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Read it for a good, speeding story not for the characters, they aren’t given enough time and space to develop further. Though both the hero and heroine do get a good share of voice but it seems unfair not to let them speak more. Glad that nothing seems repetitive till now when it come to Tessa’s other books. Good to pick, read and leave not ponder.
Alexandra Mountbattern has met THE ONE. He has marvelous taste in reading material; he is charming; and he is so very handsome. The only problem? She doesn't know his name. For now, she refers to him as the "Bookshop Rake" because that is where she encountered him about 6 months ago while she was balancing her friend's books and holding tightly to the only second hand copy of the book about astronomy she had been hoping to find. When they collided (literally - her books fell all over), he oozed all that was gentlemanly and charismatic... while Alex stood there shell shocked. When he finally said his goodbyes, she recovered enough to realize that she ended up with a book about children while he mistakenly left with her book. Since then, she has imagined all the ways they will encounter one another again, which will (of course) lead to their happy ever after. But when she does actually encounter him again, it's in his home where he is improperly dressed to receive polite company with a stocking dangling from antlers in a remodeled servant's quarters that he is in the process of converting into a "Cave of Carnality" (as Alex describes it), and he offers her a position as a governess for his young wards on the spot... except she is there to adjust his clocks which is how she has been making a living while dreaming of some day owning a cottage out in the open where she can view constellations and discover comets to her heart's content.
Chase Reynaud has one hard and fast rule for himself in life: no attachments. That goes for romantic liaisons as well as friendships. And it certainly applies to the 2 young wards he has recently "inherited" as they were passed down with the duke title he is now 1st in line for once his incapacitated uncle passes. The girls, Rosamund (age 10) and Daisy (age 7) are holy terrors who have been passed around since their mother died, and they have already gone through several governesses - the last one didn't even last the full day! When Alexandra walks through his door and puts him in his place, he knows she is the right woman for the job of instilling discipline in his charges for the summer until he ships them off to boarding school and get on with his life of debauchery with no entanglements. Except that Alex lingers on his mind more than he wishes she would. Her take charge manner, her intelligence, and her big heart are all things he never thought he wanted... until he does. But aside from the fact that he does not dally with the hired help, he knows Alex would want much more of himself than he could ever give her, so he vows to stay away and tells her she should have no concerns about him attempting to seduce her.
Alex cannot believe Chase just assured her that in no uncertain terms he would never attempt to seduce her - is she that repulsive?? Apparently "the moment" they had in the bookshop was not even a moment in his mind, but he doesn't even remember her! As mortified as she is, Alex cannot turn this job down - she needs the money, and Chase is offering a ridiculous sum just to keep a couple of young girls in line for the summer... how hard can it be? As she soon discovers, there is much more going on than meets the eye - with both her young charges and her employer. If they cross the line between business and pleasure, can Alex keep hold of her heart? And will Chase realize all that he has in his wards and Alex before it is too late?
What I liked: --- So much humor! Daisy's doll (Millicent) succumbed to all varieties of conditions every night, and a funeral with mandatory attendance and participation by all was how everyone began their days -- the causes of death along with Chase's eulogies always made me chuckle! --- Both mcs were likeable characters who were both strong and damaged by events in their lives that shaped who they were at the time they met - great character and relationship development --- The plot was fast-moving, so I was glued to the pages until the end --- The reader had the chance to revisit the characters from the first book in the series, and the author set up future installments with further insights about Alex's friends
What I didn't like as much: --- Oh the angst! I am not a huge fan of what seems like forced/unnecessary angst, and it felt like Chase's issues were overly drawn out --- Not as much steamy goodness as I am used to with Tessa Dare books
Overall, a great story with some interesting plot points, funny moments, and (as always) a satisfying HEA.
Plot --- 4.25/5 Main Characters --- 4.5/5 Supporting Cast --- 4.5/5 Steam Level* --- 3.5/5 Violence --- nothing graphic Language --- not egregious POV --- 3rd
*Note that steam level is not a rating so much as a how hot was it: 0/5 - clean; 1/5 - mild; 2/5 - sensual but nothing descriptive; 3/5 - now we're getting somewhere; 4/5 - yes please! ; 5/5 - they did EVERYTHING in this one, y'all
This was an extremely entertaining book and I loved the children, they were the bones of this story. The romance scenes were pretty steamy and everything was very well written. However, this story is not your typical Regency Historical - it's a rom/com and is pretty modern in dialogue, actions and attitudes. So not quite 5 stars for me as I felt they were modern characters wrapped in Historical wallpaper. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves a fun story and wants to escape for a few hours. 😍💗 4.5 stars.
Not as great as the previous one I must say. But and yet, Alexandra touched me in a good way for being romantic , strong and clever at the same time without the need of being annoying. Waiting for the love stories of the other two ladies, as they also deserve it.
Tessa Dare's latest novel, The Governess Game: Girl Meets Duke is a familiar trope of a governess falling for the handsome guardian of precocious children and yet... this novel is so unexpected despite its title. The characters are so very memorable, everyone of them. They stay with you after you finish the novel.
Heroine Alexandra Mountbatten is singularly unique for her time. In Regency England she stands out among the English roses. She is an American, and Filipino and Spanish. She is smart and longs for security, she already is independent but she lives with her two friends and her dream is her own little cottage. Alex is logical and romantic. She has harbored a secret yen for a handsome man who knocked the books out of her hand at the bookshop. She never thinks she will ever see him again but she does and he becomes her employer.
Chase Reynaud will one day inherit a dukedom. He is a libertine and unapologetic for it. He is also guardian to two girls who have run off many a governess. He believes Alex to be applying for the position of governess (she's isn't, she is there to fix his clocks). He is desperate and offers her quite a bit of money to take charge of the girls for the summer, just until they can be sent away to boarding school.
From the first moments Alex enters Chase's home, there is a sense of wonder and joy that Alex and her charges feel when they are together. Indeed, some of the best moments in this book are between Alex and the girls. Her kind, compassionate nature is a driving force in her relationship with the orphans who are hilariously funny. I simply adored these young girls who were fiercely loyal to each other.
Alex's relationship with Chase is logical and incredibly emotional. Alex is gentle and insightful when it comes to her dealings with Chase. Alex is a constant surprise and the dialogue between the leads is also written well, especially when the two are emotionally honest with each other. Her background was so unique and interesting that I wish I could have known her as a young girl, standing side by side with her father on the high seas. One of the drawbacks of this novel, and it is a small one, is that I wanted more background on all the characters.
Chase is a typical and not so typical rogue. He was so attracted to Alex and the reader sees it in his actions and his words. His point of view describes his inner life so well that the reader understands his conflicted feelings for Alex. Chase is a good man who just cannot accept that his past mistakes do not have to define him. Fortunately, he has three females living in his home to remind him just how precious love is. I rooted for everyone of these characters as soon as I met them. I wanted them to be a family, I wanted Chase to lower his guard, I wanted Alex to work some magic with her thoughtfulness. That all happens and the end of this novel just comes way too soon. I wanted to know more about their life together. I sincerely hope that Ms. Dare writs sequels about the girls, Rosamund and Daisy.
Alexandra (Alex) sets clocks in London. She is also a budding astronomer. When she accidentally bumps into a handsome stranger in a book store, she is immediately smitten. He takes her astronomy book in error. He stays in her memory for a very long time.
She goes to a home to set the clocks and is mistaken for an applicant for the position of governess. It is the home of the handsome man from the bookstore and he does not recognize her.. She leaves the house and after falling into a river, returns because she lost her chronometer and is no longer able to do her clock setting job.
She will become a governess for, Chase, the heir to a duke. He has two wards. They are young girls who have been passed from place to place. Chase has promised them that at the end of the summer, he will be sending the girls away to school.
The girls have created their own rebellion. Daisy, the youngest, conducts a daily funeral. Her doll dies on a daily basis from one terrible disease after another. Chase attends every funeral. Rosamund, the older of the two girls, is a thief. She picks up coins and various other things around the house. Neither girl makes Chase’s life easy.
Chase has the reputation as a rake. In reality, that is not exactly true. In his past, a death occurred which made him feel as though he is not to be trusted by anyone. He also believes that his heart will never be given to anyone again. He will not allow himself to become attached to the girls or anyone else.
This is the second in a series. It works as a stand alone read. For me, it had some spots where I felt that we were getting bogged down by a lot of repetition.
Alex is a strong and powerful woman. Her past was terrible and heart breaking. She has created a life for herself and pursued her interests. She is also a tenderhearted, humorous and intelligent person who has friends who care for her. When she becomes familiar with the girls, she falls in love with them. She also is extremely attracted to Chase.
Chase is an intelligent man who is managing a great amount of the duke’s business. He has a strong sense of responsibility, a wonderful sense of humor and an ability to use his hands by building and creating tangible things. He takes care of everyone in his life, but will never admit to that fact. He guards his heart from what he imagines to be love.
Ms Dare has created characters who are funny, charming and endearing. Alex, Chase and the girls give the reader wonderful picture of a family in the making.
There are some audiobooks that I wonder if the narrator saves it for me. I say this because the hero Chase is a scandalous Rake and I wonder if I read this I would have found him unredeemable. But the narrator made him come to life and I had so much fun listening to some of the utterly charming things he said wondering if I was reading it if I would have found it charming at all.
Alexandre and Chase literally bumped into each other in a bookshop. Since then she has had some fantasies galore about the meeting and made up all kinds of ridiculous names for him. Since he hadn’t given his name, Penny anointed him with increasingly ridiculous titles. First he was merely the Bookshop Rake, but as the weeks wore on, he made a rapid ascent up the rungs of the peerage. Sir Read. Lord Literature. The Duke of Hatchard’s.
It was all built up in her head so she just wasn’t expecting, when she ran into him again it would be in a newly remodeled room that had an unfortunate stocking lost forever hanging off some antlers on the wall. In the end, Alex had only herself to blame. All the clues were there. His dreadful taste in books. His charming grin that made promises no man could intend to keep. And those eyes . . . They held some kind of potent, brain- addling sorcery, and he went about jostling young women in bookshops without the decency to keep them hidden beneath a wide- brimmed hat.
So dreams dashed Alex is swearing off all meetings of Dukes in bookshops when in a twist of fate she ends up In Chase’s employ as a Governess.
I found this book to be a lot of fun. Alex never feels sorry for herself and just marches on when life throws her a curveball or two. She takes the governess job in stride and has no illusions to who this notorious rake is and what he is capable of. I really love the way she ways out the pros and cons of becoming involved with him.
The funny surprise for me in this were Chase’s wards. They were so fun much fun with their creativity of how to kill off Daisy’s doll every day. Daisy took a step in retreat. “Don’t draw too near. She has consumption.” “Consumption? I’m sorry to hear it. But I’ve no doubt you’ll nurse her to a swift recovery.” The girl shook her head gravely. “She’ll be dead by tomorrow morning.” “Surely she won’t—” “Oh, she will,” Rosamund said dryly, speaking from the window seat. “Best to have a few words prepared.”
At first I wasn’t sure how to take the killing off of a doll at least once a day with a funeral right after but it became a little endearing after a while that the little girls found a way to sneak into their guardians heart one doll death at a time.
Castles Ever After is probably still my favorite Tessa Dare book to date, but I really enjoy the quirky characters, especially women, she has in her stories.
Audio Note: Mary Jane Wells probably made this book for me. I don’t think I would have liked Chase nearly as much if it weren’t for her playful intonations for him and Alex’s responses to those. She definitely brought all the characters to life for me.
This was my second Tessa Dare book and it was delightfully different than the first! It had the same charm and humour but the characters and their journey was completely different than Emma and Ash (from The Duchess Deal) so I was very happy about that.
This book belongs to Alexandra and her “bookshop rake” Chase.
Alex is a common-born lady who has a good education and works for her living but through a series of minor misfortunes ends up having to accept an offer to be Chase’s governess in order support herself and generate the income needed to pursue her goals.
Chase is a rakish charmer with a heart of gold. He has gone from 4th in line to inherit a dukedom to the heir over a few short years of pain and misfortune and along with the incoming title he has inherited the guardianship of two delightfully morbid young girls who had me laughing out loud more than once with their antics.
Watching the inevitable befall Chase (i.e falling in love with Alex and his two wayward charges) was super enjoyable and I adored Chase’s goodnatured acceptance of the daily funerals and excentricities of the girls, even if he was bloody-minded for so long about sending the girls off to boarding school!
I found it easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable but there was something about Chase's past ways that felt, I don't know, almost sleazy... It wasn't that he did anything wrong, it's just the I struggled to accept how much he'd spread it about in the past thus I would not have wanted to take him on even if he was charming, lovely and utterly devoted to me (if that makes any kind of sense...) Still, I was happy he was able to accept love and family in the end and become a one-woman man with Alexandra.
It was lovely catching up with the rest of the gang throughout the book and despite not loving this one as much as The Duchess Deal, I was left looking forward to reading more!