Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Silent Governess

Title: The Silent Governess
Author: Julie Klassen
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0707-5

From the back cover:

Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret. She never intended to overhear his.

But now that she has, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything-- his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.

He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.

Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.

My take:

From the very beginning of the book you are whisked into a world you know will be different. Young Olivia Keene can solve math problems in her head incredibly fast and it allows her access to areas that normally would have been considered taboo. When she makes one fateful decision, all that comes to an end.

The story shifts to several years later and one desperate act forces her to flee home and family. When she innocently overhears a conversation not meant for her ears, she is arrested, attacked and left without a voice. Lord Bradley sees to it she is released and gets her medical attention, but he must also protect his own interests. He presses her into service as an under nurse at Brightwell. Although it is expected that her voice will at some point return, her continued silence is part of the bargain. She accepts.

Despite their rather hostile beginning, Lord Bradley sees how good Miss Keene is with the children and can't help but admire her ~ though he still doesn't trust her. Miss Keene initially believes Lord Bradley to be without heart. She sees the attention and generosity he lavishes on the children and warms to him as well. She cannot trust him with her own secret though.

This story has everything. There are all kinds of characters, and they are well drawn and interesting. I was fascinated by the way she created such variety~ not only in their type, but also in their responses to each other and their situations.

Mystery and surprises start almost from the first page and keep coming until the end. The romance is perfect. It builds slowly and very authentically. They care about what is important to each other, and they also feel all the natural feelings of anyone falling love... jealousy, doubt, excitement...

This is one of the best books I have read so far this year. I made a silly mistake and entered a contest for the book when I had already pre-ordered it from Amazon. That means you get to gain from my mistake. I am going to pass along my extra copy to one of you.

The normal rules apply. Only US entries please. Void where prohibited. A comment earns you one entry, become a follower and you get two, old followers get three and if you post about the contest you get four. Leave a valid email address in your comment box like this: leesmithwriting {at} yahoo{dot}com in order to qualify and for me to contact the winner. The contest will run until midnight on the 27th of January. I will announce the winner in this post on the 28th and contact them via email as well. If they don't respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Thanks and good luck!


  1. Great review!! I've been interested in reading this one!! I'd love to enter, thanks for hosting the contest!

    inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Oooooo, great review! Please enter me and I'm an old follower. :) Thanks for hosting this contest!

    sundaisy920 at gmail dot com

  3. The Silent Governess sounds like a book you can't put down. Count me in! Thanks. +1

    I'm an old follower. +3


  4. Please enter me:) I would love to read this book!! Thanks!


  5. Sound intriguing! Would love to win this book!

  6. I keep reading great reviews about this book and will definitely be reading it. I'd love to win it.

    From an old follower,


  7. I got this for Christmas! So, don't enter me. Can't wait to read it. I'm reading her Lady of Milkweed Manor right now.

  8. Oooo! I can't wait to read this one, Lee! :)

    Please don't enter me...a review copy should be on it's way to me. I have all of Julie's previous books on my TBR stacks, but have not had a chance to read any of them. I've seen lots of rave reviews for them though.

    Thanks for sharing!


  9. Not the kind of book I usually read, so I won't enter the contest. But I couldn't help but comment on the beautiful cover!

  10. I have this one on my to get list. It sounds great. Thanks for the chance to win. Blessings.tarenn98[at]yahoo[dot]com

  11. Another terrific review Lee! I'm even more excited to get this book now! Don't enter me though I already have a copy coming to me!

    xoxo~ Renee

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Thank you all for your entries. One more day is left so let anyone know who wants to enter the contest to drop by. Also you don't need to make more than one post for an entry, just let me know how many categories you fit in one post.

    Thanks again for your interest in the book and the contest.

    And thank you to Renee, K.M. Weiland, Lori, and Jennifer for stopping by and reading the review without wanting an entry. I appreciate you all. :o)

  14. Angie is the winner! Congratulations to her and thanks again to everyone who entered. I have more contests planned ~ so keep watching. :o)