The Governess Game by Tessa Dare - book review

Alexandra Mountbatten has always prided herself on being sensible and practical but when she accidentally collides with the disconcertingly handsome Chase Reynaud in a London bookshop, her heart turns over in the most uncharacteristic way.

Monday, 3rd September 2018, 5:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 5:16 am
The Governess Game by Tessa Dare
The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

But this is 1817 and the chances of someone of Alexandra’s social class meeting up again with the heir to a dukedom are exceedingly small… or are they?

Lay aside all expectations of verisimilitude and allow yourself to wallow in the sheer pleasure of the new sizzler in Tessa Dare’s naughtily indulgent Girl Meets Duke Regency romance series which features the age-old winning formula of dashing aristocrats and feisty females.

Regency romances have been a hot favourite since Georgette Heyer began making the genre her own way back in 1935. Heyer’s legacy has been generations of authors who have taken up her mantle to deliver the same seductive brand of light comedy, clever plotting and sparkling romance.

And serving up these tasty, tantalising winners – but with a deliciously modern flavour – is Californian Tessa Dare who can raise pulses with a flick of her pen and is fast becoming the go-to queen of Regency romance.

Alexandra (Alex) Mountbatten ekes out a living by setting clocks in the homes of wealthy London customers. She has her feet firmly on the ground but still thrills to the memory of her brief brush with Chase Reynaud, heir to the Duke of Belvoir, in a bookshop.

When she unexpectedly meets up with him again on a clock-setting job at his London mansion, Alex soon finds herself being persuaded to take on the impossible post of governess to Chase’s two orphaned wards and transforming the wild girls into proper young ladies.

But the suspicious, strong-willed Rosamund Fairfax and her younger sister Daisy don’t need discipline… they just need a loving home and a guardian who can finally settle down and trust himself to care for them. But how is Alex going to tell these truths to Chase when the ladies of London have tried many times and failed. Somehow she must reach his heart without risking her own.

Meanwhile, like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule when it comes to relationships… no attachments. And when a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to prove that he can’t be tamed.

But Alex is more than he bargained for. She’s clever, perceptive and passionate, and she refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling… and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

Dare’s rollercoaster romance simmers to a passionate boiling point under a glorious confection of witty wordplay, stolen glances, sizzling love scenes, and the added bonus of the formidable Fairfax sisters whose antics provide a diverting comedy sideshow.

The undoubted stars are the simply irresistible Chase and the sweet but sassy Alex whose steely determination is more than a match for a libertine in need of some important life lessons.

The Governess Game is love with the classic Regency chemistry… a Pride and Prejudice-style affaire de coeur but cleverly infused with a fun, frothy and sexy Mills & Boon twist that will leave all historical romance fans begging for more.

(Mills & Boon, paperback, £7.99)