Book review for The Defiant Governess by Andrea Pickens, available here:
4* for a sweet and enjoyable book
I downloaded this book for free (it’s currently on promotion) and I’m glad I did. It was an enjoyable, light and easy read for those that love Regency romances.
I have to be honest – there was a lot in it that just didn’t sit right with regard to the time period and the ignoring of social propriety, but I liked the characters enough to set that aside and just focus on what was actually a very sweet love story.
Lady Jane Stanhope, daughter of a duke, was raised free-spirited and strong-willed. She rails against the societal dictates that insist she must think only of balls and pretties and fashions and not actually express any opinions of her own. She doesn’t want to marry any of the men of the ton, who she finds dull and uninteresting. She is determined to not marry, but her father (under urging from a meddlesome aunt) has other ideas. He grounds her until she agrees to accept the courtship of a man she describes as an insufferable prig.
Cue a hare-brained scheme to run away and become a governess.
Through a series of fortunate events, she manages to take the place of a childhood friend at the estate of the Marquis of Saybrook. There she finds a young boy by the name of Peter who has been traumatised by the death of his parents, the abuses of previous governesses and the abandonment by his guardian. She settles in to teach the child and soon manages to draw him out of his shell.
It is at this time that the Marquis arrives home and sparks fly between them. They clash on almost everything until Peter slowly begins to form a bridge between them.
With dark secrets and misunderstandings abounding, this book is at times quite moving and rewarding to read. It certainly made me think about what life was like back then for women, how oppressive and unfair.
As I said, it’s a long way from perfect. I noticed a bunch of typos too – not enough to be really irritating, but a few. It is a good book though and I’d definitely recommend it to while away a few hours.