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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: The Governess Club: Bonnie by Ellie Macdonald

The Governess Club by Ellie Macdonald
Publication date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Avon Romance
Series: The Governess Club
Goodreads | Amazon

The second novella in Ellie Macdonald’s The Governess Club series features Bonnie, a beautiful and kind-hearted heroine who is in ways like the Beauty to Sir Stephen Montgomery’s Beast.

In the wake of Claire (The Governess Club: Claire)’s betrothal to Mr. Knightly, Bonnie writes of her plight: her employers, Viscount and Viscountess Darrow, have died in a carriage accident, leaving their two young sons orphaned and the elder in possession of the title. Sir Stephen Montgomery is named the boys’ guardian, a task he takes to dislike for he neither had the patience nor special fondness for children, especially not when he is trying to solve a mystery: his friend’s murder. Stephen knows his friend’s death was no carriage accident, but a deliberate murder, so he is suspicious of the household, though his doubts of Bonnie quickly vanished:

             “The boys are suffering from severe trauma. They know me and I care for them. Henry and Arthur need someone they can trust. There is nothing admirable about it.” – Loc 189 of 2115

From the onset, Bonnie is far more likable than Stephen. Her character is that of a sweet yet resilient governess, who puts her charges first before herself, staying to care for them even when no wage is being paid. On the other hand, Stephen test Bonnie’s trustworthiness; he somewhat desires her, but mostly his thoughts turn to the mystery at hand. He initially comes off as a cold and unyielding man, knowing not how to care for young children.

            “You misunderstand me, sir. It is the children who do not leave me, not the other way around.”
            “Ridiculous. They are children. Call a maid or footman.” – Loc 161 of 2115

In the end, he still is. There are moments when Stephen seems to bond with the children through teaching Henry to ride and Bonnie, though those are short-lived as Stephen’s suspicions ruin what bonhomie they had built.
      “Well, I certainly fell assured that the man who has done nothing to gain out trust feels that I am worthy.” – Loc 488 of 2115

In essence, Stephen exhibits behaviors typically attributed to a scarred hero; he is coarse in mannerisms, unrefined and unsophisticated, while Bonnie, despite being a lowly governess (in the eyes of Regency society), has beauty of character far beyond that of Stephen. With regards to Bonnie and Stephen’s romance, it is very much instant love. That is, based on Stephen’s own thoughts and his actions, he appreciates Bonnie and lusts after her, but until the end he did not behave toward her any differently than when they were first acquainted. It seemed as if the lack of pages post-resolving the murder case had left Stephen with little recourse to go on if he wanted to win Bonnie back, and even then, he did not show the signs of a man in love, mainly a hero who needs to be with his heroine at the end. On that point, Bonnie was too accepting of Stephen’s mercurial thinking, one minute pushing her away, only to ask her hand in marriage on the last page. Naturally, given that this is a novella, it is understandable that the “love” between the characters must be rushed, but for the story’s over focusing on the murder mystery, the romance element was rather hastily put together, and not as refined as in Claire’s story.

Rating: 3 tulips

*Review copy provided by the publisher via edelweiss

Related reviews: The Governess Club: Claire

6 comments:

  1. Great review, Mary! I have an ARC as well and will be reading it soon. Very excited to compare notes. ^_^

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    1. I'm very excited to hear what you think of this :)

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  2. I have Claire's book coming up on my TBR pile borrowed it from my library's e-book section, I'm still waiting to read Bonnie's book as well it sounds like a good one. I love a scarred hero! :)
    Great review!

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    1. Thanks :) I'm going to link my review of Claire to this one

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