We interrupt your regularly scheduled Book News to bring you…
Eep! I’m a forgetful book blogger, bookworms. During those hazy days when I had possibly-sorta-maybe (but really not) broken my wrist, I didn’t do much of anything. Mostly, I sat on my couch and read. In fact, I read two whole books that I completely forgot about! So I offer up the first-ever March Mini Reviews, to try to make up for the fact that I should have written about these books a long time ago. (FYI, I’m gonna go ahead and blame this on a combination of pain, Advil and chocolate.)
Raised by austere parents and shocked by the revelation of family secrets after their deaths, Mercy Franklin leaves home to take a position as a governess to a young girl at a remote estate. Nash Farris, Earl of Ashby, was never supposed to be the earl – he’s the third son, after all. Scarred both by battle and the premature deaths of his two brothers, he’s returned to Ashby Hall to try to restore the physically and emotionally devastated family home. Mercy and Nash are brought together by Emmy, Nash’s orphaned niece for whom he now cares and Mercy teaches. Despite their position as employer/employee, the attraction between them is undeniable, but there are other people with less-than-honorable intentions working against them. Then again, that’s never stopped Nash before.
Seducing the Governess is a thoroughly enjoyable historical romance with a perflectly flawed hero and heroine. Both Mercy and Nash have lived life overlooked in favor of others, but both also possess an innate inclination to help others and care for those in need. They are better together – Mercy learns to stand up for herself and take ownership of her opinions, while Nash shakes off the dark cloud that’s been hovering over his head. Rooting for them – and their happy-ever-after – was easy to do. I also really liked that Maguire wrote a balanced book. There’s a lot of humor, mostly courtesy of Nash’s fellow soliders who are acting as household staff, but there’s also the overlying mysteries surrounding Mercy’s family secrets and the circumstances of Nash’s brothers’ death. The ending is satisfying while still leaving enough open for the sequel. Definitely recommend.
Needing a break after her mother’s death, Autumn Haven heads to Las Vegas to blow off some steam. She doesn’t except to meet Sam LeClaire, bad boy hockey player. She really doesn’t except their whirlwind affair to lead to a quickie Vegas wedding and an equally quick – and bitter – divorce. They would never have to see each other again – if it weren’t for their son, Connor. Six years after the disaster in Vegas, Autumn and Sam barely communicate and rarely see each other. The only thing they have in common is Connor. But when a work event brings them together, both are forced into a new, uncertain relationship with one another. They might have a future together, if only they can let go of the past.
I’ve read a number of Rachel Gibson’s books revolving around the players and staff of the Seattle Chinooks hockey team. Some of them are great, some not-so-great. Unfortunately, Any Man of Mine falls into the “not-so-great” category. I definitely didn’t hate it, but I had a hard time warming up to both Autumn and Sam. Autumn is understandably quite guarded with her heart, but she also holds too tightly to grudges and resentments from years past. She’s willing to risk losing Sam because she can’t (or won’t) let herself move past everything that happened all those years ago. Sam, meanwhile, is a self-admitted jerk and a mostly absentee father. While I really liked his determination to make up for his past mistakes, especially when it came to Connor, I never really bought the reason why – the change from carefree hockey player to devoted dad seemed so sudden that I just never thought it made a lot of sense. Though I wanted to like Any Many of Mine more than I did, I realized about halfway through the book that I was more interested in the periphery characters from past books than I was in the two main characters. If you’re a Rachel Gibson fan or have read the other Chinook books, you’ll probably like this one. Otherwise, feel free to skip it.
I received both of these books as e-book ARCs from NetGalley. I was not compensated in any way for these mini-reviews.