We made it. And if that’s the only thing we accomplished this year? Honestly it’s pretty impressive. This year has been… I mean. Is there a soul on the planet who is not in need of some level of therapy to deal with the trauma that was 2020? I’m not here to ruminate on the year. I simply don’t have the energy. I can, however, tell you about the books I finished reading this last week of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.
The Governess Game by Tessa Dare- The second installment of the wildly charming Girl Meets Duke Series kicks off with everyone’s favorite clock setter, Alexandra Mountbatten. She’s among the motley crew of ladies who befriended Emma, seamstress turned Duchess, in The Duchess Deal. An odd set of circumstances and misunderstandings find Alex taking a position as a governess for the impossibly rakish Chase Reynaud, heir to the Duke of… Something. I don’t remember and it isn’t important. What IS important is that Chase has unexpectedly become first in line to inherit the Dukedom and since the actual Duke is unwell, he’s taken on his wards. Rosalind and Daisy, the world’s most macabre sibling duo, have chased off an impressive list of governesses since they were brought into Chase’s care. Though he attends daily doll funerals (honestly, poor Millicent) he’s quite sure the girls would be better off at boarding school. Alex isn’t quite sure she’ll be able to handle the girls either, but soon finds a way to get through to them… By introducing them to the finer points of piracy. In the midst of all of this, Chase and Alex totally fall in love. The whole thing is incredibly cute and funny and steamy and delightful. I know not everyone enjoys a side of children with their romance novels, but I think Rosalind and Daisy were hilarious. If their escapades were turned into a children’s series, I’d totally read it. Might need to be for slightly older children, though. Millicent suffers from some pretty gruesome ailments.
The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare- What, did you think I wasn’t going to binge read the whole series? Well, you’d be right, but only because the final installment hasn’t yet been published. Naturally I read all the available stories. The Wallflower Wager tells the tale of Lady Penelope Campion, eccentric ringleader of the Bloom Square Thursday tea party bunch (of which the aforementioned Emma and Alex are a part). Penelope and her menagerie of pets are not appreciated by her new neighbor, Gabriel Duke. He’s known as “The Duke of Ruin” because he goes around buying up the debts of irresponsible aristocrats and has every intention of pulling the equivalent of a Regency era house flip next door to Penelope. Penny’s brother has threatened to make her return from London to Cumberland to live out her spinsterhood in obscurity unless she meets with certain conditions (don’t worry, we’ll hate him somewhat less at the very end.) Gabriel and Penny strike a bargain so that she may meet her family’s requirements to stay in London while also helping Gabriel sell his house for top dollar (thanks to being in such close proximity to a real life aristocrat.) Of course, first, he has to choke down some sham sandwiches (Penny’s vegetarian substitutes for tea sandwiches never fail to make me laugh) and find stable and loving homes for an otter, an elderly hedgehog, a highland steer, a goat, a two-legged dog, a foul-mouthed parrot, and innumerable kittens. Of course, Gabriel and Penny fall desperately in love. Some hijinks, a lot of silliness, and some seriously scandalous sexy times combine to make the perfect escape. I. Love. Tessa. Dare.
Alright, I’m calling it a year. I hope to keep up this once a week blog situation, so stay tuned for more of the same nonsense, just hopefully with some more cheerful anecdotes as the year progresses. Bye, 2020. You were… Something. Be safe and make good choices, Bookworms!
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