Tessa James has worked and planned tirelessly to open her own millinery shop. All she needs now is a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her. The only problem is, she doesn’t even know his name. What’s a woman to do to find him but enter the aristocratic world by becoming a governess?
Guy Whitby, the new Duke of Carlin, has returned to London after years abroad to discover that his young daughter Sophy has become a wild child known for scaring away every governess who’s crossed his doorstep. When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful–and that she might be fibbing about her qualifications.
Their blooming attraction leads them on a completely unexpected path to love that neither wants to deny. But when an old enemy threatens Guy’s family, their forbidden romance goes up in flames. Can they still learn to love and trust each other as forces try to tear them apart?
This is an adult 18+ story that contains language, possible violence, and sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: When A Duke Loves a Governess
Series: Unlikely Duchesses #3
Author: Olivia Drake
Genre: Historical/Regency Romance
Published: July 27, 2021
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
My Rating: 4 stars
When A Duke Loves A Governess is the third title in the Unlikely Duchesses series which starts off strong and had me completely hooked early on. While I’ve loved the earlier stories in this series Tessa’s and Guy’s story could stand on its own, although I will always suggest reading a series in order if at all possible.
Tessa grew up as the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat… although his exact name has never been revealed to her, the only proof she has is a necklace with a crest and her now-deceased mother’s word. Tessa is, has always been scrappy, never allowing her circumstances to hold her back and she is extremely determined to open her own millinery shop. The only trouble is finding the funds to do so. She will set about finding the father who abandoned her and her mother years ago in the only way available to her… find a way to enter into the ton’s world and search from within for information. As she overhears a conversation about a certain wild child and the father who is desperate for a governess to stay and not run terrified of this small girl a plan unfolds in Tessa’s mind. She has no idea that this decision is about to change lives, bring danger to them all, or set her on the path to a lifetime love with one very special man.
Guy, the new Duke of Carlin, is more of a scholar than an aristocrat but circumstances have recently sent his world into a tailspin. Returning home after years he’s discovering that aside from becoming the Duke a lot more has changed in his world… namely his daughter, Sophy. She has become an entitled, spoiled, holy terror under his in-laws’ care while he was gone and the sweet little baby he remembers is nothing like this mini-tyrant. He’s desperate enough for a governess that will actually not be run off by his daughter that he hires Tessa, even though he has very strong misgivings about her and her “experience”. What Guy didn’t know is that Tessa is more than a match for Sophy and will have no trouble keeping her under control, changing that attitude, or from doing the snooping she’s intended all along. Watching them navigate the passion and the suspicions between them was a fascinating journey. When danger comes along it adds another layer to an already intriguing storyline.
I loved Tessa. She’s strong, capable, determined with a softer side that shows with Guy. Sophy is indeed a terror when we first meet her, it was endearing to watch her become a little girl with boundaries and a much nicer personality as time went by. As for Guy, I liked him but had to keep in mind throughout the story that this is a time period where fathers didn’t always stick close to home but did, in fact, spend years abroad allowing others to raise their child. As a couple Guy and Tessa worked, each bringing out the best in the other… eventually.
Oh, I absolutely loved the cover for When A Duke Loves A Governess, that color just draws the eyes to the book.
*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.*
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