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I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it sufficiently to buy this one, but this was a bit disappointing. The story concerns Alexandra, an erstwhile clock calibrator turned governess and Chase Reynaud,, heir to the Duke of Belvoir, guardian of two young girls, a fairly standard scenario for a historical romance. The initial interactions between Alex and Chase were about the children’s educational needs but each time they met to discuss them it became apparent that there was an attraction between them which descended into sexual encounters in Chase’s study or Cave of Carnality. These encounters seemed devoid of any romance, more about satisfying Alex’s sexual curiosity and re-inforcing Chase’s determination to remain unattached without any family. Add to that Alex’s friends, who were strange in the extreme, not originals just excessive. It just seemed there were lots of different stereotypical historical romance themes cobbled together in this story. I found the use of language unlikely for middle-upper class England of that time period. It’s almost as though the author thought that throwing in some slang English terms for body parts would make it seem more authentic. I found it irritating. The plot did appeal but everything seemed very extreme and in the end, overdone. Sorry not to my taste
The Governess Game has a much more commonplace and hackneyed plot than The Duchess Deal and the humour seems forced and never raises a smile. The heroine's interest in astronomy seems a bit bolt-on, as though an attempt to add interest to her character, and the characters of the group of friends seem much more flat and two-dimensional than in the earlier story.
Very disappointed with this book as I enjoyed the first in the series. I found the children in the story annoying and the sex every other page got a bit tedious. The story is highly unlikely and the use of language full of Americanisms. I felt as though I couldn't wait to get to the end of the story.
I am really sad to have to give a Tessa Dare book such a low review. I absolutely LOVED Tessa Dare’s last three books. She is autobuy for me. So why only two stars you might ask? Well, here goes:
I HATE rakes! They are overdone, boring, morally bankrupt, and disrespectful of women. I don’t know why romance writers continue to write rakes as heroes. Promiscuity is NOT romantic. I just have a hard time believing that they will remain faithful. Chase was immature to the extreme. He only had one night stands with different women every night. Yuck! Chase did improve as the story went along, but I hate to think about just how many women in London he had pleasured before Alex. She will be forced to socialize with these same women who have all had her husband between their thighs. Ugh. (Sorry for being so blunt, but it must be said).
Furthermore, while there were numerous humorous parts to this book (mostly involving doll funerals;), this was not nearly as funny as The Duchess Deal. I did like Chase’s brother though.
The heroine Alex could have been amazing if she ended up with someone better. The supporting characters were great as well. Not Dare’s best, but not her worst either. Definitely not one that I will be rereading though.
I am a big fan of Tessa Dare, but this book just went off the rails for me. The plot wasn't bad and the dialogue was typically Tessa Dare...witty and often laugh out loud funny. I found the heroine to be unbelievable and not all that interesting. The hero...give me a break!! A known rake who beds women almost nightly but doesn't actually have intercourse with them because he is afraid of impregnating someone? From what I have read, oral sex was just not that popular (and in fact was often said to be 'deviant') during that time. And when you consider body hygiene then.... For me, the saving grace with this book were the two little girls. I doubt that I would have finished reading it without them. They were hellions with halos and stole my heart. I will be watching to see if Ms Dare does a later book on them...especially Daisy. Too, there was just too much sex in the book. Pages and pages and pages. It was boring and I skipped over it. Although I enjoyed the first book in the series, I won't be reading the remaining two books.
Sexual situations (explicit and often) may offend some readers
Tessa Dare’s books are always a hot ir a miss for me. I either love them, enjoying every second of reading, or find them really lacking. This one, sadly, was of the latter. It felt a bit like a throwaway, and even worse- like a hodgepodge of pretty much all the books she’s written thus far. It was as if she had borrowed a piece of each story she had already published, in lieu of composing a brand new story. Moreover, I found both main characters slightly cartoonish, and the connection between them both wasn’t very believable. Worst yet, though, was the writing. Don’t get me wrong- Tessa Dare is an amazing author. Her writing flows beautifully, touching sometimes, and delightfully witty at others. However, unlike her other books, this one read quite tweeny for me, with cliche high school romance quotes in abundance. My suggestion- pass on this one, and go read The Duchess Game, or When a Scot Ties the Knot, or any one of the Spinster Cove novels instead.
But a very frustrating read for me as I found myself a hundred times more interested in the girls than I was in the love story. Every time I had to pivot away from the girls’ story to read about some romantic development (or worse, some character regression), I ended up skimming the pages while maintaining a very thin amount of patience for it.
That the reason I didn’t really enjoy the A plot is because the B plot was more captivating is a point in the book’s favor, but still. Spending a good portion of the book completely uninterested in what I was reading was Not Fun.
Too much sex and no romance. I kind of liked Alexandra though she was silly at times. Chase was so far off the charts silly that I didn't like him at all, very immature. Two delightful children in the story. It is a hit or a miss for me with Tessa Dare's books. Some I have loved, but others like this one is a miss.