Review: The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

Friday, June 8

Title:  The Governess Affair*
Author:   Courtney Milan
Series:  Brothers Sinister #0.5
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher:  Courtney Milan
Format: eBook
Date/Year:  April 2012
Reviewed by:  Andrea

*This book was won by the reviewer from the blog, "Nite Lite - Read Now Sleep Later"

Summary from the publisher:

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…

My Musings:

Just in case anyone else is as confused as I was, I’ll explain how this book fits into a new series called The Brothers Sinister right now.  The Governess Affair tells the story of the parents of the brothers.  There are three parents featured in this book.  The fourth is mentioned but you never get to “meet” her.

The first parent is Serena.  She is a determined woman and I instantly respected her.  She recognized her failings in the past and refused to let her fears get in her way.  She was going to do right by those she had let down.  Anyone willing to go through what she did and put up with what she did will be someone I want to get to know.  I loved how her story slowly unfolded as the book progressed.  I respected Serena quickly but I found myself really liking her as I got to know her. 

The next parent is Hugo.  Hugo also has a troubled past.  Right from the beginning he admits that he is a very bad man, but there were little clues that made me think that underneath it all he might actually be a decent guy. 

The next parent is The Duke.  I didn’t like him, he is pompous and selfish.  He does make for a good story though, that’s the nicest thing I can say about him.

I loved how the author let the story and the history of the characters slowly unravel.  I generally hate being left in the dark as to the motivation of characters but this worked for me.  Everything was revealed through the conversations of Serena and Hugo.  At times their interactions were gentle and sweet and at other times they were hurtful and angry, but they always kept me intrigued.  Even when they were trying to out-maneuver the other, there was always a level neither would stoop to.  That is what made their battle palatable for me.  I really enjoyed the attraction that built up between them too. The entire time I was rooting for Serena and Hugo to get together and make The Duke pay for his callous, self-serving deeds.

The epilogue has nothing to do with the parents, but is where the basis of The Brothers Sinister is revealed.  The brothers are the son of Serena and the son of The Duke and the epilogue tells how they meet at boarding school.  The Governess Affair was the perfect set up for the new series.  It’s a quick read and a great book, I recommend it.


Overall:  4.25 stars
Sensuality level:  3

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librarypat June 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM  

Sounds like a book I would enjoy. I like it when details and motivation are revealed a bit at a time.

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