on September 1st 2016
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Once upon a time…
Joanna Radcliff has always dreamed of the day when she’d become a governess and finally be part of a proper family. Except, instead of a warm welcome, she’s given a frosty reception by her employers – and her charges! The only person who pays her any attention is the dashing Major Preston…
Despite their stolen conversations and tantalising glances in the ballroom, Luke and Joanna know that their stations in life are just too different. But when this Cinderella governess’s life is transformed and their roles are reversed, will they risk everything to be together?
¬¬Reviewed by Monique¬¬
THE CINDERELLA GOVERNESS (The Governess Tales) by Georgie Lee BUR
Miss Joanna Radcliff is graduating from Madame Dubois’ School for Young Ladies, and she’s officially become a governess. Joanna has never had a home, she was a foundling, left on the step of the School when but a babe. She hopes that she will find a home at the Huntfords. Such is not to be the case. This is where the inspiration from Cinderella kicks in. Joanna left her friends and the comfort of the School for a house where she is met with disdain. Her charges are unmanageable, especially the oldest daughter Frances. Joanna avoids Frances being compromised by an unscrupulous rake, and that’s how she meets Major Luke Preston. Luke, a second son, has been called from Spain by his father, and now contrary to what had been expected of him in the past, he must find himself a wife with money. Unfortunately, the only woman Luke finds to his liking is the highly unsuitable Joanna.
Ms. Lee’s prose is so eloquent, her descriptions so precise, that while I read, I could see the flora, the décor, the clothes as clearly as a picture. The author also conveyed every little nuance of the relationship, the shift in sentiments, and Luke and Joanna’s feelings; and I felt I knew them well. The interactions between Luke and Joanna are simply sublime: a little touch here, a glance there, the pull, the hesitations, as well as the respect Luke shows Joanna. I also liked the fact that while there is some sex, the author handles it very adroitly; it was not explicit, and I felt it remained true to Regency sensibilities.
The story is much more complex than it seemed at first, although an indication of life-changing events to come that had been hinted at somewhat early in the book, took a while to come to fruition. THE CINDERELLA GOVERNESS is definitely not fast-paced, but while Ms. Lee takes her own sweet time, while getting there, the author treats us to a very detailed look at the Regency era, especially how disheartening class distinctions could be. Joanna and Luke are both prisoners of their respective milieus, and I like how the author was able to convey their dilemma, the apparent impossibility of getting married, but when those few precious moments when they could be alone happened, they were like a rainbow after the rain. Ms. Lee tortures the reader until the very end, because I had no idea how it would all work out, if at all until the very last pages,
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.