Friday, April 12, 2019

Laura Lee Guhrke - Governess Gone Rogue

Lady Truelove may be London's most famous advice columnist, but James St. Clair, the Earl of Kenyon, knows his wild young sons need a tutor, not a new mother. They need a man tough enough to make his hellions tow the line, and James is determined to find one.
Miss Amanda Leighton, former schoolteacher and governess, knows she has all the qualifications to be a tutor. And while female tutors are unheard of, Amanda isn't about to lose the chance at her dream job because of pesky details like that. If Lord Kenyon insists on hiring a man, then she has only one option.
Jamie isn't sure what to make of his new employee, until he realizes the shocking truth—beneath the ill-fitting suits, his boys' tutor is a woman. An unconventional, outspoken, thoroughly intriguing woman. Despite Amanda's deception, he can't dismiss her when his boys are learning so much. Yet Jamie, too, is learning surprising lessons—about desire, seduction, and passionate second chances.

Comment: This is the third installment in the Dear Lady Truelove series by author Laura Lee Guhrke. This is a series focusing on a group of people who, somehow, is connected to the Lady Truelove column (for people to ask questions and lady truelove replies with wise advice) and how their lives are affected by being a part responsible for that column.

In this story, the heroine Amanda is in need of a position but with her reputation that won't be easy. She visits the paper which has the lady Truelove column not to leave a message for her, but to post the advertisement of her skills and eventually that can help her find work. While in there, she overhears the conversation between Rex (the hero from the previous book) and the earl of Kenyon, bother-in-law to the hero of book #1, regarding the fact the earl's sons have tried to post a question for lady truelove to give advice on how their father can find a wife. 
Amanda discovers what the earl needs the most is actually a tutor for the boys and if only she were a man...
What follows is a game to prove Amanda is as able as any man to teach young boys even if for that she has to resort to extreme measures...

This is one of those historical stories that has plenty of situations and dialogues that any reader can immediately suspect is not very accurate. In fact, I've finished the book with the thought that besides the historical anachronisms, this was also much like a contemporary plot. The only thing characterizing it as historical is precisely the description because in anything else it could't be described as such.
However, I can also say that I couldn't care less because this was also very sweet and romantic and offered such a silly plot that nevertheless I feel happy just by thinking about it. It's actually quite perfect for those times you're feeling down and need a "feel-good" type of book.

That aside, this was a cute story. We have Amanda, a woman who has gotten a reputation after being deceived by a man she thought she was in love with and now has difficulty to be accepted as a governess, especially because those who hire her, like her previous employer, tend to want her to be more than just a governess. Amanda is a bright woman, her father wanted to be as clever and able as any man and she has a lot of academic knowledge but prefers to teach children. Too bad young girls are educated to be ladies and not scientists.

When Amanda finds a way to teach the earl of Kenyon's sons, though, she is ecstatic, even though they have many pranks to play on her. But everything can change if their father discovers what is happening.
I must say what troubled me the most in the story itself was how the romance developed. It's sweet and both characters keep the other's feelings in mind when they interact or when they need to make decisions but from the initial signs of attraction to the HEA there weren't many steps. I guess  a way would have been if they had interacted even more or if there were more scenes with the two of them. The way things are, it feels like they didn't spend enough time together for their feelings to be justified as strongly as they declare.

The adventures portrayed are cute, that's true, even if sometimes I'd have liked a bit more seriousness to be used. The author gave the idea Amanda's past and her worries could be enough to convey some drama but I would also say it's a pity these Avon titles all seem to follow certain rules and page limit...this story could have been even better had the author developed some of the details much more.
(Another unimportant personal opinion, but that I can't ignore... what is it with these cheesy titles...? I can't understand why there is the need to enhance the possible silliness of things with bad titles, along the often bad covers too).

This is a simple book, not to philosophy about, not to process. I liked it because it's entertaining and sweet and when life seems difficult it's always good to know there are books like this to make us feel better.
Grade: 8/10

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