Friday, March 10, 2017

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan | Spoiler Book Review

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan
First Published: 2012
Adult, historical romance
Hugo Marshall earned the nickname "the Wolf of Clermont" for his ruthless ambition--a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner's son to the right hand man of a duke. When he's ordered to get rid of a pestering governess by fair means or foul, it's just another day at work.
But after everything Miss Serena Barton has been through at the hands of his employer, she is determined to make him pay. She won't let anyone stop her--not even the man that all of London fears. They might call Hugo Marshall the Wolf of Clermont, but even wolves can be brought to heel...
Courtney Milan is one of those rare historical authors who is unafraid to tackle serious issues in her historicals. Most of the historicals I read are fun and games -- and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I adore those books and gobble them up like candy. But sometimes, you want something deeper.

And Milan is the author for those times.

All of her heroine are strong and brave, and shine like a bright light in spite--and definitely because--of the times they live in, which don't nurture any of their many qualities... in women. And they have pasts. Pasts that have shaped and made them into what they are today.

As for Milan's heroes, they are the rare brand of historical heroes that are simply good people. They treat their women with respect, even before they fall in love. They put them first... eventually. They are in awe of their female partners, which is something that I simply delight in seeing.

And this prequel novella is not any different in those regards.

Now, I've contemplated writing a non spoilery review, but that will force me to cut off this review here and leave me unable to talk about all the things I want to talk about in regards to this short novella, and that is so not my M.O.

So from this point on... SPOILERS!!!
Now, this novella touches on perhaps the toughest of subjects Milan has tackled to date (save perhaps to her courtesan novel), and that is rape in Victorian times. Now, let me remind you that a woman could not go to the police when she was raped in those times, especially if the offender is a duke.

But Serena Barton is ahead of her times, and she will do whatever it takes to give her baby the best life possible. It was both heartening and heartbreaking to see her courageously face her biggest nightmare. 

Luckily for Serena, she accidentally ends up catching the eye of Hugo Marshall, the duke's enforcer of sorts. He worked very hard to be where he is today, and should be working on getting rid of Serena than finding her charming and resilient, but there you have it.

And once Hugo knows the real story behind Serena's sudden appearance, he will do everything in his power to help her. And you know what? We should all have a champion like Hugo Marshall.

I highly recommend this entire series to any fan of historicals out there!

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