The Governess Club: Claire

Ellie Macdonald
The Governess Club: Claire
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Release Date
September 2013
Historical Romance

Claire Bannister just wants to be a good teacher so that she and the other ladies of the Governess Club can make enough money to leave their jobs and start their own school in the country. But when the new sinfully handsome and utterly distracting tutor arrives, Claire finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance that could change the course of her future.

Jacob Knightly has a secret. He is actually the notorious Earl of Rimmel. He's just posing as a tutor to escape his reputation in the city. He never expected to fall in love with the kind and beautiful governess. She is the first person to love him for himself and not his title.

But when Jacob's true identity is revealed, Claire realizes she has risked her reputation and her heart on a man she doesn't truly know. Will Jacob be able to convince her that the Wild Earl has been tamed and that she is the true countess of his heart?

Book Review by Mary Chen (reviewer)
Sep 29, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
61 people found the following review helpful
Ellie Macdonald's debut hits a high note with introducing a group of friends who created a club to better their lives as governesses. This book focuses on Claire, a governess whose life is disrupted by the arrival of a new tutor for her charges and makes her yearn for something more than just a dream to return to her childhood home.

The chief focus of this novella is characterization, especially of Jacob Knightley, the newly engaged tutor. Jacob is actually the Earl of Rimmel (courtesy title) and has a devil-may-care attitude through his nonchalance with Claire's reputation as he sought to charm her. This quickly changes as he gets to know the real Claire, a woman of high intelligence and integrity who teaches him the ways of a servant, and through her, he begins to understand noblesse oblige. Yet despite his charming demeanor, he exhibits both humility and honesty with Claire and builds a wonderful companionship with her first as friends, then as lovers. Jacob truly grows from a rakish young man who believed it a lark to masquerade as a tutor, to a man of sincerity and honor that grovels in order to obtain Claire's forgiveness.

It is only Claire's character I have slight trouble with, as she spent a good amount of time unwilling to forgive Jacob after she found out his deceit, all the while knowing from her assessment of his character that he never intended to hurt her. A good deal of angst could have been avoided were she to let go of her stubbornness and accept his sincere apologies, but this was prolonged to the point of annoyance and lessened my appreciation of her character.

Besides that, there is little not to like with this novella. The dialogue is very well-crafted; Claire and Jacob's banter is lively and witty, yet at once heartfelt and touching. With its length, character backgrounds were explored and used in excellent comparison, and the ending provides an excellent connection with the next governess story. All in all, Ellie Macdonald is an author to watch for!
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