Review – Octavius and the Perfect Governess by Emily Larkin

About the Book:

A governess in jeopardy . . . and the marquis’s son who goes undercover as a housemaid to protect her.

Lord Octavius Pryor leads a carefree and untroubled life, until the night he visits Vauxhall Gardens in the guise of a woman.

At Vauxhall, Octavius discovers that being a female is very different from being a man. Annoyingly different, unpleasantly different, and—when he encounters the lecherous Baron Rumpole—dangerously different.

Determined to teach the baron a lesson, Octavius infiltrates Rumpole’s household, where he meets the woman of his dreams: Miss Toogood, governess to the baron’s daughters.

Suddenly Octavius has three pressing tasks. 1) To teach the baron to keep his yardstick in his breeches. 2) To keep Miss Toogood safe. 3) To convince her to marry him.

A word of caution: This novel is a bodice ripper, and I mean that quite literally. Bodices are ripped in this book—and not in a playful or sexy way. However, I promise you that all rippers of bodices receive their just desserts.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                 Octavius and the Perfect Governess: A Baleful Godmother Novel

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Do you believe in fairies?  How about a fairy godmother?  For the men of the Pryor family, there is no doubt that they are real.  A long ago ancestor performed a service for a fairy, and in exchange, was awarded a family blessing, or, curse, depending on how you view it.  Each male, on their twenty-fifth birthday, will be visited by the fairy they call Baletongue, due to her charming personality and actual dislike of humans.  She will reluctantly grant the men their wish of having a certain power or ability.  They just have to be very careful and selective as to how they word their request, or the snarky fairy will be happy to twist it in a way it was never intended to be.

Octavius “Otto” Pryor has just lost a silly bet to his cousin Ned, and is about to be told his forfeit.  Ned knows that Otto’s gift is the ability to change his shape to that of any existing creature, so he demands that Otto change into an attractive woman and visit Vauxhall Gardens.  Otto soon realizes how it feels to be leered at, have indecent comments made, and even to be accosted.  As he’s separated from his cousins, he becomes the target of a drunken Baron Rumpole, who is determined not to let Otto get away.  Otto, whose feminine body doesn’t have the strength or bulk to defend himself, finds out what it feels like to be at the mercy of a man.  Thankfully, he is able to escape, but comes away determined to teach the lecherous baron a lesson.

Otto has a friend who has connections to the baron, thus enabling a way for him to become ensconced in the baron’s household for an extended stay.  When Otto meets Philippa “Pip” Toogood, the governess to the baron’s young daughters, he is almost instantaneously smitten.  (Don’t you love that she’s Miss Toogood?)  As Otto works on his plan to change the baron’s ways, he also works on charming Pip, hoping she’ll return his regard.  It’s not long before Otto decides that he wants Pip in his life forever, and he is anxious to get her out of the household where all of the female servants are fair game.

Otto and Pip are extremely likeable characters, totally honorable, and their romance is sweet.  There is some doubt to their future together when Pip inadvertently finds out about Otto’s “gift” before he had a chance to try to explain it.   OCTAVIUS AND THE PERFECT GOVERNESS is a light and amusing romance, which at the same time actually makes you think about the precarious position female subordinates are in.  I admire Otto’s determination to try to right a wrong situation, and his battle to protect women, by using his power to “educate” transgressing men, one at a time.  Previous books by Emily Larkin have depicted women of certain families as having the fairy godmother’s gift, so it was both fun and interesting to see how men handle it.  I enjoyed reading this latest installment in the Baleful Godmother series, and recommend it for those who enjoy a touch of magic in their romance.    ~Rose

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