Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Claire by Ellie Macdonald

Series: The Governess Club #1
Genres: Historical Romance, Adult
Release Date: September 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Source: eBook from Library

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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?

This book, or more appropriately, this novella, didn’t have much going for it. It seemed very generic in terms of a historical romance but it wasn't enjoyable. I spent more time cringing than smiling at the silly antics of our characters.

Claire seems to have the basis for a strong female lead. She rarely wallows in self-pity, is confident and she doesn't let her circumstances bring her down too much. Yet at the same time she lets her employers walk over her and she doesn’t really ever stand for what she believes in. In fact, I am not even sure what she believes in. She seems to parrot Louisa’s ideas but that’s really about it.

But Claire wasn’t really my main problem with the book. Jacob was. I didn’t find Jacob swoon-worthy. He got jealous for no reason and thinks Claire is his to lay a claim on. He accuses her of purposefully avoiding dancing with him and the way he handled his jealousy was worrisome. He really needed to take a chill-pill. He never really seems to take into account that she isn’t a possession but a real human being. He says she is magic but it’s more about what she does for him than who she is or what he could in turn do for her.

Throw into that that their romance makes no sense what so ever. It comes out of nowhere. One day they don’t get along and Claire tells him he needs to stop acting like a spoiled brat and suddenly Jacob has an awakening and changes overnight (or over the course of a week) and then they are in love etc etc. How? When? Why? I get that this is a novella but I’ve read novellas where the romance is done well. Just because it’s a short story doesn’t excuse the need for development.

We know right off the bat that Jacob is hiding a secret and when the secret is revealed to Claire, she seems to react in a predictable way but that bothered me too because she over did it and chose not to listen to any of his explanations. I guess over the course of the book, I became more and more critical since there weren’t as many positive points to compensate for the little things that bothered me.

This novella also lacks a strong base.We get a very vague background story for Jacob and almost nothing for Claire. So they both are more like plot devices being used to produce a historical romance of (not so) epic proportions. 

The plot is non-existent. I get that this is historical romance, I read a lot of historical romance myself, but I find the conflict in this book lacking mostly because this novella is so centred on the romance that all the other (so called) conflicts take a back seat. 

This novella isn't a nightmare or anything, it's a nice quick read if you just want some good brain candy but don't go into this novella hoping to find your new favorite historical romance.

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