Hello my lovelies, I am so excited to be one of the blogs to be kicking off this smading blog tour, for the beautiful; The Earl’s Runaway Governess, the new realease by Catherine Tinley. Not only will be sharing my review of this amazing book, but I also have an exclusive extract and a giveaway. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a cuppa and let me tell you about this marvellous book.
The Earl’s Runaway Governess by Catherine Tinley
Genre : Historical Romance
Publisher : Mills and Boon/Harlequin
Who knew living with an Earl…
…would lead to such temptation?
Marianne Grant’s new identity as a governess is meant to keep her safe. But then she meets her new employer, Ash, Earl of Kingswood, and she immediately knows his handsome good looks are a danger of their own! Brusque on first meeting, Ash quickly shows his compassionate side. Yet Marianne doesn’t dare reveal the truth! Unless Ash really could be the safe haven she’s been looking for…
The interior of the inn was dark, cosy, and well-maintained. A fire burned in the grate, for the January day was chilly. Marianne made her way towards the wooden counter at the far end of the room, where a woman who must be the landlady was busy pouring ale. As she walked, Marianne found herself warily assessing the strangers in the room. Since the day and hour she had left home she had not felt truly safe, for even a minute. She had no experience with which to assess where danger might lurk, so she found herself constantly on edge.
Her fellow passengers were already seating themselves in various parts of the taproom, and there were also two men who looked like they might be farmers, each with a mug of beer in front of him.
Then she saw him. Her heart briefly thumped furiously in her chest, and the hairs at the back of her neck stood to attention.
He was seated with his back to her, at the table closest to the counter. She could see his dark hair, swept forward in a fashionable style. He wore a driving cloak with numerous capes. She could also see long legs encased in tight-fitting pantaloons and gleaming black boots. He looked like any one of a dozen London bucks. Except this time, she reminded herself, you have no reason to fear him.
She kept walking, soothing herself with calm thoughts. As she reached his table, she turned her head, compelled to confirm it was no one she knew.
This man was a few years older than Henry – perhaps in his late twenties or early thirties. His hair was similar – thick, dark, and luxuriant. But the face was totally different. This man was handsome – or at least, he would be if he were not scowling so fiercely. His strong bones and lean features contrasted with Henry’s slight pudginess and rather weak jawline. And, now that she could see all of him, she realised that his body shape was totally different to Henry’s. He was lean and muscular, with no sign of a paunch. The clothing was similar to that favoured by Henry – and indeed, by all the young bucks of London. There the resemblance ended.
Sensing her there, he looked up from his mug and their eyes met. Stormy blue eyes bore into hers and Marianne felt a slow flush rise. My, but he was attractive! – and, she realised, his gaze was doing strange things to her. Breaking away from that endless, compelling contact, she bit her lip and took the final four steps to the counter.
Marianne summoned a polite smile. She felt slightly lost and shaky, and she could feel the man’s gaze boring into her back. Still, she managed to reply to the landlady. ‘I am expecting someone to meet me here. I have travelled from London on the mail coach.’
‘Who is it you are expecting, miss?’
Marianne’s brow creased. ‘I am not exactly sure.’ Inside, panic was rising. What if there has been some mistake? What if there is no governess position? ‘I am to take up a position as governess at a place called Ledbury House. I was told to travel here by mail coach today.’
‘Ledbury House? This gentleman –’ she indicated the fashionable buck ‘– is also travelling there. Perhaps you are expected to travel with him?’
Heart sinking, Marianne swung round to face him. His scowl had deepened as he listened to their exchange, and he now raised a quizzical eyebrow. ‘Curious’ he mused. ‘And to think I was unaware of the delights this day would hold.’
Marianne was taken aback. She was unsure how to take this. The man’s words were perfectly polite, but something about the tone suggested the possibility that he was not, in fact, delighted. Accustomed as she was to straightforward politeness, his words and tone felt disconcerting. Something of what she was feeling must have shown on her face because, as she watched him, his expression changed to one of chagrin.
‘I have no doubt,’ he murmured cryptically, ‘that this is a mess of Fanny’s making, and I am expected to fix it. Well, I shall do so this one time, but no more.’ With this enigmatic statement, he drained his mug, then stood. ‘You’d best come with me.’
Not waiting for her reply, he swung away towards the door.
Marianne stood rooted to the spot, uncertainty bedevilling her. Should she go with him? A stranger, and she was to travel with him unaccompanied. Miss Marianne Grant, a lady, would never have done so. Miss Anne Bolton, governess, could.
Conscious that all eyes were all on her, Marianne was surprised to find determination rising within her. Surprised, because she did not often need to be brave. She was normally a placid, timid creature, most at home with a book in her hand and harmony and peace all around.
This unknown gentleman was expecting her to simply climb into a carriage beside him – without any chaperone, maid, or footman accompanying them. Perhaps he had a groom? Well, even if he didn’t, it was clear that everyone expected the governess to go with him and be grateful for the ride.
Although he was handsome and strangely compelling, she was almost relieved to be wary of him – being guarded would be much, much safer than being attracted to him.
Torn between the surprising temptation to sit down somewhere safe and wait for an unknown rescuer, and the (even stronger) temptation to run, to get as far away as she could from the danger inherent in being alone in a carriage with a man, Marianne recognised that instead, her best option was simply to get into the carriage and hope she would be safe with him.
*Extract was provided and used with permission from the author as apart of this blog tour post.
Well this is a beautifully written, hopeful and very loving story that really instils in the reader that love really can appear in the most surprising of places when you least expect it. I have said it before but I will say it again, that Catherine Tinley wondrous writer, she takes the reader on an emotional journey to find that elusive happily ever after, I have always felt that she genuinely loves the era and the stories she writes about as her passion just jumps of the page with every word.
Marianne runs away from home after her lecherous, foul and drunken step-brother makes it abundantly clear exactly what he expects from his ward; Marianne. She knows that for as long as she is under his roof she will never be safe, so she flees and takes a position as a governess under the alias of ‘Anne Bolton’. She hopes that as her position is in the country and far away from London she will be safe, but as we all know nothing is ever as it may appear in historical romance and there is always road blocks in the way. That said road block just happens to be the rakish, rude and society loving new Earl Kingswood; Ash.
Ash neither expected the Earldom or wanted it, he has been raised to live life free and basically to do as he pleases with no responsibility, something which he loathes more than actually having the title. So, you can imagine what a kick in the rump it was that the notorious playboy must put others before himself for a change. He had planned to settle what needs to be settled with the estate and then hop it back to London as fast as his beautiful horses will take him, but things tend to always get in the way especially when h meets Marianne.
You can see that there is a spark between them, there are little glances but in all essence it is a will they, wont they love story; which I found utterly charming. But with Marianne having deep secrets and Ash not ready to commit himself, there is a wall between them. What will happen when Marianne’s true identity comes out? – when that does happen it is a fabulous piece of writing.
Even though I did end up falling in love with Ash, I will admit that it took me a while to warm to him. I can’t explain why, I just didn’t feel as drawn to him at first as I usually do with heroes. There was something very self-centred about him that put me of. He did have to work all that much harder to win me over, but I am pleased to say he did. This is what I love and admire about Catherine Tinley, to be able to completely change the readers initial opinion of a character from; ‘Hmmm, I’m not sure I even like this guy.’ to ‘Oh, my goodness! I’m in love!!’ that is a real gift in writing and there are few authors out there who can so easily accomplish it. So, I whole-heartedly applaud you Catherine!
Whereas I instantly connected with Marianne, she is this an amazing young women, to leave home and everything she knew; her whole life is such a strong act. Yes, she had no choice about leaving she knew that if she stayed something terrible would have happened to her at the hands of her foul, lecherous step-brother. Knowing that one must leave is one thing, but for her actually to do it without even a shred of thought of what would happen to her is another. But, yet she takes the bull by the horn and plunges into her secret life as a governess.
This book really conveys just how powerless women were, not just with Marianne having her awful step-brother becoming her guardian, meaning in the eyes of the law she is his and can basically do as he wishes with. But you also see that power being flaunted in the case of the Dowager Countess of Kingswood and her daughter, I won’t say too much about the details as it would give too much of the plot away but there were times when I did feel a pang of pity for the Countess. This is what makes Ms Tinley’s writing pure, realistic and so brilliantly powerful, that us reader go through a monopoly of emotions as we read.
Overall this is a definite must read, I love the personal journey Ash and Marianne go on through out the story, they both have to get past their own personal issues, but I also like that there is an undercurrent of suspense that runs throughout the story. It’s alike a tingling of what is to come, of something more. I have loved every book of Ms Tinley’s that I have read so I knew that I would be in for something great and it doesn’t disappoint.
Very highly recommended!
This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Catherine and Rachel.
About The Author
Catherine Tinley writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings.
After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog and can be reached via the links below.
To be in for a chance of winning one of three signed copies of The Earl’s Runaway Governess, plus a mystery book by another romance writer. The enter via the Rafflecopter form/Link below.
Rafflecopter Giveaway – Enter Here
Open Internationally – 2 x UK winners and 1 x International Winner.
*T&C’s : Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.