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The prologue of this book, from the heroine Phoebe's point of view, hooked me making me think the book would take off in one direction, with a strong heroine, but in fact, it went another. Then I felt the pace dragged for the next several chapters, establishing Ned's character (hero), and the switching of places between Ned and his friend, Turner. This drag nearly stopped me reading the book. Also, much reading time was invested in Turner and his love interest, Letitia, that for a while I liked Turner more, and was wishing the book would be about him instead.
There were redeeming elements in the book. The identity swap engineered a humorous commentary on society's treatment of people based on their social status.
I loved Phoebe''s reaction to a first kiss manoeuvre by Ned. This brought back my interest as she showed some of the spark she had in the prologue.
It took me a long time to warm to Ned. And I wished Phoebe had more gumption at times. That''s just me. Other readers are bound to like the characters more than I did.
I liked that the author included notes at the end referring to her historical research. That research was well used in the book and sometimes in a cleverly, humorous way that had me laughing.
The book is certainly very well written and I can see this author has talent. I would like to try more of her books.
***Note:*** The sequel to this novel, "The Lie and The Lady" has now been published. 5 Stars - I loved it! It is about Turner and Letitia from this novel. I think I easily loved them in the sequel because I felt I knew them well from "The Game and The Governess." You don't need to read The Game and the Governess to enjoy the sequel, but I think it enhances the reading experience. So I recommend reading The Game and The Governess first if you can.
I'll keep this short; not only was the language too Americanized and modern, the novel was plain boring interspaced with unimaginative and irritating characters. Perhaps this novel was written for a younger reader as the plot and characterisations are quite juvenile and left me grinding my teeth, stubbornly reading to the end because I paid money for it! :)
Kate Noble nunca me decepciona. Personajes bien descritos, con fondo. Relaciones profundas, incluidas las de los secundarios, que son importantes. Tiene mucho más de lo que se cuenta en el resumen. Lo recomiendo, sin duda.
Really couldn't get into this book. The earl Ned wasn't a true hero of the book. He was selfish and self absorbed. An example is when he first gets to the house he watches a poor maid carry his extra heavy trunk up two flights of stairs without even offering to help.
Then you have Turner his miserable friend who just seems really mailicious as a friend and just plain mean. One example is when he humiliates a poor eight year old girl with demanding she knows her timetables in front of her whole family brining down the wrath of the father and mother. He had only just said hello to her !
I couldn't finish this book because I couldn't care less what happened to these selfish people.
Swapping identities for a wager was a clever device to contrast the differences between the classes in Regency England. The main 2 male characters grew into much better people as they grappled with the problems their wager caused to them and to others. This is primarily a psychological study of imperfect men who find deeper meaning to life through struggle and the love of good women. The plot devices were a bit forced in order to allow the main theme to occur. This is not a perfect novel but it has depth, cleverness, a wonderful heroine, interesting back stories, wit, and friendship which can withstand challenges. It rates 4.5 rating. The author does not owe the reader likeable characters. She does owe the reader characters and plot flow which are believable, meaningful, and interesting. I worried about the friendship between Ned and John. The HEA ending was not a sure thing. The identity switch was unusual. The book was very interesting and carried me along. Thanks for a fun read!
I've taken days to do this review as I'm totally conflicted. I've loved so many of this author's books but this really wasn't great and I doubt I'll read the next book. The 3 star review by Lark pretty much says everything I felt about this book. I will admit that I was sort of enjoying it up until about 60% of the way in but sadly it then deteriorated quite badly. In addition the author has once again overused the annoying 'Er' when creating dialogue between her characters.
+++Spoilers+++ The premise of the bet to start was definitely plausible and I liked the idea of the cocky H learning a few good life lessons along the way. I enjoyed a few of the moments where he was humbled but I actually don't think he ever really got it. Witness how he thought he could fix things by just blurting out that he was the Earl near the end. I just don't think author pulled off his redemption and the time period was way too short (a few weeks). Although I agree that the h was likeable, courageous etc she wasn't as fantastic as some of the reviewers have said. As for the H taking the h's virginity up against a wall, don't even get me started. I know this is book 1 in a series and I will say that the secondary character John Turner, the H's man of business who he switched places with, was a way deeper, more rounded character and his story might be interesting but I'd definitely have to be persuaded by some decent, honest reviews.
It’s been several years since I have read a book by Kate Noble, and I had forgotten how much I enjoy her writing style and unique storylines. When an opportunity came up to purchase the audio version for a great price, I took advantage of it. I am so glad I did. The Game and the Governess is an enchanting love story.
Phoebe Baker lost everything at seventeen and is now a governess instead of a debutante. Years later, she’s still a governess, but she still has her dream of going to America where her cousins live.
Edward “Ned” Granville, the Earl of Ashby, is always looking for a good time. When his friend, John Turner challenges him, stating that Ned cannot get a woman to fall in love with him if he isn’t the earl, he’s determined to prove his friend wrong. Thus a wager is made. He has two weeks to win the heart of a lady.
Ned soon finds out it’s not to be as easy as he expected. Since he’s impersonating his secretary, and his friend is pretending to be the earl, the women at the house party pay him no mind and fawn over John.
When Ned learns Phoebe is a lady, of reduced circumstances, he sets out to win her and the wager. He doesn’t count on emotions getting in the way. Are his feelings for Phoebe strong enough to get him to lose the wager, or will Ned’s competitive personality have him throwing away a chance at true love?
The Game and the Governess has sparkling wit, plenty of emotionally-charged writing and unforgettable characters. It is fast-paced with an engaging story that pulled me in from the start. This is a charming Regency romance, and I truly enjoyed it.
Phoebe is a wonderful heroine and she stole my heart in the prologue, and I fell further in love with her as the story unfolds. While life certainly has not been kind to her, she is able to rise above that and maintain a positive attitude toward life and is an excellent governess to the sweet little children in her care.
Ned is an intriguing, complex character. At first, I did not expect to like him. He seemed too much of a careless fellow, who didn’t take anything serious. Once he settles on Phoebe, things begin to change, but not immediately. The scene with the blackberry tart did not show him in a favorable light, but his remorse helped to turn me around. From that point on, I began to fall in love with him and understand why he was so careless in the beginning of the story.
Ms. Noble is brilliant at building sexual tension between Phoebe and Ned, and it continues to grow throughout the book. The chemistry between the pair can only be called dazzling. While the love scenes may not be very explicit, they more than make up for that in emotion and sensuality. Their kiss in the lane sizzles.
I listened to the audio version performed by Beverley A. Crick and thoroughly enjoyed it. Ms. Crick reads with just the right amount of emotion, bringing the character to life. She does an excellent job with distinguishing the various characters. I will definitely want to listen to future recordings narrated by her.
If you enjoy a good Regency romance with an intriguing plot and a heroine that will pull at your heart-strings, then you will love The Game and the Governess as much as I did. I plan to read John’s story in the near future. Happy reading!
Phoebe, the unwitting pawn in this "game," has character and quiet determination to overcome misfortune. John Turner has a reason for the wager, saving his family's mill. "Lucky Ned" sees it as just another lark in which his charm will prevail.
The first half of the novel was engaging. The writing was fluid, the plot nicely unfolded, we were given the backstory, and the characters were developed. So much backstory was devoted to Turner that, for a time, I thought he was to be our hero (maybe I was just hoping.) But no, that was just setting us up for the next novel in the series.
When it came to delving into the characters, Ned's character was developed to death - to the point that I saw only an arrogant, callous, dismissive, demanding, self-absorbed, irresponsible adolescent - a narcissist with a charming smile. I wondered how he could become our Hero. His redemption ensued during the latter half of the tale. It was portrayed as "growing up." The problem with this is that I saw his character traits as flaws in his nature, not merely juvenile attitudes and behavior to be banished upon maturity. And how can anyone mature that much, that fast, anyway? Too much to overcome too quickly. Less than two weeks to change his whole persona from THAT? I don't think so.
***SPOILER*** After he had morphed into our caring, considerate Hero, what does he do? With his valet standing right outside the heroine's room, the H rucks up the h's skirts and takes her virginity against the wall because he HAD to have her. That's not romantic; it's crude and boorish. And he still hadn't told her he was the very earl responsible for her miserable circumstances! So he's still the same selfish worm. In a moment of candor, he even admitted his selfishness. Exactly. Leopards don't change their spots. ***END OF SPOILER***
I missed the wit and humor I expected to find in this tale. Sir Nathan, Lady Widcoate, and Mrs. Rye could have been amusing had they been written that way. But Sir Nathan was just dull, Lady W was annoying, and Mrs. Rye was unpleasant.
The ending seemed to be a get-it-over-with ending that left me looking for more pages.
I recently came across Kate Noble and have thoroughly enjoyed a novella and a novel by her. This one didn't work for me, though.