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Aug 20, Jen rated it really liked it Shelves: first-book-read-from-author , historical-romance.

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Aug 03, Lexie rated it really liked it Shelves: ebooks-owned-read , first-in-series , books-owned-read. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Aside from an admitted love of Governesses and wallflowers!

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I was hooked almost immediately. The idea of it, akin to the Babysitter's Club, had me pumped to read what these ladies got up to. Claire is an efficient, well mannered young lady of gentle breeding. The fact she's been reduced to being a Governess has not made her bitter though the circumstances perhaps did a little , instead she devotes herself to teaching her charges the Aldgate children that with determination and an willingness to never quit you can succeed in any endeavor. Jacob Knightly is the exact opposite. Needing to flee London due to some Considered a waste and worthless he wants nothing more then to prove everyone wrong.

While the story follows the typical romance outline I found how the two interacted with each other and with their circumstances to be the engaging aspect of the story. Jacob obviously has no clue how to be a tutor--other then a vague belief that he hated having to study when he could be outdoors he's at a loss.

Even without Claire pointing out all the small and large ways he fails at being a real tutor, Macdonald does a good job illustrating that Jacob is new to the subservient role. I almost wish Macdonald hadn't had Claire pointing out such moments, but Jacob's befuddlement was amusing to read. As can be expected of a governess tale kids are a big part of the story and these ones aren't annoying. Reading as Jacob struggled to come up with ways to keep his two charges interested and engaged reminded me of when I was a teacher.

The secondary characters--Lucy, a maid who befriends Claire, as well as Louisa who is the most prominent member of the Governess Club to show up other then Claire of course , hold their own and offer different perspectives for Claire to think on. Though I think that Claire worries too greatly about matters she can't control this may be a subtle way of Macdonald to show her guilt over what happened following her mother's decline though--a sort of after effect and the solution to all her problems is a bit too pat, I find myself eager to see how the Governess Club fares in the next book, about Bonnie.

Aug 17, Lady Wesley rated it liked it Shelves: arc , arc-rev , amz-rev.

Sweet novella, with a clever plot. It's short, so love and forgiveness come pretty quickly.

Sweet Inspirational Romance

Oct 11, Stevie Carroll rated it liked it Shelves: reviewed-elsewhere. Previously reviewed on The Good the Bad and the Unread : What is it with North American authors and the conferring of fictional Earldoms courtesy or inherited from a distant relative on second sons? Before I hit that sticking point, this story was jogging along rather cutely, if implausibly, with its tale of Claire, a governess trying to carve out a better situation in life for herself a Previously reviewed on The Good the Bad and the Unread : What is it with North American authors and the conferring of fictional Earldoms courtesy or inherited from a distant relative on second sons?

Before I hit that sticking point, this story was jogging along rather cutely, if implausibly, with its tale of Claire, a governess trying to carve out a better situation in life for herself and her friends, and Jacob, an aristocrat in hiding from creditors rather than anything more exiting who is passing himself off as a tutor to young gentlemen.

However, we later find out that their meetings happen regularly, and I do wonder why none of their employers have commented that they are all without a governess on the same afternoon every month. However… some indeterminate time later, Claire is sitting in the garden when a maid appears with a message that she must go straight to the house.

Leaving the maid to watch over the children, and anticipating news of her ancestral home, she does so only to be confronted with Jacob. The two grow closer and Claire tells Jacob of her plans, although he fails to reveal his true identity. They have sex, apparently without being noticed, and Jacob proposes — still without revealing his true identity. Claire accepts but wants to tell her governess friends before anyone else.

Both leave the household: he to clear his debts and his name; she to parts unknown, but with a decent reference. All Claire wants now is to somehow get back her family home and carry out the plans of the governess club. But, of course, this is a romance and… view spoiler [it turns out that Jacob has not only managed to clear his debts, but has also bought the house all in the space of a fortnight. He proposes to Claire once again, she accepts, hide spoiler ] and then we jump forwards three months for the happy ending and a lead-in to the next story in the series.

Aug 27, Tin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Yes, this is an honest review. They formulated a plan: first, to regain Claire's childhood home, then save their wages for three years, and finally quit their jobs. They formed The Governess Club, meeting once a month during their afternoon off. The arrival of Jacob Knightly, new tutor to the Aldgate boys causes an upheaval in Claire's carefully planned life and schedule.

It does not help that Jacob's arrogance and his confidence grates at Claire, who sees that Jacob is new to the world of service and lacks the humility and obedience that goes with the territory -- and she isn't afraid to tell him so. Only someone who has lived a privileged life and then fallen from it could understand and see Jacob so clearly and Jacob is intrigued by Claire and her story. Who was she in her formal life? When the inevitable confrontation happens, Jacob is forced to reassess his behavior and asks for Claire's help and guidance.

Her Majesty's Harem

What begins as a partnership of teachers blossoms into something more as Jacob and Claire slowly fall in love. But Jacob is keeping one secret very close to his heart -- his true identity as the notorious Earl of Rimmel -- and he wonders how his darling Claire will react when he finally tells her who he is.

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Gosford Park. We have always been fascinated by what goes on in the houses of kings, princes, and lords. How would such a household function and what sort of interesting stories can be found within these stately houses and grand castles? The " country house " has often been utilized in fiction to highlight the differences and similarities between the lives of the lords of the manor and their servants. Very rarely has the spotlight been directed solely on the servants. And this is what Ellie MacDonald does. Ellie MacDonald's series focuses on the lives of governesses and she does so with such sympathetic observation and unreserved sincerity that she elevates and celebrates the working class.

From what I understand, governesses and companions are a very interesting class in the world of servants.

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Those who work in such capacaity are usually genteel ladies whose financial situations have taken a downturn. With no prospects of marriage, they apply as companions to older ladies or utilize their own education and work as governesses to the children of lords and ladies.

Not quite meant for a life of servitude, but not living the life of privilege -- it is an odd place that they occupy. Not if one disregards the fact that for women of our station it signifies a lowering of one's situation. We were not born to be in service. We are being paid to render a service. Our lives are theirs to dictate, I cannot even count the number of times I have been called upon to even out the numbers at a dinner party.

And they think they are bestowing some great honor upon me when they know full well I have attended more illustrious tables than theirs. MacDonald characterizes her so wonderfully: as both fragile and strong. She is still the young heartbroken girl who dreams of regaining her childhood home, which she was rudely booted out of, but she is also a mature woman who has worked as a governess for four years and is comfortable in her job.

When she lectures Jacob about submissiveness and subservience, I don't hear a proud woman who is lording her superiority and seniority over the new staff -- but I hear a helpless young lady, who was forced to do the same because she didn't have any other choice. This one is universal, not just limited to how to survive as a servant.

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You have no concept of what their dreams or ambitions are. Who could relate to Claire's situation but Jacob? And vice versa. Love transforms Jacob from a dissolute Earl hiding from his debtors to a man with a direction and a goal: to make Claire happy, to make Claire his. Read about the toasties and the conversation they have in Chapter 4.

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Claire looked up at him, her eyes clouded with uncertainty. It struck Jacob that he had been very mistaken about her eyes. They weren't a mossy green, but rather grassy, emeraldy, a combination of all three. The different shades played together harmoniously, each allowing the others moments to shine. When she laughed, the emeralds twinkled with delight; when angered, the grass snapped; when content, the moss softened. This look, this confused uncertainty, blended all three into a shade he had never seen before, yet the impact thudded in his gut and echoed throughout his veins. At this moment in time, he would do whatever it took to banish that look from her eyes forever but had no idea how to accomplish it.

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God help him, he never wanted her to feel this again. He never wanted to feel this again. Would it be a future together? Or a future apart? Jacob at the beginning of the book had no sense of equality and tossed the word around carelessly -- but Jacob at the end of the book is a changed man, a better man. You know when you've read a good book because it fills you with a sense of elation and giddiness -- this book did that.