The Governess's Secret Baby by Janice Preston
Series: The Governess Tales #4
Also in this series: The Cinderella Governess
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: November 22nd 2016
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The beauty who tamed the beast
New governess Grace Bertram will do anything to get to know her young daughter, Clara. Even if it means working for Clara's guardian, the reclusive and scarred Nathaniel, Marquess of Ravenwell!
Nathaniel believes no woman could ever love a monster like him, until Grace seems to look past his scars to the man beneath But when he discovers Grace is Clara's mother, Nathaniel questions his place in this torn-apart family. Could there be a Christmas happy-ever-after for this beauty and the beast?"
When Grace left her all girls school she was finally told what happened to the baby she’d given birth to two years earlier. She heads off to find the baby, Clara, to make sure that she’s being well taken care of. Unfortunately she finds that the adoptive parents have died in a carriage accident and that the baby is now under the guardianship of the Marquess of Ravenwell. She heads to what she thinks of the vast wilderness to Clara. When she arrives she’s not sure what she’s going to say but when the Marquess opens the door she finds she doesn’t have to. Nathaniel thinks that Grace is there for the position of governess and Grace doesn’t disabuse him of that notion. She takes the position and is thrilled to be so close to her daughter.
Nathaniel is in hiding. Oh, he doesn’t think of it as hiding but after being scarred by the fire that killed his father nine years earlier, then being rejected by not one but two women because of those scars, he headed to his far off estate and has been there ever since. He thinks that Grace is too young to be a governess and certainly too pretty but that doesn’t stop his feelings from growing for her. He doesn’t want to be rejected again, however, so he keeps pushing her away before she can reject him.
Despite the fact that Grace loves Nathaniel she doesn’t understand his hot and cold attitude. When he finally pushes too far Grace knows that she can never be his – or can she?
This was a very sweet story of a reunion between a mother and her child as well as a love story of beauty and the beast proportions. It definitely grabbed my heart a time or two during the course of the book.
Grace was a kind and loving girl who really was very accepting of her position in life. She didn’t have any illusions of being a proper mother to Grace but loved the fact that she would be with her all the time. I wondered at times how her love grew for Nathaniel. Not that he was unlovable – he wasn’t – but he was so very rude and cold to her at times I just couldn’t see how her love kept getting deeper after being hurt verbally so badly. It made my heart hurt when he was so rude to her so I’m not sure how she put up with it. It did happen, however, and in the end he made up for his rudeness. He really was a great man who had just been hurt too badly to trust new people in his life. I was so happy when he finally realized that Grace truly loved him and accepted him for who he was.
The story was a sweet one and a nice holiday romance.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5