A Waltz with the Outspoken Governess
A quiet governess…
An unruly heart
Sir Nicholas Denny is desperate to find a governess to care for his boisterous nieces and nephews. Demure vicar’s daughter Mary Smith seems ideal—at first. All too soon Nicholas discovers a different side to her… She’s a beautiful, vivacious woman, even if she infuriates him with her strong opinions! When he waltzes with Mary at a party he knows he’s in trouble—the spark between them is so tempting, but she challenges everything he thought he wanted in a wife!
Catherine Tinley is an award winning author who 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 manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog and can be reached at http://www.catherinetinley.com, as well as http://www.facebook.com/CatherineTinleyWriter and @CatherineTinley on twitter.
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Tracy’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Release Date: January 1, 2021
After years of being raised solely by her studious father, Vicar Smith, and being encouraged to speak her mind, he decides that Mary needs a more formal ladies’ education and sends her off to the Plumpton Academy for Young Ladies. Mary is miserable there but agrees to stay for a year to make her father happy. But she has only been there for 3 months when she gets the terrible news that her father has been arrested for treason! She is promptly turned out of school and needs to find a way to get to Norfolk where her father is being held. In a rare show of kindness, the headmistress recommends Mary to Mrs. Gray’s employment agency and as luck would have it, Mrs. Gray has a temporary governess position available in Norfolk, very close to the Brightwell prison where her father is being held. She offers Mary the position but warns her to remember that her behavior reflects on the agency and that she must keep her opinions to herself.
Sir Nicholas Denny is preparing for an invasion, his sister is coming to Stiffkey Hall for a long visit and is bringing her five unruly children. Nicholas loves his family, but as a bachelor, he is unused to the noise children generate and as a scholar, he desires peace and quiet, so in an effort to keep things as normal as possible, he instructs his secretary to hire additional help, including a governess. He is not prepared for his reaction to Mary, he is immediately attracted to her, but is a bit disappointed that she is so demure and reserved.
For her part, Mary struggles to control herself and to conform to her new lower station in life. She doesn’t tell anyone about her father, but wonders if she can trust Sir Nicholas with the truth. Slowly Nicholas is able to bring the real Mary out of hiding, but this just ends up causing him more grief when she speaks her mind about him and makes him examine his life and what possible place she could have in it. After Nicholas has a rather nasty confrontation with his sister’s governess, everything goes wrong for Mary and she loses her position and leaves. Nicholas is beside himself when he learns she is gone –can he find her and tell her his true feelings or is it too late for him?
This was an interesting story; it is definitely not your run-of-the-mill historical romance and Mary is certainly not your average heroine. While the writing was good, the story did drag a bit in the middle and the ending was a bit of a mad dash to the finish. Overall, it was a good read, different and out of the ordinary. I don’t know if I would call Mary “outspoken” as much as I would say she is quick to judge and condemn and doesn’t always think before she speaks, she is, however, usually sorry for her words and is not above asking for forgiveness. The romance in the story is very subdued and the love scenes are nothing more than a couple of kisses. So, if you are looking for something with no steam that is a bit off of the norm – this book is for you!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher.*