life with Effie.
But the course of true love can never run smoothly. Confronted with evidence that Nicholas has done the unforgivable—fathering a child, Alexandra, and abandoning her to the horrors of the workhouse—Effie rejects him. When the scheming of his enemies places him at death’s door, Effie must accept that her feelings for him, despite her hurt, are as deep as ever. But Nicholas’ enemies will do whatever it takes to destroy him and anyone who is close to him.
With Effie and Alexandra in danger, he must move heaven and earth to keep them all safe… and to prove that he is worthy of her.
Titles in The Hellion Club series include — A Rogue to Remember —♥— Barefoot in Hyde Park —♥— Making Spirits Bright (Novella) —♥— What Happens in Piccadilly —♥— Sleepless in Southampton —♥— When an Earl Loves a Governess —♥— All I Want for Christmas (Novella) —♥— The Duke’s Magnificent Obsession —♥— The Governess Diaries —♥— A Dangerous Passion —♥— The Lady Confesses —♥— Has Anybody Seen My Earl? —♥— A Scandal on Park Lane —♥— Strangers on a Train —♥— All About Emily —♥— A Hellion Without A Cause —♥—
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: The Governess Diaries
Series: The Hellion Club #7
Author: Chasity Bowlin
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: February 21, 2023
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing
My Rating: 4.5 stars
The Governess Diaries is the seventh title in The Hellion Club series – and although I have not yet read the previous titles in that series, I wasn’t left feeling completely lost by picking it up at this point. Of course, I would always suggest going back to the beginning when possible (it wasn’t realistic for me to do that this time), but I was able to pick up the nuances and history of this couple from the cover description and their story itself. And to be frank, Effie and Nicholas’ story is enough to entice me to go back to discover the other stories and to follow whatever comes next in this particular fictional world.
The Cover Blurb paints such a detailed picture of this couple’s difficulties that I don’t feel I need to mention any lead-up to my thoughts about The Governess Diaries. My heart broke for young Effie, who had given her heart only to have the man she loved seemingly walk calmly away off to his military obligations. Of course, she didn’t know the entire truth and wouldn’t for several years, but that heartbreak set her on a path that would help so many other girls that one can almost wonder if it wasn’t fate that Effie and Nicholas would love, separate, and find each other once again years later.
The Governess Diaries is an engaging romance with touches of danger, laughter, mystery, steaminess, betrayal, and heartache. Through diary entries, and a few timeslip moments, we get an idea of how events happened for both Effie and Nicholas and how those lies and threats tore them apart. The villain here is vile in, to me, the worst possible way. The threat to Nicholas and everyone he loves is very real – and I loved that Effie was right beside him, ferreting out the truth. She will not sit back and let her future happiness be fought for by someone else, that’s for certain. I enjoyed this story, it is well-written and emotional, plus gave me the desire to learn more about this world – which means going back through six stories to get to this point. That’s quite a feat, in my opinion.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available for the Kindle as this title is currently in KU