29 Mar '11

Breaking the Governess’s Rules – Michelle Styles (4 Stars)

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Breaking the Governess's Rules by Michelle Styles
Published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, Limited on 2011-03-01
Genres: Historical
Pages: 299
Format: Paperback
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four-stars
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How delightful to meet you again, Miss Louisa Sibson.’ Jonathon, Lord Chesterholm’s eyes bored holes into Louisa Sibson’s back.

The former fiancée he’s thought dead is very much alive…
Louisa has rebuilt her life, after being dishonourably dismissed from her post as governess for allowing Jonathon to seduce her.

Now Louisa lives by a rulebook of morals and virtue – the devastating Lord Chesterholm will not ruin her again! But Jonathon will get to the bottom of Louisa’s disappearance – and he’ll enjoy breaking a few of her rules along the way…!

Louisa Stibbons is working as an old Ladies companion, when she meets her former fiancée again. The last time she saw Jonathon they had rowed, after which she had been told to go away by his snobby aunt, who wanted Jonathon to marry a woman of “Worth” rather than a lowly Governess. Jonathon cannot believe his eyes when a woman he thought was dead appears in front of him, looking very well indeed. Both are hurt and angry, and neither truly trusts each other, but the attraction between them cannot be denied.

For the most part of the book, I liked Louisa. She had been hurt by Jonathon’s supposed actions, and had ended up losing their child, which in turn had destroyed a part of her. She cannot afford to let Jonathon too close, yet she cannot help herself. Her self-defence mechanism, is to explain away her actions, and feelings, by either blaming him or blame loneliness. I can understand her actions as she has literally had to rebuild herself back up from the ground upwards. Jonathon isn’t the playboy she remembers; in fact, he hasn’t been since she left. He married the woman of worth his stepmother desired and had a child. After she died, he had to bring up his son, and his household, alone.

As much as Louisa misjudged him, and treated him as I he hadn’t changed, he did the same. All the way through the book, he kept searching for “his” Louisa, making me wonder if they could be happy together after so much time apart. I was charmed by Jonathan – he was dashing, charming and completely relentless. At no point was there a doubt in his mind he would have Louisa back in his life, and his bed. He just had to find the right buttons to press. He gets his opportunity to try a multitude of methods after inviting Louisa, and her patron, to his home to look at his cameos. I enjoyed his unwavering belief that she was the woman who fit him, no matter if she knew it or not! He had added assistant from Miss Daphne, Miss Stibbons companion, who was a little bit of a matchmaker and was determined not to let Louisa allow the past to influence her future.
I love historical Romance. They always have that added bit of romance, as wooing someone was so much more difficult! At one point Jonathan looked through the Debretts peerage catalogue to see who her fiancée is, and I had to laugh! In all the latest chick flicks, you see women “googling” their latest conquests, so it was nice to see that this tradition is long-standing! There is a sex scene, which happens during the storm, which is done with no graphic details and lots of emotion and swooning. It was satisfying enough, there was none of the flowery euphemisms that are a pet hate for me, and I felt it fit the style of the book.

I wanted a HEA for both of them and felt the author did a lovely job of showing how these emotionally damaged individuals, could be together in spite of all their baggage. I particularly enjoyed the scene when Louisa stood up for herself against Jonathon’s tyrant of an aunt, it was done with dignity and she definitely came out the winner of it!

I recommend this for fans of historical romance. It is a nicely written tale with engaging characters, with most of the conflicts needing to overcome being internal.

four-stars

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