Saturday, February 5, 2011

Review: Seducing the Governess - Margo Maguire

Seducing the Governess by Margo Maguire

The book opens with the request of a dying Duke -- find the granddaughters that I disowned 20 years ago upon the deaths of my daughter (who had also been disowned) and her husband.  The Duke had cruelly separated the children and had his representative find them homes -- not knowing himself where they ended up or if it was a good situation.  Now, as he is fading, he wants to make amends.

We then meet Mercy, who as we learn is one of the missing granddaughters.  Upon her mother's deathbed, Mercy learns that the people she always thought were her parents were in fact not...that at about the age of three she was delivered to the Reverend and his wife by a stranger and asked to raise her.  Assuming that she was the child of a fallen woman, the foster parents were not necessarily warm and loving to Mercy, thinking they had to keep her from following in the unknown mother's footsteps.  Now that her foster parents are both dead, Mercy is forced to make her own living, and takes a position as a governess.  It's an unusual household, with an intriguing Earl as Mercy's employer.  Her charge is the Earl's niece, a shy child that Mercy can't help by adore.  Her employer though, is a challenge, as Mercy is drawn to him, yet the Earl needs a well-dowried wife to restore the manor and lands.  Add in the mysterious deaths of the current Earl's two older brothers and a suspiciously friendly neighbor, and you have the setting for an interesting story.

This was the first of Ms. Maguire's books I've read.  Her last release, The Rogue Prince, was on my radar screen, but never made it to the TBR pile. So I was interested in having the chance to read her upcoming release, Seducing the Governess.  Overall, I found the book "ok".  Parts of it, I really liked.  The underlying story of the long-lost granddaughters of the dying Duke, trying to track them down and restore their inheritance, that had promise.  As did the story of the first granddaughter, Mercy, that we see in this book.  I liked the characters, although I felt like there should have been a lot more development than there was of many, and there was a lot more that could have been done with the side characters than what was.

The main problem I had with the story was that I felt like I was thrown into the middle of a series with backstory missing that would have been helpful.  I don't think this is the case, but it did seem that way at times.  I'm assuming (since there's still one granddaughter yet to be found) that there will be a second book in this series coming at some point, and that has the potential to resolve many of my problems with the end of the book I think.  I felt like it was one where the author either hit a page or a time limit and it all just got wrapped up nice and neat way too quickly...with a bunch of questions remaining.  Now, a lot of those questions may be answered, but given the focus of this book and how it progressed, I'm thinking there's only a 50/50 shot that they will.

Overall, I give the book a two star rating on the GoodReads was entertaining, but not a book that I fell in love with.

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