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Monday, June 19, 2006

Temptation of a Proper Governess by Cathy Maxwell

Society dictates that a governessshould be modest, quiet, and keep to herself.
She should never contradict her employer.

And, above all, she must not attract the attention of any male in the household.

But Michael Severson doesn't see Isabel Halloran as a governess — he sees her as a woman, one whose lush curves cannot be hidden behind a dowdy gown ... and whose efforts at hiding her sparkling intelligence are betrayed by her wit.

Years before, Michael had left Regency England, falsely accused of a crime. Now he is back, dedicated to seeking retribution — but not to taking a bride. But when his scandalous actions compromise Isabel's reputation, he does the unthinkable and offers her his hand — a marriage in name only.

But although his bride's passions are untried, Isabel's sensuality clearly matches his own. And with each day, and night, that passes, Michael becomes determined that every kiss, every caress, will be made with one goal: to seduce his proper wife into tender submission.

I think it was Romance Lover from Where's My Hero that said this book turned her off of Maxwell for good, so I wasn't expecting a great read when I picked it up, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Isabel is the bastard daughter of an Earl who's working as a governess. During a country party, she finds out that her employer is scheeming with his 17-year-old daughter, her charge, to trap the wealty Michael Seversen into marriage. While trying to retrieve the bracelett the daughter left in Michael's bed, she's found in a compromising position and dismissed.

Michael is back in England from Canada to finally clear his name of the murder of his former mistress. When he finds out that Isabel is the daughter of the man he thinks commited the murder, he marries her, hoping to draw his quary out. Only Isabel doesn't know that's why he married her, and when she finds out, she's extremely unhappy.

While attemps are made on both of their lives and they search for the real killer, they fall in love.

Overall it was really good. I was all kinds of salty in the beginning when they pratcially fall into bed within seconds of meeting each other, but I got over it as the story progressed. I liked the vicar and his wife and loved Michael. Isabel didn't irritate me much, either, which is always a bonus for me. Kudos to CM for not making me hate the heroine.

Not a must read, but still good.

3.5 out of 5

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