The Governess Was Wanton by Julia Kelly
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: October 10, 2016
A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the first book in this series, which is set to be released this week. Now, I’ve read this second book and I enjoyed it more than the first. While at first this seemed to be a basic historical romance following a similar pattern as the first book (governess, forbidden romance, etc.), it turned into a sort of retelling of “Cinderella.” I absolutely love fairy tale retellings, so when these little details popped up, I was very excited.
There still isn’t a ton of complexity here, but the main character Mary’s role as a governess is much more relevant than Elizabeth’s in the previous book. I liked the romance here better because it felt more plausible to me, and I enjoyed the characters. I did think that Eleanora (Mary’s charge) seemed a little young at the start of the book, but by the end, I felt that she had really grown.
The thing I liked least was how willing the characters were to engage in a sexual relationship and how quickly they had sexual thoughts about each other after meeting. Obviously I’ve never lived in the nineteenth century, but I have lived in the present, and even now I can’t imagine people having such sexual thoughts at a first meeting (but maybe that’s really just me). Mary seemed just a touch too promiscuous, though in a book where she (the governess) is labeled as wanton, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.
This was a really fun and quick read, and I think historical romance readers will enjoy it, as long as you like your books heavy on the romance. It wasn’t terribly complex, but the fairy tale elements are there and there is character growth over time. I gave this book four stars.
*ARC from Pocket Star Books via NetGalley