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His Temptress, His Torment*

Loved This Story

Oh, my gosh! Did I ever enjoy this story. The novel is slightly different than typical Regency romances. The heroine, who believes herself to be firmly on the shelf, decides that she must find out how her estranged nephew is doing. The boy is seven but has been separated from his mother’s branch of the family because his father didn’t like the way his bride’s family treated the couple, which caused them to elope. She has heard that her nephew nearly drowned with his father at sea, and she is concerned for his welfare. So she decides to act as his governess for a few weeks so she can see his living circumstances, make sure he is healthy and well, and get to know him. She is in part guided by the love she still has for her dead sister; she wants to assure herself that her beloved sister’s child is all right.

I love that the heroine is a super strong character. While, of course, she had no experience as a governess because she is actually from a wealthy family, having grown up with several brothers, she knows how to interact with young men and boys. Having had several stern governesses, she hopes to mimic them. She questions herself so much along the way, but seeing her through the hero’s eyes, especially in the beginning, makes you see her strength as seen by others (but not by herself).

The meet-cute of the couple is one of the best that I’ve read. As she approaches the door of the townhouse where the boy and his father live, she hears shouts inside, and all of a sudden, a young boy is streaking naked across the street to the small park that’s in the middle of this tony neighborhood. She doesn’t want to lose her governess job on day one, so she drops her bag and chases after him. The father, too, is hot on his son’s heels but behind the would-be governess. He gets to the small park just in time to see her try to struggle her way over the railing, and he gets quite a view as she tries to climb the fence and scramble over the top. It was very humorous. Then when he actually made it inside the park, she doesn’t know who he is—and he doesn’t tell her—so she very firmly puts him in his place repeatedly, definitely coming across like a very stern governess. I absolutely loved this scene and its witty dialogue.

When they actually get to the townhouse, she puts an important member of the staff in her place. I just loved these moments, even though she was sure she was going to be fired every minute! I quite enjoyed, too, the heroine’s evolving relationship with her nephew, who is a very troubled little boy.

This is a relatively quick read, and honestly, I wished it wouldn’t end. It was a book that took to a restaurant to read as I ate my dinner. One of the things I ordered was a bottomless salad bowl, and I think I ordered the last salad round so that I could sit and continue to read this book. I just didn’t want to stop reading. If you enjoy Regency romances that are just a little off from the normal—and with a lot of humor and sparkling scenes between the hero and heroine and her charge—pick up this book. I don’t imagine you’ll regret it.