I’m pretty new to reading romance novels – I’ve been a fan of regency historicals for a long time, and they often include a cute romance, but I am only just realising how lovely a nice fluffy regency romance can be on its own. I came across The Governess Game on NetGalley and it sounded really good, so I thought I would give it a try.
Book: The Governess Game by Tessa Dare
Read before: No
Ownership: E-ARC provided by NetGalley for fair review.
Quite simply, I loved this book. I guess I am an old romantic at heart, and I found the love story totally sweet and engaging, though of course somewhat predictable. When snarky, bookish commoner Alexandra somehow ends up in the employ of rakish, handsome Chase Reynaud, they go through the usual motions of being extremely irritated by each other, to being extremely attracted to each other, to being completely besotted with one another. I’ve seen this relationship a hundred times in all genres of fiction, but hey. It’s cute and it works.
What set this apart for me was the writing, which is very tongue-in-cheek. Alex’s snark and Chase’s self-deprecating humour made me laugh out loud on several occasions – I couldn’t wait for their conversations, though the rest of the plot was fun too. Just something about the matter-of-fact way the author writes really tickled my funny bone – I’m definitely going to be looking for more of her work (to be honest, When A Scot Ties The Knot has me giggling just at the title). The secondary plots, involving Chase’s wards and Alex’s astronomy hobby, add a lot to the characterisation, and drive the romance forwards in interesting ways.
I really liked the pairing of a practical, no-nonsense heroine with a slightly melodramatic hero – Jane Eyre this isn’t, and I think Alex would have a fair few things to say to her fellow governess! Events progress quickly, and there’s a good balance between the sweet character building moments and the steamier sections that makes it very easy to root for Chase and Alex to realise they are in love! And oh, a bookshop meet-cute AND proposal is the very nicest and romantic thing to read.
(As a side note, this is technically the second book in the series, but it seems to be one of those series that takes a side character from each novel for the protagonist of the next, so there’s nothing to worry about if reading this one as a stand-alone.)
This is just a good feel-good read – super sweet, very funny, and really romantic. If you’re a romance reader, I can’t recommend it enough! It comes out on September 6th, so not long to wait – here’s a link to preorder on Amazon. Five out of five cats!