The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

The accidental governess…

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart . . . without risking her own.

The infamous rake…

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling . . . and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

Title: The Governess Game
Author: Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke
Pages: 384
Genre(s): Historical, Regency, England
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Tessa Dare always write an absorbing and exciting story filled with highs and lows that ultimately lead to a satisfying and rewarding happily ever after.

This is the second book in Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series (after The Duchess Deal and before The Wallflower Wager. The series follows four unusual heroines as they each find their own happy ending. Despite being part of this series - and the obvious inclusion of the other three girls and one husband - this book stands completely alone and you don’t have to have read any other book to read this one. Although of course I’m going to suggest that you do!

This story doesn’t meander into the start of the tale - it gets there and it gets there quickly. That sets the tone for the whole of the book. I couldn’t put it down and damned if I wanted to.

Chase is, I suppose, a bit of an unusual hero in that he’s not brooding and angsty. Sure, he’s got issues, but he’s got a sense of humour, a playful side and a very lusty nature. I shouldn’t be surprised that his opposite, Alex, is just as unusual. She’s a penniless clock setter turned governess of Spanish and American parents, born and raised on a boat - which may or may not have been piratical.

I loved the pair together. They sparred, they laughed and they had sexy times together - and everyone knows how much I love the sexy times. Sadly, that’s also where this book dropped a star. In the beginning, the chemistry sizzled between Chase and Alex, giving me that lovely jump in the tummy kind of feeling. They got intimate without being intimate aaaaaand….suddenly two weeks had passed and we were being told that the pair had been having fun this whole time. Without me.

Okay, fine - I have an imagination - I could work with this. And then the grand old consummation came…and it was uncomfortable and awkward. For Chase and Alex and for me. I know that sex isn’t all popping cherries then popping the champagne, but come on, I don’t read romance novels for real life. Especially not real life sex.

To be honest, those missed two weeks really seemed to change the tone of the book. I felt I’d missed out, not just on the sexy times but on the relationship building with the girls, and the growing feelings between Alex and Chase. Oh, I believed everything when the end came around - and I was really happy for it - I just wished I had more knowledge of how things got there.

And speaking of the girls - I don’t really care for children in books (or children in real life either, really) but Rosamund and Daisy (and Millicent) were really quite funny. The continual death of Millicent was particularly hilarious. (It’s okay - she survives in the end!)

Please don’t get me wrong - I really loved this book and practically devoured the thing. I just wanted a teensy bit more of the build up to the finale. But Tessa Dare has reaffirmed her position as one of my emerging favourite historical romance novelists and I cannot wait for the next book to see whether Nic or Penny gets her man.


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* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *

The Girl Meets Duke Series:

A Tycoon’s Bargain by Avery Laval

At a society bachelorette auction, a hedge fund king gets more than he bargained for…

When Cassie Harris squeezes herself into a too-small neon designer dress for a bachelorette charity auction, she realizes there’s nothing she won’t do for her landscape design business. Her biggest client is hosting the New York society event solely to show off her own filthy-rich, dead-sexy Australian boyfriend. And she’s using Cassie to make herself look good. Cassie steps on stage, humiliated. But an unexpected bidder spends an enormous sum on her, causing gasps throughout the gala. The winner? Thom King, her biggest client’s boyfriend. Cassie can kiss that account goodbye—and her fledgling business along with it.

Thom King has no interest in society girls with grand designs on his wallet. But he has a huge interest in getting that ridiculous gown off of the hourglass figure of Cassie Harris. And once he gets to know her, his interest only grows. She’s as hardworking as he is, as focused, and as smart. Before he met Cassie, women were mere distractions from his hedge fund. Now, Cassie’s the only thing Thom can think about.

But Cassie doesn’t believe a man like Thom can love at all, let alone love a woman like her. And that means Thom will have to use all of the charm and seduction at his disposal to prove her wrong.

Title: A Tycoon's Bargain
Author: Avery Laval
Series: Sin City Tycoons
Pages: 93
Genre(s): Contemporary, US
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I am a huge fan-girl of Avery Laval and the Sin City Tycoon’s - just putting that out there as a disclaimer before I start waxing lyrical about this book. And the book definitely deserves to be fawned over.

But first, the important parts. This is book 3.5 in the Sin City Tycoon’s series. (It’s a novella at only  93 pages so it’s a point five!) but each book in the series stands alone and doesn’t contain those bloody annoying cliffhangers you see everywhere these days. For those of you following the series (and you really should because it’s great), Thom is one of Grant (from A Tycoon’s Jewel)’s buddies from their school days.

The story kicks off straight away with Cassie about to go out on stage “like a sausage in a tutu”, according to her boss, in front of a crowd of the very best of New York society. Of course I’m going to root for the underdog, especially when the target of a mean girl. But Cassie impressed me on her own merits in the way she dealt with the situation and the whole inference that she wasn’t as modelesque as the New York socialites in attendance. It didn’t bother her at all. The predictable way for an author to go, would be to have her character have rousing speeches or monologues about how she didn’t care - she loved herself regardless yada yada yada. Cassie just got on with it. She felt in the situation then dealt with the situation. None of this “Thom’s too hot for me” or “I need a man to show me that my body is beautiful”. And it was more empowering because there was no hullabaloo around the situation. And the fact that Cassie was also sharp, bright, sassy and fun didn’t hinder my love for her either.

Then there was Thom.


I just want a Thom for my very own. He was gorgeous (which obviously doesn’t hurt) but he was dedicated, determined and so sarcastic and funny. So funny. I love a man who can laugh at himself and the situations. It was bloody adorable. If Cassie and Thom weren’t so perfect for each other then I would have wanted him for my very own. The perfect man.

As I said, the pair were funny - there was banter - yay! - and I actually laughed out loud on a number of occasions. The writing was dazzling and the story flowed by so fast that you got completely absorbed in the characters and their story. I could see it, feel it, smell it…

This book was just a joy - and it reminded why I love romance. It had the great couple who you genuinely like and want to root for. It had the humour. It had the banter. And it has the feel good, stomach jumping romance that leaves you feeling just a little bit giddy and in love. 5 well-deserved stars.


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* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *

The Sin City Tycoons Series:


English Lord on Her Doorstep by Marion Lennox

A storm. A stranger. A secret.

After a storm leaves handsome stranger Bryn Morgan stranded at Charlie’s farmhouse she plans to keep her distance! But the night forges a bond between —until Bryn reveals is in fact Lord Carlisle! Can he show Charlie that their differences can bring them closer?

Title: English Lord on Her Doorstep
Author: Marion Lennox
Series: /
Pages: 256
Genre(s): Mills & Boon True Love, Contemporary, Australia, UK
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Everyone knows that I love a good Mills & Boon and that I also love a bit of aristocratic shenanigans. You don’t often find a contemporary romance with some blue blooded English gentlemen running around it - so this book sounded perfect for me.

However, as soon as I started to read this book I immediately became extremely wary.

There were dogs. Lots of dogs. Seven dogs to be precise.

And we were in Australia. Yet Bryn Morgan - our debonair aristo - was very much English (or maybe Welsh).

What was going to happen to the dogs when the couple likely moved to England? And the cows - Cordelia and Violet? Where were they all going to live?

And this is why I tend to avoid books with animals in them, as I end up far more concerned with them all surviving to the last page rather than what I should be focussing on which is the love story of Bryn and Charlotte aka Charlie.

But as time passed, I started to put the worry to the back of my head and concentrate on the burgeoning romance. As this is part of the True Love line, it’s clear from the outset that the pair share a special, instant connection. It’s sweet, heart-warming and believable, despite the short time-frame the pair have known each other.

Sadly for me, we get only kisses in this book. I know the pair had sex but the bedroom door doesn’t even shut when the going gets good. Because we didn’t even see the bloody bedroom door. And I get the feeling that this author would have been really good at writing sex scenes, too. Bryn kept on thinking thoughts of feudal laws of old and wenches and maidens. Oh my! It made me laugh but it also made me want more naughtiness. Or just some naughtiness. Any naughtiness at all, really.

Not to worry - Bryn and Charlie are now back in England and while Charlie was having trust issues over Bryn’s lies - I’m still expecting them to work things out and us to get a lovely happily-ever-after.

And then Flossie - the best dog of the pack of seven - goes and makes my heart almost stop. We also get a couple of chapters of seeing things from Flossie’s point of view and I nearly couldn’t cope. Good God - you made it to 89%, Flossie - just hang on a few percent longer.

Without spoiling the outcome, you’ll be happy to know that all dogs (and cows) survive this book - even Flossie and Bryn’s dog who was introduced as ancient. (Red flag! Red flag!) Well, at least you don’t have to go through the trauma of not knowing, like I did when reading.

And as for Bryn and Charlie - true love really does win in the end and Regency fairytales of barons and their Australian maidens do happen in modern times. And you finish this book feeling happy, satisfied and hugging your own doggies all the bit tighter. 4 stars.


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* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *

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