He’s been a bad, bad rake—and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson
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: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. 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 give her an education—in pleasure. That should 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.
While this is the second book in the series, you don’t need to read the stories in order! Check out my review for the first book, The Duchess Deal, over here!
I! Scream! Because I love this book! So much!
Seriously, I was screaming and gasping while reading The Governess Game. Also lots of rubbing my chest where my heart is too, and some tearing was involved.
Tessa Dare never fails to write an exemplary historical romance.
The Governess Game was just another amazing addition to her repertoire. I especially adored Alexandra, the governess heroine who loves astronomy and space and fantasizes about a certain Bookstore Rake with smoldering green eyes. She’s honestly perfect and if Chase wasn’t such a caring hero, I would take her for myself.
Chase has two wards, and he doesn’t want to deal with them. Alex lost her job as someone who works with clocks, and has need of a position that makes money. Chase has money. Alex can take care of his wards. Thus begins The Governess Game, where Alex opens Chase’s heart to more than his philandering ways, and she gets attached to the precious Daisy and Rosamund, who was orphaned like her. I loved all of the characters, new and old, in this book and Dare’s writing features her usual flair and wit. There times where I literally burst out loud – such as a Titanic reference that happened. (And I asked myself – did that actually happen? Did I read that correctly? I did.) Fans of Tessa Dare and historical romance will NOT be disappointed with her latest. I know I wasn’t.
Chase has some ghosts in his past, and that has led him to the life of a rake. He escapes his despair by landing in the arms of a woman, and when we begin the book he’s building a room for himself to escape his wards, two precious and sweet girls. (AKA the Cave of Carnality, as Alex names.) Out of Dare’s most recent heroes, he’s probably the most hard on himself. He cares for the people around him – including his half-brother and solicitor, Mr. Barrow, and his wards – yet he never really lets himself be loved in return. But when Alex comes in, she challenges his doubts and strengthens him in a way that he has never felt before. Chase realizes that there’s a life beyond profligacy and love to be found.
“‘Chase drew her closer, tucking her head against his chest. His fingers toyed with her hair. ‘I think the world is spinning.’
‘The world is always spinning.’
He exhaled in a soft groan.
‘Well, that’s the truth. It’s spinning all the time.'”
Alex was a woman who stole my heart. She was raised on a ship at sea, but now all it does is give rise to a traumatic past. I love how confident and upfront she was in front of Chase. She doesn’t hesitate with her thoughts, and usually it’s to chastise him. This makes for excellent banter and just fun times in general. I especially love their playful push-and-pull, as well as the independence that shines through her actions. We don’t need to be told how she needs her autonomy – we just know that she’s the kind of woman who would need that to survive and be herself. I love how subtle yet solid that is in her characterization. She’s so patient with not only Daisy and Rosamund, Chase’s wards, but also Chase himself. Also, their chemistry was off the roots. Ensue more screaming.
I have to talk a bit about Daisy and Rosamund, because they’re just so sweet! Daisy is the younger girl and makes up different diseases for her doll, Millificent. This means that the household attends a funeral for Millificent every morning. Rosamund is much more calculating, and has a spiky shield to hide her vulnerability after being tossed around, unwanted, by so many relatives. I really enjoyed their characterizations and how big of a part they had in opening Chase’s heart.
“Rosamund and Saidy needed encouragement, not etiquette. Confidence, rather than comportment.”
I loved The Governess Game so much. Alex was a spectacular heroine, and I love her bookish-ness and love for the stars and wit. Her intelligence just shines. Chase was more of a tortured hero, but he knew who he was and didn’t shy away from it. It took him a bit longer to get with what he wanted, but I really enjoyed seeing him deal with his insecurities and overcome them. Overall, this was a beautiful historical romance that any fan of the genre must pick up. I know I sound like a broken record because I say that about basically every Tessa Dare book, but her latest series features super unique and amazing women that are unforgettable and kind. Alex may have her head in the skies, but her heart is thoroughly charmed by a duke-to-be who learns to love and be loved.
sexy times, trauma
Thank you Edelweiss and Avon for the review copy!