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From Goodreads: A Proper Governess Should Never. . .
Assist a handsome stranger, alone on an unfamiliar road . . . unless the rake happens to be her new employer.
Take a position in a crumbling manor . . . especially if the household staff has been replaced by unruly former soldiers.
Allow her young charge entrÉe to her heart . . . for once done, it will be impossible to maintain proper distance.
Permit her charge's uncle a breathtaking kiss under a star-lit sky . . . henceforth she will most certainly lose composure whenever he is near.
And above all, she should never, ever fall completely, irreversibly in love with her employer . . . for nothing good can possibly come of it.
Mercy Franklin is the new governess at Ashby Hall. After her mother's recent death and the death of her father (a Vicar) years earlier she is now an orphan with no money. She is forced to find employment where she can. Little does she know that she is actually the granddaughter of the Duke of Windermere. He is on his deathbed and is seeking to make amends for disowning Mercy's mother and not taking care of her two daughters after she died with her husband in an accident. When the girls were only 3 years old he separated the two and payed two families to raise them as their own. Mercy's adoptive mother reveals to her shortly before dying that she and her husband were not her real parents. This story at first had a Jane Eyre-esque feel to it, starting with the way she meets Nash. He falls of his horse and hurts his ankle, needing Mercy's assistance. Only in this book, Nash is scarred from the battle of Waterloo and he checks out Mercy's behind as she helps him take his boot off. Having been raised in a strict and religious family Mercy is at first shocked and annoyed by Nash and his "staff". She begins to loosen up and opens her heart to both Nash and his timid little niece, Emmy, who Mercy looks after. Nash is a great character, he is scarred both physically and emotionally by his past and is trying to restore Ashby Hall to its former glory. He is loyal to his fellow soldiers and offers them lodging in his home when they have nowhere else to go after the war. His two older brothers have died in horrible accidents and Nash is investigating their suspicious deaths, it added a whole new element of danger to the story. This book has a lot going for it, it has a murder-mystery, some comedy, romance, and an Anastasia-like ongoing plot. There will be a second book that deals with Mercy's twin sister Christina. I look forward to reading it and seeing what becomes of the twin sisters and their lives.
I give this book 3.5 stars!