Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Seducing the Governess
Mercy Franklin is left alone and confused when both of her parents die and reveal to her that she was not their natural child, but had been brought to them when she was 3 years old. Unfortunately she is also almost penniless so she is left with no choice but to apply for a position and the only offer she gets is as a governess to an orphaned child being raised by her uncle. Nash Ferris was the youngest of three sons and never expected to become Earl of Ashby, but when both of his brother's die he inherits the Earldom and his niece, Emmaline. Nash was a career military man who is still haunted by what he witnessed in battle and those who died, and he has provided a safe haven, a place of employment, for the men who had been under his command. Although he is bankrupt and cannot afford to pay his employees, he knows it is imperative he hire a governess for Emmy, who is withdrawn and shows fear when she looks at Nash's scared face. Nash knows he has to marry a rich heiress soon in order to keep his estate afloat, he only hopes he can find one who will not be horrified by his scars.
Mercy is immediately attracted to the handsome Earl; he exudes passion and masculinity and she fears it is her base nature, the nature her preacher father tried to subdue, that is coming out. And Nash cannot deny that his new governess is beautiful, he wants her but would never want to take advantage of someone who works for him. With Mercy's help Emmy comes out of her shell and Mercy also sees that Nash is working so hard to try to help his estate and do something good for the soldiers who come home to no jobs. Nash is also trying to figure out what happened to his brothers because their deaths, so close together, are suspicious, but he is also trying to woo the daughter of a rich merchant in town. Mercy and Nash are explosive whenever they are together and no matter how hard they try to avoid each other, it becomes impossible. Mercy does not think someone of Nash's status would ever choose someone like her, but the more Nash thinks on it the more he realizes he wants someone who will love him, someone he loves in return, and Mercy is just that person.
Mercy's situation in life was certainly new and I did enjoy reading about the emotional upheaval that accompanied it and how she dealt with it. I understand it was confusing for her but at times she definitely came across as naive, not so intelligent, and like an ostrich trying to hide its' head in the sand. Her attraction to Nash seemed to be the only thing that really gave her definition and I would have liked a more in depth, not so one-dimensional, exploration of her character. Nash is a likable guy because of what he had been through and how he was working to help those who had helped him. I admired him for that and because he admitted he required a rich wife and set about going after what he needed. I felt like they did not spend a lot of time together and nearly every time they did, both of them were worried about what they were doing and trying to avoid giving in to their desires. I wanted more fun time together, just the two of them. The sex was completely relegated to the end and was really not that hot and I expected more from two characters who were so attracted to each other.
The plot involving the death of his brother was underdone in my opinion, and it is not often that I feel like a secondary plot in a romance novel did not take up enough space. For the first 80% of the book it's only an occasional thought in his hand, like an afterthought, and then it goes away only to appear as another thought. Stuff did not really start happening until near the very end and it ended up being so exciting and convoluted (in a good surprising way) that I really wish there had been more of it. I did not mention this in my write-up because it was hard to fit in but throughout the book the Duke of Windermere is looking for his lost granddaughters (that is a story in itself) in order to give them money and I figured out from the beginning that Mercy was going to be one of those granddaughters. It was surprisingly a really good little plot, only a few pages every few chapters but I felt like I got to know the detective personally and really got involved in his search even though I knew how it would end. It was also a nice way of making sure that they ended up with the money they needed- of course!
Rating: My first Margo Maguire was slow to get started and had some literary problems that bothered me, as well as two characters I wanted to slap more than occasionally.