Thursday, January 17, 2013

TBR Challenge: Courtney Milan - The Governess Affair

Three months ago, governess Serena Barton was let go from her position. Unable to find new work, she’s demanding compensation from the man who got her sacked: a petty, selfish, swinish duke. But it’s not the duke she fears. It’s his merciless man of business—the man known as the Wolf of Clermont. The formidable former pugilist has a black reputation for handling all the duke’s dirty business, and when the duke turns her case over to him, she doesn’t stand a chance. But she can’t stop trying—not with her entire future at stake.
Hugo Marshall is a man of ruthless ambition—a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner’s son to the right hand man of a duke. When his employer orders him to get rid of the pestering governess by fair means or foul, it’s just another day at the office. Unfortunately, fair means don’t work on Serena, and as he comes to know her, he discovers that he can’t bear to use foul ones. But everything he has worked for depends upon seeing her gone. He’ll have to choose between the life that he needs, and the woman he is coming to love…

Comment: Here it is my comment for the book I've chosen for January's theme.
We were supposed to read a novella or a short-story and I've picked Governess Affair because I wanted to read it since I knew so many people loved it, considering how short it was. I thought it fit perfectly this month's theme.

This novella is the prequel to a new series and tells us the story of Serena, a governess who sits in a bench in front of a duke's house and rumors say she's got out of her previous job because the duke offered her a job as tutor to his child. A child he doesn't have.
Hugo is a sort of enforcer for the duke, he manages the duke's business. While trying to get rid of the governess he learns her demands aren't as simple and her reasons aren't as mundane, Slowly they start to exchange "attacks" until they reach an agreement.

This was the first book I've read by this author. I was already curious over some of her previous books but never attempted to read any simply because I have so many, I was delaying the inevitable.
I liked the story. I read historicals without a problem, and I enjoyed the setting a lot. The story intrigued me and I really thought it would be about a governess demanding satisfaction over a bad job offer. I didn't read any detailed reviews so I wouldn't be influenced when I finally decided to get to it. So, I was quite surprised to see the real issue there wasn't merely an employment position in a time where women didn't have any rights to speak of. I was a bit sad over what motivated Serena to protest and I think this subject had everything to work out in a bigger book, because I couldn't put aside the fast way Serena and Hugo started to give in to their attraction or, I think, it was due to the way it's written and made me believe not time enough had passed since Serena had her...issues. I'll explain: Serena had an awful experience because of the duke and she didn't take long to jump into to another situation that, despite very, very different was very close to the one before and I thought someone in real life wouldn't feel so "normal" in such a short time.
Perhaps it's just me, I'm very picky on my heroine's behavior and I tend to put myself in their shoes and sometimes I don't think it's the one I'd chose...
Apart from this, which is really more of a personal pet peeve of mine, I liked the book, the writing style, the story..I'm also very curious about the next books in the series and will get them when they're out and I can buy them.


  1. Yippeee! You made it!

    Quite a few people read Courtney Milan this month. I've got one of her other novellas lying around in the digital TBR (Unlocked, I think?) - but opted instead to whiddle down the print TBR this month.....

  2. Sonia, I've only read a couple? of books by Courtney Milan. Now I don't really remember which ones. Maybe short novellas? Isn't it sad that I don't remember?

    I find that I like her writing style but for some reason don't always love the plots or the characters... I don't know what it is! I do know everyone loves Milan. :)

    Anyway, I think I have this novella in my TBR. Maybe I will give it a try.

  3. Quite frankly, I don't click with this author, but I'm glad that you enjoyed the book. I think I know the situation you are alluding too and I can understand why you'd have problems with timing. In such circumstances, I'd hope for more as well.

  4. Wendy, this story is perfect in terms of size, my choice was mostly because of that, not particularly the author, although I had read some good reviews about her books...

    Hilcia, I also thought there was something about the heroine that made me wrinkle my nose...

    Nath, yes exactly what you've said...I don't think that kind of issue was to be taken care of so easily...

  5. I recently read a short story by Milan. the name eludes me at the moment but it in the Midnight Scandals anthology.

    I'm glad this one worked for you. I'll add it to my WL.