The Earl’s Governess
by Celeste Barclay
“The Earl’s Governess” is the first Regency romance I’ve read by Celeste Barclay, and I have to say I’m not at all surprised that it was terrific because her other books are so good! I’m hoping to see more Regency romance from her in the future. This novella is part of the ‘Regency in Color’ series.’ It’s a short story but it’s packed full with great characters, excellent dialogue, and compelling intrigue.
Rajesh William Courtenay is the second son of a second son. His father had been working in India when he fell in love with and married Raj’s mother and made India his permanent home. When his father inherited the title of the Earl of Devon, the family had to relocate to England. Acutely aware of how he doesn’t fit in with the English aristocracy, Raj spends seven years privateering. When he suddenly finds himself having inherited the title and guardianship of his young nieces, Raj is left reeling. Charlotte “Charlie” Pedrick is looking for another governess position after fleeing the last one. when she recognizes Raj as the man who saved her from her last employer’s aggressively lustful adult son. There’s instant attraction between Charlie and Raj, despite differences in class and culture.
There’s much more to this story than the disparities between Charlie and Raj. The powerful East India Company is potentially somehow involved in the spate of deaths in his family, and Charlie’s family of smugglers makes everything even more complex. Did I not mention that she’s descended from a long line of pirates, privateers, and smugglers? Well, she is, and mention of her ancestors from a previous book by this author made my bookish heart skip an excited beat. The connection between the lead character is intense right from the start, the secondary characters are varied and interesting, and there are exciting twists and turns. Woven into the story are some fascinating historical facts I’ve never read before about the Regency era. One of the many reasons Celeste Barclay writes such wonderful historical fiction is that she anchors her fiction with truth and blends the two seamlessly together.