Book Review: The Governess Club: Claire by Ellie Macdonald

The Governess Club: Claire by Ellie MacdonaldTitle: The Governess Club: Claire
Series: The Governess Club, Book 1
Author: Ellie Macdonald
Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality Rating: Sensual
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: September 3, 2013 by Avon Impulse

Claire Bannister just wants to be a good teacher so that she and the other ladies of the Governess Club can make enough money to leave their jobs and start their own school in the country. But when the new sinfully handsome and utterly distracting tutor arrives, Claire finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance that could change the course of her future.

Jacob Knightly has a secret. He is actually the notorious Earl of Rimmel. He's just posing as a tutor to escape his reputation in the city. He never expected to fall in love with the kind and beautiful governess. She is the first person to love him for himself and not his title.

But when Jacob's true identity is revealed, Claire realizes she has risked her reputation and her heart on a man she doesn't truly know. Will Jacob be able to convince her that the Wild Earl has been tamed and that she is the true countess of his heart?

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Enjoyable historical with a very likable heroine and a hero who redeems himself.

The Set Up: It wasn’t Claire’s dream to be a governess but when her father died and left her penniless, it’s what she became. The new tutor, Jacob, messes with Claire’s plans when their attraction turns emotional. But Jacob is really the wild Earl of Rimmel posing as a tutor and secrets like that have a way of coming out.

Why I Read this Book: Avon Addict!

What I Liked: Claire is a delightful historical heroine. She has a self-assuredness and sexual agency that is rare in romance. I loved how honest she was in her interactions with Jacob, both falling in love and her anger at his deception. Usually in historical romance we’re given rather two-dimensional heroines but Claire is a flesh and blood character with plans for her future and the drive to carry them out. I love her relationship with the maid Lucy and her fellow governesses. But the very best part of Claire is her admittance that she distrusts Jacob when his deception is uncovered. Normally in historical romances women (in my opinion) don’t act as real women would, with doubt, anger and residual mistrust. This short novella manages to convey a real woman’s emotional response to a man’s mistakes and I loved that about this novella. Finally, I enjoyed that Claire didn’t have big issues with her sexuality and desire for Jacob. She acknowledges her needs and comes to a mature decision about them. This sexual agency of a female character is way too rare in romance in my opinion.

What I Also Liked: This is the perfect sized novella, not too long and not too short. The progression of Jacob and Claire’s relationship never feels rushed but neither did Jacob’s hidden identity seem drawn out. I love that the novella’s end allows Claire time to make a decision about what she wants in life now that she’s fallen in love with Jacob.

What I Didn’t Like: Jacob was a challenge for me at novella’s beginning. His pompous arrogance and callous desire to seduce Claire were extremely dislikable. I wondered how I would ever like this hero but I have to say the author did a very admirable job of reforming Jacob. I love his grand gestures at novella’s end and even believe he might have progressed enough to do so willingly.

IMO: This is a debut novella and I will absolutely read the rest of this series since I enjoyed this.

J9’s Rating:
3 1/2 Frogs


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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


  1. Replies
    1. I agree. Their historicals have a lot of thought put into them.


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