Review – A Governess Should Never Deny a Duke by Emily Windsor

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A Governess Should Never... Deny a Duke M

About the Book:

“So tell me, Miss Beaujeu, why should I employ you as governess?”
A question to rouse fear within the breast of any prospective governess but for Isabelle, a lady with impeccable references and tightly pinned hair, it barely raises a brow.  But this rugged Welsh duke of an employer is unlike any other: dubbed Mean, Moody & Mysterious in gossip columns, he’s known to scowl a path through London society. And why have three governesses fled his employ within the last twelvemonths?

“I appoint you as governess. When can you start?”
Rhys Cadogan, the Duke of Aberdare, never procrastinates. And besides, with a house party to be hosted at his coastal estate, the sole purpose of which is to find him a wife, he’s in somewhat of a rush.  But this drab-gowned paragon of a governess is unlike any other: lauded in her references, she exudes composure and intelligence, a perfect fit for his troubled niece. So why do Miss Beaujeu’s eyes also flash with a wild silvered gleam?

The Prudent Governess and the Passionate Duke.
One should never judge a duke by his Mean, Moody & Mysterious reputation or a governess by her tightly pinned hair, for beneath both tamed façades lay wildness and shared passions – not to be denied.

With forbidden kisses on stormy nights, a house full of prospective brides, a scandalous rake of an heir, dragon folklore and cinnamon biscuits, the vocation of governess has never been so thrilling…

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My Review:

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I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Reviewed by Rose 3Isabelle Beaujeu has been working as governess for ten years, since she was the tender age of only seventeen.  As a young child, she and her mother fled their native France to escape the madness of the revolution.  Isabelle’s father was a victim of that madness, and illness claimed her mother only a year later.  Her guardians in England treated her well, but she had her own reasons for choosing a life of servitude over one of ease and comfort.  Her new assignment is to become governess to Mari, the niece of a duke, though one with a dubious reputation.  Much to Isabelle’s chagrin, instead of traveling to warm climes, the duke is packing up his family to reside in his holdings in Wales.

Rhys Cadogan, Duke Aberdare, is doing his best to raise his orphaned niece, the child of his beloved twin brother who died a year ago.  Rhys is still grieving, while trying to be a parent, and still managing all his properties and businesses.  His seriousness has caused him to be dubbed as Mean, Moody, and Mysterious.  If that weren’t enough, his cousin is insistent that he finally marry in order to produce a child, as his current heir is a notorious rake.  In order to facilitate the duke’s choosing a bride, his cousin has decided to hold an extended house party with many hopeful young ladies attending.

Isabelle is the fourth governess for Mari this year, but the two form a connection.  Isabelle can certainly sympathize with Mari’s grief over her father’s death, and her compassion and wisdom help Mari.  It doesn’t take long for the duke to notice Isabelle’s positive influence, as well as her strength and calmness, although he expects there is some fire within her.  Isabelle also begins to see that the Mean, Moody, and Mysterious man is pure gold underneath.  When she spies him taking a swim in the ocean, she sees that the outside matches his character.  She never, ever has had any personal involvement with anyone in the households she’s worked in, but, then, she’s never felt these feelings for anyone before.  Rhys has his own code of not importuning anyone under his protection, but Isabelle may be just what he has been searching for.

A GOVERNESS SHOULD NEVER DENY A DUKE is perfectly paced and written, allowing Isabelle’s and Rhys’ stories and characters to unfold, and their love to develop.  I fell in love with both of them, even as I felt their pain, saw their strengths, and watched them finally find true happiness.  Rhys is a genuine hero, a gentleman, a poet, and a romantic – a man to swoon over!  Isabelle is kind and compassionate, despite her own personal tragedies.  Their love and passion burst off the pages, while all the secondary characters, even the rakish heir, provided smiles and entertainment.  I loved reading this book – I’m still smiling through a delicious book hangover.  This is one I will be reading again and again.  Emily Windsor’s writing just gets better and better, and she has become one of my favorite authors, one I most heartily recommend.    Rose

5-blue-rosesheat level warm 2                          

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