Courtney Milan is well known for her absorbing stories and vivid characters. The Governess Affair is no exception. Strictly speaking, this is a novella and seems like a prequel to the Brothers Sinister series. I enjoyed it thoroughly and would have liked to read much more about the characters.
Hugo Marshall is a coal miner’s son from the North. He has lived a traumatic childhood. Almost the youngest of sixteen siblings, he has fought hard to not be a miner. His father’s abusing words still haunt him, and he wants to prove them wrong. He has vowed to be the richest coal miner’s son in England. He has been a prize fighter, but now he works for the Duke of Clermont, sadly enough, without any pay. His payoff depends on a wager and he works night and day to ensure he will win it.
The Duke of Clermont is not an honorable character. Married to a rich heiress, he continues to cheat. Hugo Marshall’s fortune depends on whether he can get the Duke to tow the line and keep the Duchess happy.
Serena Barton turns up on a park bench outside the Duke’s townhouse. The Duke commands Marshall to make her disappear. Servants begin to talk and there is lots of gossip. Hugo tries many things to get the girl to leave, including some underhanded measures. Unknown to him, he falls for her and finds himself in a fix.
Serena Barton has sought shelter with her agoraphobic sister. She has been wronged by the Duke and is bent on getting fair treatment. In spite of Hugo’s attempts to thwart her, she finds herself liking him and finds him honorable. But Hugo Marshall will let no one come between him and his fortune.
The Governess Affair is a quick read and whets your appetite for more. There is a preview at the end of the book that is even more appetizing. Courtney Milan needs no introduction, and this book is short, sweet and brings interesting tidings.
No doubt this story will leave you panting for more. I got this as part of a Kindle promotion, but it is worth the investment even if it is not free.