I love a good romance with a governess character, as I like a heroine who is smart and practical, and governesses have to be able to look after themselves as well as their charges. The title of The Earl’s Runaway Governess hints at a fair bit of excitement, too, so I was keen to hop on the blog tour for this one!
Book: The Earl’s Runaway Governess by Catherine Tinley
Read before: No
Ownership: E-ARC provided free of charge. All opinions my own.
Who knew living with an earl…
…would lead to such temptation?
Marianne Grant’s new identity as a governess is meant to keep her safe. But then she meets her new employer, Ash, Earl of Kingswood, and she immediately knows his handsome good looks are a danger of their own! Brusque on first meeting, Ash quickly shows his compassionate side. Yet Marianne doesn’t dare reveal the truth! Unless Ash really could be the safe haven she’s been looking for…
This is such a cute love story, and also a really good coming-of-age for our main character, Marianne. After her father’s death, she’s left at risk in the guardianship of her awful stepbrother, whose interest in her is not exactly brotherly. She flees, and has to take up a position as a governess in the household of the Earl of Kingswood – though Ash is having quite a tough time himself. He’s come into his title through the death of his cousin, and now has to deal with his self-centred, histrionic widow (who, by the way, is an old flame of Ash’s). Neither character has any time for love, with their predicaments, but their connection is undeniable, and ultimately very, very good for them.
Marianne was everything I was hoping for from the title of the book! She’s smart, self-sufficient, and sensible, but she’s also very much a Regency woman in terms of her upbringing – she isn’t overly modern or sassy for the sake of being so. Her safety means more to her than her status, but she’s still a proper lady, and I liked that about her, and about the book. You root for her straightaway in the face of her horrific stepbrother – the significant effect he has on her life does make you think about the dreadful insecurity of women’s positions at the time. I’m glad she manages to find a way to make her life what she wants (even if it does require another man to do so!).
I really liked Ash as a love interest! I thought he was a good balance of guarded and honest, and it’s fun to watch him soften up from a guy who has had the world thrust upon his shoulders, to someone who realises how lucky he is. His interactions with Marianne are lovely, and I thought that the two of them had great chemistry from the start, though of course there’s a familiar reluctance from both of them due to Marianne’s position as an employee. This is a romance with quite a lot of depth and nuance behind it, so you get to explore both characters and their world really well. The secondary characters, particularly the villain and the dowager countess, are well-sketched too.
I really enjoyed this one! It gets a solid four out of five cats from me, and I’ll be looking out for Catherine Tinley’s other books!
Catherine Tinley writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings.
After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog, and can be reached at www.catherinetinley.com, as well as on Facebook and at @CatherineTinley on twitter.
And last but not least, as part of the blog tour, there’s a giveaway! Just click here to enter on the Rafflecopter!
Giveaway – Three winners will each receive a signed copy of The Earl’s Runaway Governess, plus a mystery book by another romance writer. (Open INT)