Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: The Game and the Governess (Winner takes all #1) by Kate Noble

Three friends. One Wager. Winner takes all.

The Earl—‘Lucky Ned’ Ashby. Pompous, preening, certain that he is beloved by everyone.
The Miller—John Turner. Proud, forced to work as the Earl’s secretary, their relationship growing ever more strained.
The Doctor—Rhys Gray. Practical, peace-loving, but caught in the middle of two warring friends.

Their wager is simple: By trading places with John Turner and convincing someone to fall in love with him, Ned plans to prove it’s him the world adores, not his money. Turner plans to prove him wrong.

But no one planned on Phoebe Baker, the unassuming governess who would fall into their trap, and turn everything on its head…

Ahhh ... historical romances. Love it!! My first and only note that I took for this novel is that the concept is awesome. I've never read anything like it and the idea is really cool. What's even cooler is that the delivery was awesome. This was a really well written book with pretty complete characters. I didn't once wonder why one of the characters was behaving in this way or that ... everything was so well thought out that I felt like I might know the characters better than they know themselves! 

I really liked how vulnerable yet strong she made the main character, Phoebe. From the first page, you're thrown into Phoebe's life and almost drowned in her turmoil. You are able to catch a glimpse of this young woman and then later, how she has matured and changed. It's quite captivating. AND unexpected for a historical romance to tackle. Usually this genre is all about the dresses, balls and handsome men but this one was a bit deeper even though it is all based on some silly bet. 

Speaking of the bet ... this brought out the best and worst of more than just the men betting. You're able to see how other people react to what they thing is a ridiculous endeavor. This was just an all around fabulous book. One that I really enjoyed, in case you can't tell, and one that I'll read again. Along with anything else that this author has written. So good. 
Oh. Wait. You might be wondering why I gave this novel only 4 stars after waxing poetic about it for forever. Well, there were just a few places where I found myself skimming because I thought it dragged the story down. If it weren't for those passages, this would have flown to the top of my 5-star list. Now, they are not enough to make someone want to shy away ... on the contrary. Go grab this book. You'll really like it, I promise.

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