Review: The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Title: The Governess Affair
Author: Courtney Milan
Genre: romance novelish, historical
Series: The Brothers Sinister #.5
Pages: 101 pages (Kindle edition)
Published: April 2012
Source: bought
Rating: 5/5

She will not give up…

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.

He cannot give in…

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…

Reviewed by Danielle.

Serena Barton has been let go from her position as a governess by the childish and repugnant Duke of Clermont. Returning to her sister’s home disgraced and secretly pregnant, Serena does what any gentlewoman in her position would.

Oh no, wait, she does something completely brave and unexpected. She fights back.

True, it’s a passive fight, but in a genre of novels where you can expect the heroine to show just enough spunk to keep herself alive until the hero shows up, it’s the most refreshing plan I’ve ever heard. Serena confronts the duke about taking responsibility for the baby. When he laughs her off, she plants her pregnant butt firmly in front of his manor, preventing him from making up with his wife. The wife who left because the duke is a philandering arsehole. The wife who has all of the duke’s money.

Understandably, the duke doesn’t take Serena’s presence well and that’s when our hero comes in. Hugo Marshall, the wolf of Clermont, is the duke’s fixer. He’s fixing the duke’s financial crisis, his failing marriage, and now, Serena. An ex-pugilist who has a dark past, (don’t they all,) Hugo isn’t known for his kind, caring manner or solving problems the conventional way. Ruthless is how he’s described, and no better word exists for a man who ruined the duke’s creditors in the papers and stole a shut-in’s house, but beyond that Hugo is a complex character trying to make up for childhood abuse and poverty. He is refreshingly up front in his desire for the heroine and their first love scene is by turns tender and one of the hottest I have read.

Technically a novella, Courtney Milan packs in more character development and plot in 101 pages than many romances do in thrice the space. In fact, in my only gripe with the writing, her inclusion of the plot filled epilogue somewhat spoils the H/H’s HEA. Taking place 12 years in the future, we meet back up with the next generation, setting the stage for Milan’s The Brothers Sinister Series. While well written and surely helpful when The Duchess War comes out, we don’t see Serena or Hugo. We’re told they’re happy and living their HEA, but as longtime romance readers know, the epilogue is usually a scene where the heroine is pregnant, the hero has made up with his/her family, they’re still in love and lust, and usually ends with a feel good, fade-to-black love scene. To instead end with teenage bullying and plot revelations is different. Not bad, but also not what I expect.

Regency fans, fans of strong heroines or flawed heroes, lovers of hot sex scenes, don’t just buy The Governess Affair Buy Courtney Milan’s entire back catalogue. She is the best romance novelist in years. 

ETA: And, currently, this is free on Amazon! March like zombies, people!

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this novella too! Courtney Milan is one of my favorite historical romance authors ever. This reminds me I still need to read the first installment in this series. Great review, Danielle!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.