by Courtney Milan
Series: Brothers Sinister #0.5
Published on September 15, 2013 by Courtney Milan
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
Hugo Marshall earned the nickname "the Wolf of Clermont" for his ruthless ambition--a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner's son to the right hand man of a duke. When he's ordered to get rid of a pestering governess by fair means or foul, it's just another day at work.
But after everything Miss Serena Barton has been through at the hands of his employer, she is determined to make him pay. She won't let anyone stop her--not even the man that all of London fears. They might call Hugo Marshall the Wolf of Clermont, but even wolves can be brought to heel...
What began as your typical regency romance turned into a great read, exceeding my expectations. The Governess Affair is a novella prequel to The Duchess War, book one of the Brothers Sinister series by Courtney Milan. Its heroine, Serena, was put into a bad position by a visiting duke and now wants her revenge. To keep face, the Duke of Clermont sends his man, known on the streets as the Wolf of Clermont, to silence the former governess. Mr. Marshall, the wolf, instead finds a woman both intriguing and determined to get her way no matter who it crosses.
As with any romance, the ending is predictable in that we know the two main characters will end up together at some point. But instead of brewing a cup of insta-love and keeping the story in the bedroom, Milan presents us with characters of depth and facets. Each seeks the betterment of their own lives as well as those they care about, although the reasons differ. Hugo Marshall is nothing but a coal-miner’s son who wants to become more than his family’s profession. Serena Barton seeks justice for the wrong done to her by the duke, as well as to show that while she didn’t fight him off then, she’s prepared to do it now. Both characters were written and developed well through the short piece to the point that it didn’t even feel like a novella. Their dialogue and banter also made for an entertaining read.
The Governess Affair is an excellent introduction to the series, showing off Milan’s talent for storytelling as well as presenting some characters which would return years later in the first book of the series. Fans of regency romance will find this novella to be exactly what they’re looking for.
(And did I mention that both this book and the first in the series are available for free as eBooks right now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble?)