A Governess of Great Talents (The Governess Bureau #1)

Emily EK

Having put in a fair amount of strenuous effort to gain a place at Miss Clarke’s prestigious Governess Bureau, Meredith Hubert has completed her first assignment with a glowing recommendation. Eager to begin her next assignment, Meredith goes straight to work for Alfred, Duke of Rochdale, who needs his half-brother out of his hair so he can focus on his parliamentary re-election. Archie’s antics threaten the duke’s pristine reputation at a time when it must be spotless. Meredith is hiding her past, but she’s not the only one with secrets, and with mysterious goings on at the duke’s estate, their growing feelings for each other will only exacerbate the potential for scandal.

The book’s concept is promising, employing the tried and true, universally enjoyed trope of governess/employer. Unfortunately, the plot is rather brittle and falls short of its potential. Meredith is hiding from a sordid past that promises to inject intrigue into the plot, yet the story never delivers despite her droning on about her fears of discovery. Both Meredith and Alfred are incredibly repetitive in their dialogues and inner monologues and their attraction never truly comes through on the page. Just when they seemed to be getting somewhere, Alfred pulls away to cling to respectability, leaving readers to question the efficacy of their supposed attachment. The notion of a duke needing to run for election to Parliament also stretches believability, but some readers may be able to overlook this and enjoy the very slow burn. Those desiring some unchallenging reading may enjoy this story, but others may find the story tedious and be annoyed by the abundant potential left unexplored.

Niki Price