Friday, October 31, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Rules for a Proper Governess

Rules for a Proper Governess (MacKenzies and McBrides/ Highland Pleasures - Book 7) by Jennifer Ashley

Publication Date: 10/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0425266036
ISBN-13: 978-0425266038

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Jennifer Ashley on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

   1. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie
   2. Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage
   3. The Many Sins of Lord Cameron
   4. The Duke's Perfect Wife
4.5. MacKenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift
   5. The Seduction of Eliot McBride
5.5. The Untamed MacKenzie
   6. The Wicked Deeds of Daniel MacKenzie
6.5. Scandal and the Dutchess
   7. Rules for a Proper Governess

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Rules for a Proper Governess, courtesy of the author's website.


Scottish barrister Sinclair McBride can face the most sinister criminals in London--but the widower's two unruly children are a different matter. Little Caitlin and Andrew go through a governess a week, sending the ladies fleeing in tears. There is, however, one woman in town who can hold her own.
Roberta "Bertie" Frasier enters Sinclair's life by stealing his watch--and then stealing a kiss. Intrigued by the handsome highlander, Bertie winds up saving his children from a dangerous situation and returning them to their father. Impressed with how they listen to her, Sinclair asks the lively beauty to be their governess, never guessing that the uncoventional lady will teach him a lesson or two in love.


Jennifer Ashley returns to the Highland Pleasures series with her seventh book, Rules For a Proper Governess. When a Scottish barrister meets an East End pickpocket, most would not expect romance to follow, but Ashley will make you suspend your belief in the impossible with this leading couple. Readers looking for a historical with a unique perspective will love this book and it's underlying nod to stories like "My Fair Lady." Another enjoyable romance features one of the McBride's and the MacKenzie's.

What I liked:

The Highland Pleasures series follows two families, the MacKenzie's and the McBride's. The MacKenzie's tend to be my favorites because their books have been the more passionate of the series, with heroes and leading ladies that are a step above most historical pairings. However, I enjoyed this book featuring Sinclair McBride as much, or more than most of the MacKenzie books. Pairing McBride with a pickpocket was a remarkable way to add flavor to the book and a different kind of excitement. Ashley draws the reader in with a stolen watch and holds on tight. 

I did have to suspend my ideas of what I thought was likely to happen in this book to some extent, but that's what it's all about. I wanted it to be possible for a young woman from the streets to meet a well educated, wealthy man and fall in love and Ashley made me believe it could happen. When Bertie, the heroine becomes the new governess for Sinclair McBride's children, however I did have a few doubts. 

Bertie was a real joy as a heroine. From her Cockney accent to her zest for love and life. But she was still an uneducated woman from the East End. Just because McBride's children liked her, may not have been enough for her to get the job in any normal circumstance, but it was enough in this book. Of course the sparks flying between her and Sinclair might have had something to do with it. She gave him a new lease on life that he needed so desperately. It had to take a character that was completely different from the normal historical romance lady to draw McBride out and Ashley provides that in Bertie. 

Sinclair is mourning the death of his wife seven years later. No has been able to bring the tortured, broody hero around, until he meets someone completely outside his normal existence. I liked the fact that Ashley doesn't make him perfect. He is flawed and heartbroken. He doesn't know how to take care of his children or how to move on. Bertie's refreshing take on life might have been a bit unconventional, but it was what he needed. Ashley made me believe in this connection, in this unorthodox romance, despite it's implausibility. They were simply perfect for each other.

Bottom Line:

Ashley's writing style in this one was very succinct. She had a plan as to how it needed to go and she executed it well. There were moments of levity and moments of action. Times where family and friends were the central theme and times when the lead couple were center stage. There were issues to overcome and even a bit of mystery. I thought the author did a great job of bringing it all together in a story about people from different sides of the tracks finding love together. A very good addition to this wonderful series.

Rules For a Proper Governess is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley writes historical and paranormal romance as Jennifer Ashley; paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James; and mysteries as Ashley Gardner. Jennifer's novels have won RWA's RITA and RT Reviewer's Choice awards among others. 

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Rules for a Proper Governess by Jennifer Ashley.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 14th.

1. Please leave a comment. What do you think of rags to riches stories?

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Charlotte said...

I enjoy them.

traveler said...

Yes, I enjoy them greatly. A favorite subject. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

penney said...

I love the rags to riches stories, You hardly don't hear much about them now days, I can't wait to read this one.

jmcgaugh said...

I enjoy rags to riches stories. After all, Cinderella was a favorite fairy tale when I was growing up.

lag123 said...

I love them. It reminds me that there is always hope for everything.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

bn100 said...

they can be interesting

Texas Book Lover said...

They are super fun to read! So unlike anything that happens in real life anymore...or at least not my life.

holdenj said...

I generally like rags to riches stories, so I think I'd like to give this a try! I like the Scottish setting too, and even though it seems to be 7 into the series, would be as good a place as any to begin! Thanks!

Anita Yancey said...

I love rags to riches stories. They always make me think that anything can happen. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Nancy said...

I love them. They give me hope.

Unknown said...

i would love my life to be a rag to riches story LOL!!

Bonnie said...

I love those kinds of stories.

Di said...

rags to riches is better than riches to rags!

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Michelle F. said...

I might enjoy a rags to riches story. I didn't know that the author also wrote as Ashley Gardner. I think I have a couple of those books. This book sounds good.