Title: The Governess Was Wicked
Author: Julia Kelly
Series: Governess #1
Genre: Victorian Romance
Available: 12th Sept
This delightfully charming and saucy Regency era romance, is first in the Governess series in which three best friends are employed as governesses for different families, and all find themselves wanting something they can’t have.
Elizabeth Porter is quite happy with her position as the governess for two sneaky-yet-sweet girls when she notices that they have a penchant for falling ill and needing the doctor. As the visits from the dashing and handsome Doctor Edward Fellows become more frequent, Elizabeth quickly sees through the lovesick girls’ ruse. Yet even Elizabeth can’t help but notice Edward’s bewitching bedside manner even as she tries to convince herself that someone of her station would not make a suitable wife for a doctor. But one little kiss won’t hurt.
Source: ARC from Pocket Star via NetGalley
This is a quick, easy Victorian romance (not Regency, despite what the blurb might say – in fact ignore the blurb, because the girls aren’t in love with the doctor either, they’re just attention seeking because of a new baby brother and terrible parents) that makes for a pleasant read if you don’t think too deeply about it. We have a gently-bred governess forced into the role by her father’s debts and a gentile doctor on the edge of travelling to America to further his dreams of medical research. They’ve known each other for three years and have quietly lusted after each other for all this time.
Which is all very well, until you start to think about it. Because there is no reason why these two can’t have married at any point during these three years. Edward’s a successful doctor, not a politician. A competent, well-bred wife would be perfect for him. Similarly, there’s absolutely no reason why they suddenly give into their attraction at this point. Sure, the girls’ illness provides an opportunity to get very up-close and personal, but Elizabeth had already made a move before then.
So it doesn’t make sense. But if you can put that aside, then you have two well-bred people thinking dirty thoughts about each other and finally acting upon it. How very saucy Victorian.
Except it happens when the girls that Elizabeth professes to love so very dearly are actually at death’s door. I could have understood her being upset and Edward comforting her, but nope, that’s not what happens here. It’s just good old lust and the opportunity to take advantage of a night where they won’t be interrupted – ’cause the girls might be dying.
Throw in Edward’s complete lack of a proposal at the appropriate moment (for some lame reason that still makes absolutely no sense when she’s already told him she’d love to travel. Take her with you, numbskull!) and Elizabeth’s ability to walk away from her beloved girls without a backward look, and this book really doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The situation is ridiculous, the characters shallow and the obstacles thrown in their way flimsy at best – but for all that it’s still an easy read that skips along at a decent pace with a nice bit it of heat. If you’re looking for a light, short historical that really doesn’t require too much thinking, then give this a go. I’m certainly curious enough to want to read the next one.
The Governess Was Wicked is out September 12th.
Visit Julia Kelly for more details.