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  • Writer's pictureClaudine Gandolfi

The Governess - Christi Caldwell

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

Date Read: Feb 7, 2019

Review: Just stayed up until 4:13am because I couldn’t put down The Governess, by Christi Caldwell. She’s become one of my favorite authors over the past few years. This book is part of Christi’s Wicked Wallflowers series (The Hellion, The Vixen, and now The Governess). The series relates the story of the women who live and work at the Devil’s Den (rival club to the Hell & Sin Club featured in the Sinful Brides series). What’s different about these series? They main characters aren’t normally Dukes or even Barons. They’re from Seven Dials in London, a dangerous/sketchy area at best during the early 19th Century. The wrong side of town. But they have ambition and have become wealthy through street smarts and determination.

The story took it’s time building the plot to a crescendo. Lord Oliver’s a thorn in her side that rears its ugly head. But once all secrets are revealed there is a very satisfying romance scene on a piano that I needed a cigarette after – and I don’t smoke! Holy hell. These two are passionate for each other and it’s a great read. Then the Marquess comes for his pound of flesh… will they get a chance at a future? It’s a romance (HEA), but you really should read it to find out how!

Series: Wicked Wallflowers #3

Type: Regency

Heat: 7/10

Tropes: Second Chance, Friends to Lovers. Rivals to Lovers, Ticking Clock

Premise: Broderick Killoran is the proprietor of the Devil’s Den, and through the series he’s held his makeshift “family” together. He’s been adamant about wedding his sisters to nobility to secure them and the club power and respectability. In this book, he’s decided to push his sister Gertrude into polite society… but it’s Broderick himself who ends up taking a tumble for his longtime friend – Regina “Reggie” Spark. Reggie has always looked after the Killoran siblings and her latest is Stephen, who we found out in The Vixen, is actually the Mad Marquess’ missing son, stolen as a baby.

Broderick bears that shame. He instructed henchmen to bring back children to Diggory (the cruel “Father” of the group before he was killed). But Broderick’s motives were ultimately to take in orphans and give them a chance at life. To his dismay, he finds out his instructions were twisted and the henchmen had taken the son of the Marquess, and set fire to his home… killing his wife, and driving him mad. In this book, the Broderick is trapped with the ticking time bomb of the Mad Marquess exacting his revenge for the loss of his family. He knows his time is borrowed and wants to make sure his sister safe and cared for before he ends up at the end of a rope, literally.

Reggie, who has been in love with Broderick for ages does not know that Broderick’s time is borrowed, but she cannot bear to stay around him watching as he falls for other women. It’s torture for her so she decides to set up her own place away from the Devil’s Den, taking Clara Waters (former Madame) with her.

Broderick finally sees Reggie as a desirable woman, but can’t allow himself to be with her as he feels he’s about to die. Then he finds out she’s stealing workers from his club for the one she’s about to set up Betrayed he buys the new place out from under her, demanding more funds than she saved for it. Stephen, the tortured youth at the crux of his guilt, mistakes Reggie’s new place and labels her a traitor to the family, so Broderick demands she escort his sister Gertrude out into polite society as her companion/chaperone – all of them living under the one roof in Mayfair. This really throws Reggie for a loop, as she’s tried to avoid the ton since she was engaged and used by the horrific Lord Oliver. She was weak then, but now she’s a warrior heroine! She’s grown a backbone of steel and stands up for herself and others.

The Good: I really enjoyed the scene where Broderick first sees Regina in her “non-brown” gowns.

The Bad: None

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