The Governess’s Secret Baby
by Janice Preston
Publisher & Release: Harlequin Historical, December 1, 2016
Time and setting: 1811, England
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Length: 288 pages
Heat Level: 1.5 Flames
Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns
New governess Grace Bertram will do anything to get to know her young daughter, Clara. Even if it means working for Clara's guardian, the reclusive and scarred Nathaniel, Marquess of Ravenwell!
Nathaniel believes no woman could ever love a monster like him, until Grace seems to look past his scars to the man beneath… But when he discovers Grace is Clara's mother, Nathaniel questions his place in this torn-apart family. Could there be a Christmas happy-ever-after for this beauty and the beast?
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This is the first book I have read by Janice Preston, and I am glad I accepted The Governess’s Secret Baby for the publisher via Net-Galley in exchange for an honest review. This book has plenty of heart and an adorable two-year-old that stole my heart!
Grace Bertram made a terrible mistake at seventeen and it changed the course of her life. She is desperate to find her daughter and assure herself that she is loved and well-cared for. She travels to the remote Shiverstone Hall to find out, when she learns the adoptive parents were killed in a carriage accident. Now, the Marquess of Ravenwell has custody of his late sister’s adopted daughter.
Nathaniel, the marquess, mistakenly believes Grace is there to interview for the position of governess to his two-year-old niece. While she is younger than he expected and far too lovely, he needs a governess for Clara.
Nathaniel is a recluse because he has terrible scars from a fire nine years ago, so he doesn’t believe any woman could ever want him. When sparks begin to fly, he finds himself asking if he might have found the one woman who can accept him, scars and all, and who will love his niece and place her above her own needs.
The Governess’s Secret Baby is a fast-paced love story between two people who both have reasons for not trusting the opposite sex. This is a well-written story with a unique plot and wonderful characters.
Grace’s character is a true nurturer, and she shows this by the love she has for her daughter and her willingness to put Clara’s needs before her own. She also shows this with Nathaniel by looking beyond the gruff exterior to the kind and loving man underneath. I really felt like I got inside Grace’s head and understood her desires, motivations, and conflict. I love when that happens!
Nathaniel is a tortured soul, my favorite kind of hero. I could feel his raw pain and guilt over what had happened nine years before. He desperately wants to love Grace, but because he has been betrayed in the past, he’s afraid to trust. I love how he works through his emotions and goes about winning Grace’s heart.
If you enjoy an emotionally-charged romance with an unforgettable hero and heroine, including and great cast of secondary characters as well, then you will love The Governess’s Secret Baby as much as I did. While this book is part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone. Happy reading!