I have a confession. In a former life, I was a poor but proud Victorian governess. That’s the only obvious explanation for my obsession with governess stories.
I’ve read and re-read Jane Eyre and always fiercely wanted to be like Jane — proud, independent, clever and the winner of a noble (and rich) man’s heart.
I’ve seen “The Sound of Music” innumerable times and each time I’m swept up in the magnificent scenery, the thrilling music and the story of the poor but feisty governess who captures the noble (and rich) man’s heart.
For me, there’s something eternally enticing about the tale of a woman who endures personal hardship, tames unruly children, and at the same time finds, to her surprise, that she is irresistible to the master of the house. These women are seldom beautiful, not necessarily well-born, and actively resist love’s allure. Yet love in the shape of a tall, dark and autocratic gentleman finds them, captures them, and by the end of the story they are wed to that nobleman and enjoying all the advantages of wealth, privilege and the best sex in the world.
The Governess Brides series begins when Distinguished Academy of Governesses opens its doors to train young women for respectable occupations:
Unfortunately, in RULES OF SURRENDER, Miss Charlotte Dalrumple discovers her first position is to teach Lord Wynter Ruskin, sadly uncivilized by his travels abroad, to take his proper place in society. Hint: it doesn’t go well.
In RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, because of his unrepentantly disreputable ways, the Earl of Kerrich is in trouble with the queen. His solution: hire a governess and obtain an orphan to raise. That will make him appear respectable. Trouble: the kid is charming, he’s falling in love with the unattractive governess … but other than that, what could go wrong? … Oh, so much.
In RULES OF ATTRACTION, Miss Hannah Setterington travels far into the lonely English countryside to take a new position and hears rumors that the master killed his beautiful young wife. Could any situation be worse? Yes, it could, for she knows the rumors are not true … because she is his runaway wife.
With eleven full-length books and one novella, the Governess Brides is my longest-running and most-popular historical series (six of the titles are on the Goodreads List of Best Governess Romances.) So when Avon Books announced they would repackage the books to introduce them to a new audience, and showed me the concepts, those compelling heroes with their direct gazes drew me at once into the stories. I promptly sat down with the Rules books to reacquaint myself with the characters and stories and — guess what? I ended up reading them from beginning to end and living, laughing and falling in love along with my governess heroines. I’ve always said I write the books I want to read. I hope you read and enjoy the Governess Brides, too!
New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd builds worlds filled with suspense, romance and adventure and creates the most distinctive characters in fiction today. Her fifty+ novels — suspense, paranormals, and historicals — have been translated into twenty-five languages, won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart and RITA Awards and been called the year’s best by Booklist. Dodd herself has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle — her mother was totally impressed. With more than twenty-five million of her books in print and eBook, her legions of fans always know that when they pick up a Christina Dodd book, they’ve found, “an absolute thrill ride of a book!”
Enter Christina’s worlds at ChristinaDodd.com and join her free mailing list for book news and sales.
RULES OF SURRENDER
The Rules of Employment for The Distinguished Academy of Governesses: Always remember your station. Be sure to maintain a disciplined schoolroom. And never, ever become too familiar with the master of the house…
Lady Charlotte Dalrumple is known as England’s most proper governess, a woman who has never taken a misstep socially–or romantically. On the surface, she seems perfectly suited to accept the challenge of reforming Lord Wynter Ruskin, sadly uncivilized by his travels abroad.
But Wynter has no desire to be taught manners. He glimpsed an uninhibited beauty hiding beneath Charlotte’s prim exterior, and he’d much rather spend his days–and nights–instructing her in the pleasures of the body and the passions of the heart. But before they can love both must also master the Rules of Surrender.
RULES OF ATTRACTION
Hannah Setterington has decided to retire from governessing and become a paid companion to an elderly lady in the country. After all, she’s looking for a more restful life. She sees years of calm restfulness ahead.
But when she arrives at the country manse at midnight, the place seems awfully gloomy. And all the servants are most improperly whispering about the master. His strange moodiness… his coldness… and the rumor that he killed his wife.
Back straight, our heroine walks staight into the baron’s den, and as she looks at his strong shoulders from behind she instantly knows that he has not killed his wife even though the hairs on her own neck are prickling. He’s totally innocent. How does she know? She is his wife.
And the sparks will be flying. . .
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
Lord Kerrich’s position in Queen Victoria’s court is imperiled by his rakish reputation, so he attempts a desperate ruse. He hires Miss Pamela Lockhart to find him an orphan to adopt and give the patina of respectability. However, he quickly finds himself loving the irrepressible child—and seducing her beautiful, wary governess.