Title: The Governess Was Wild
Author: Julia Kelly
Series: Governess #3
Genre: Victorian Romance
Available: 14th Nov
Travel through the English countryside in this third delightful historical Regency romance in the Governesses series by award-winning author Julia Kelly!
When Lady Margaret Rawson is caught trying to elope with the thoroughly unsuitable James Lawrence, Lord and Lady Rawson decide it’s time to send their daughter away from the temptations of London. The job of delivering the headstrong girl to the family’s isolated Yorkshire estate naturally falls to her governess, Jane Ephram. It should be an easy task, but with the wild Lady Margaret, nothing ever goes according to plan. To make matters worse, Lord Rawson has made it clear that if anything happens to his daughter along the way, Jane will be dismissed without a letter of reference. When Jane finds Lady Margaret’s inn room empty and the charming Sir Nicholas Hollings’s horse missing one morning, she must embark on an adventure of her own with the devilishly handsome baron. Will Jane and Nicholas find Lady Margaret, the scheming Mr. Lawrence, and the missing horse, or will they discover something else entirely?
Source: ARC from Pocket Star via NetGalley
This third Victorian governess romance is a fun, light, romp of a read that works best if you’re not too concerned with period detail but like the feel of a historical period. Jane is a determined woman, proper when necessary and fierce when required, while Nicholas is sometimes grumpy but mostly happy to go along with what Jane tells him. It’s a road trip book and is nicely enjoyable.
Up to a point. Incorrect usage of titles are a pet peeve of mine, and here we have Sir Nicholas Hollings, who is a baron with the title Sir Hollings. Except that if he’s a sir then he would be a knight or a baronet and should be known as Sir Nicholas, while a baron would be Lord Hollings. They are not interchangeable and I found it distracting every time Sir Hollings or the baron was mentioned.
However, not everyone is as picky over such things as me. So I’ll move on to the fact that Jane rides an awful lot in this book, which is only of interest because she’s not much of a rider. She spends great chunks of the story in the saddle, which is of course a side saddle, and surely she’d ache a whole lot more than she does since that’s not a natural position to be in for hours at a time. As for her charge, Lady Margaret, I can only assume she’s off riding astride.
Speaking of Lady Margaret, the fact that they don’t recover her within the day is enough to ruin her, especially as Jane isn’t exactly discreet about bandying her charge’s name all over the north road. She hasn’t known Nicholas five minutes before she’s telling him everything (including the earl’s name) right in front of the inn girl who has already proven herself less than helpful or trustworthy. What an excellent way to stop the gossip from spreading!
Also, why does a seventeen year old girl who is out in society still have a governess? If there were more children in the family, fine, but Margaret is an only child and since she’s completely left the school room, Jane should have moved on by now. But then we’d have no story.
There’s also an issue of luggage and money, because expenses are never mentioned. Jane just sort of attaches herself to Nicholas, who is in charge of rooms and horses and food, and she never once offers to pay for anything. Which wouldn’t be a problem except he has money issues, so it is something I’d have expected to come up. As for the luggage, well, they’re riding around for days, including in the rain. Mud would have been a real problem, but it doesn’t come up either.
Picky, I know, but I couldn’t help it. Which is a shame, because for the most part this is fun. It’s light and easy and predictable, but is still enjoyable. As with the first book, I’m a little iffy over the reasons why these two can never be married, since children of a baronet (and even some barons) would be just as likely to marry locally as to go to London, and since Nicholas and his sisters live quietly I think they could weather the storm more than well enough. However, if you can ignore all of that sort of stuff, then you may well enjoy this. I can’t ignore it and I still found it fun.
The Governess Was Wild is out 14th November.
Visit Julia Kelly for more details.