Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Governess Chronicles, #2
Release Date: July 7, 2022
Miss Isabelle Beaujeu is surprised to learn her newest assignment as governess to the Duke of Aberdare’s niece Mari, is not in London as she assumed, but in Wales! Not ideal, but the addition of a ducal household on her résumé is a coup she cannot pass up, especially considering her heritage. French by birth, Isabelle and her mother escaped the uprising in France thanks to her father, but sadly he wasn’t as lucky and her mother died not long after leaving Isabelle to be raised by a distant relative. But her world was turned upside down once more when she learned her guardian was the one who betrayed her father. So she left and with the help of some friends, was able to secure a post as governess. Again, not ideal, but it provides her with an income and independence, which is worth more than gold, as she never plans to marry.
Rhys Cadogan, the Duke of Aberdare, an English title he never expected to inherit and one not nearly as comfortable as his Welsh title of the Earl of Llanedwyn needs a wife. After years of hoping for love, Rhys knows he can wait no longer, especially after the death of his twin brother and heir Tristan. As his new heir is his cousin Hugh, an unrepentant rake with no desire to assume the duties of either title, Rhys agrees to allow his spinster cousin Lady Elen to throw a house party to introduce him to several possible brides. But try as he might, Rhys cannot seem to focus on any of the prospective brides when his niece’s intriguing governess is around. He knows she has secrets and knows that he should not be wasting time with her, but when someone makes it clear that they have it out for her, nothing will stop him from protecting the woman who has finally captured his heart.
What a great addition to this series! The book is well-written, nicely paced, and has a well-done mystery seamlessly woven into the romance. Rhys and Isabelle’s romance is a slow-burning love story, filled with secrets, great secondary characters, intrigue, warm love scenes, surprising revelations, and finally, a truly lovely HEA ending complete with an epilogue. This is the second book in the series, but it is loosely connected and could easily be read out of order or as a standalone title. I enjoyed many things about this title, but I would have to say that, I especially loved that the book was set in Wales, it is such a nice change of pace from the typical English/Scottish locale settings and really enhanced my reading experience. In my opinion, this is one of this author’s best books to date and I highly recommend it!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*