The Game and the Governess by Kate Noble
Publisher & Release: Pocket Books, July 22, 2014
Time and setting: 1822, England
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Length: 433 Pages
Heat Level: 1.5 Flames
Rating: 5 Gold Crowns
Three friends. One Wager. Winner takes all.
The Earl—‘Lucky Ned’ Ashby. Pompous, preening, certain that he is beloved by everyone.
The Miller—John Turner. Proud, forced to work as the Earl’s secretary, their relationship growing ever more strained.
The Doctor—Rhys Gray. Practical, peace-loving, but caught in the middle of two warring friends.
Their wager is simple: By trading places with John Turner and convincing someone to fall in love with him, Ned plans to prove it’s him the world adores, not his money. Turner plans to prove him wrong.
But no one planned on Phoebe Baker, the unassuming governess who would fall into their trap, and turn everything on its head…
Three best friends make a life-changing bet in the first book in a witty, sexy new Regency trilogy from acclaimed author Kate Noble, writer of the wildly popular Emmy award–winning web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Add to Goodreads:
It’s been several years since I have read a book by Kate Noble, and I had forgotten how much I enjoy her writing style and unique storylines. When an opportunity came up to purchase the audio version for a great price, I took advantage of it. I am so glad I did. The Game and the Governess is an enchanting love story.
Phoebe Baker lost everything at seventeen and is now a governess instead of a debutante. Years later, she’s still a governess, but she still has her dream of going to America where her cousins live.
Edward “Ned” Granville, the Earl of Ashby, is always looking for a good time. When his friend, John Turner challenges him, stating that Ned cannot get a woman to fall in love with him if he isn’t the earl, he’s determined to prove his friend wrong. Thus a wager is made. He has two weeks to win the heart of a lady.
Ned soon finds out it’s not as easy as he expected. Since he’s impersonating his secretary, and his friend is pretending to be the earl, the women at the house party pay him no mind and fawn over John.
When Ned learns Phoebe is a lady, of reduced circumstances, he sets out to win her and the wager. He doesn’t count on emotions getting in the way. Are his feelings for Phoebe strong enough to get him to lose the wager, or will Ned’s competitive personality have him throwing away a chance at true love?
The Game and the Governess has sparkling wit, plenty of emotionally-charged writing and unforgettable characters. It is fast-paced with an engaging story that pulled me in from the start. This is a charming Regency romance, and I truly enjoyed it.
Phoebe is a wonderful heroine and she stole my heart in the prologue, and I fell further in love with her as the story unfolds. While life certainly has not been kind to her, she is able to rise above that and maintain a positive attitude toward life and is an excellent governess to the sweet little children in her care.
Ned is an intriguing, complex character. At first, I did not expect to like him. He seemed too much of a careless fellow, who didn’t take anything serious. Once he settles on Phoebe, things begin to change, but not immediately. The scene with the blackberry tart did not show him in a favorable light, but his remorse helped to turn me around. From that point on, I began to fall in love with him and understand why he was so careless in the beginning of the story.
Ms. Noble is brilliant at building sexual tension between Phoebe and Ned, and it continues to grow throughout the book. The chemistry between the pair can only be called dazzling. While the love scenes may not be very explicit, they more than make up for that in emotion and sensuality. Their kiss in the lane sizzles.
I listened to the audio version performed by Beverley A. Crick and thoroughly enjoyed it. Ms. Crick reads with just the right amount of emotion, bringing the character to life. She does an excellent job with distinguishing the various characters. I will definitely want to listen to future recordings narrated by her.
If you enjoy a good Regency romance with an intriguing plot and a heroine that will pull at your heart-strings, then you will love The Game and the Governess as much as I did. I plan to read John’s story in the near future. Happy reading!