Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review: Dangerous Lord, Innocent Governess

DLIGAuthor: Christine Merrill {site}
Genre: Regency Romance
Format: Kindle
Published: 1 July 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Disclosure: Acquired via NetGalley
Series: No

Synopsis: {via harlequin}
Daphne Collingham is masquerading as a governess in Lord Timothy Colton's home— determined to discover if he is responsible for her beloved cousin's death. She's prepared to uncover secrets and scandal, but the biggest revelation is the way she feels under the lord's dark gaze….

Lord Colton is suspicious of the alluring new governess—and with the furor surrounding him he must control his passion. But a man has his limits, and the delectable Miss Collingham is pure temptation….

I'm a sucker for regency romance, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. I love the title, which speaks quite well to what happens to be happening in the book... perhaps a little too well. I was also drawn in  by the cover, which is quite lovely. I'm a sucker for a good cover and Harlequin seems to know exactly what they're doing with their quite compelling covers! I mean, who wouldn't want to go to work for him?! The story, however, didn't completely draw me in for quite a long time. So, here's what I liked and what I didn't so much like.

The Pros:

Lord Timothy Colton. When I couldn't connect with this book at first, I kept reading because I could connect with him. I really liked him. I'm a sucker for the brooding, dark, tormented soul male leads and he's got those things. He's also got quite a good reason to be so moody, yet he's more than he seems at first and I liked that. He has depth and is charming despite himself. Some of the gestures he makes in the book, I won't say what they are and give them away, are really sweet and thoughtful. He's a man women want, certainly.

The resolution. I thought the book worked itself out well. The end was appropriate without going overboard. All of the loose ends were tied up neatly and this story worked out just the way I like my regency romance to work out. It fit the formula, which is exactly what I want in a regency romance. Go away from the formula too much and you've jumped the rails on regency.

The Cons:

The pacing. This story was quite awkwardly paced. It dragged on and on until anything of consequence happened. Once she finally got to something really interesting, I was about about 50%. A book needs to take off much quicker than that to keep me reading, yet I stuck with this one for reasons stated above. Once things started happening, and the book picked up, they kept moving at a reasonable pace and kept my interest. I only wish that it could have done so since the beginning.

The frame. By this, I mean I didn't much care for the way Daphne found her way into the household. There was too much time being a governess and not enough time working out the mystery. For me, a governess tale can be a governess tale without spending 50% of the book talking about children studying. This book did just that, it talked overly much about children studying and how bad a governess Daphne is. I don't see that it was all that significant, except where little Sophie is concerned. Also, when you spend too much time talking about children in a romance novel, it sort of shatters the sexy factor. I'm sorry, but it does!

The Verdict:

It was okay. Not fantastic, not horrible... just okay. By the end, I was smiling, but I spent a lot of time wondering when this story was going to go somewhere and doing so got my mind to wandering away from what was happening in the book, which for a long time was nothing. The characters were all unique and Merrill clearly has a strong voice. Unfortunately, the use of too many coordinating conjunctions (and, but) at the beginning of sentences was distracting at best. Sometimes, it's fine to start a sentence with and, but it shouldn't be done regularly, as it's a way to produce emphasis. Emphasis too frequently emphasized fails to be emphasis anymore. It quite bothered the English major in me.

Rating: 3/5


  1. That sucks it wasn't better. The first time I saw this cover/description (on your Tuesday Teaser, I think), I thought of Jane Eyre. It kind of sounds like, at least from the title, to be like that.

    ~ Sarah ♥ I'm Loving Books

  2. I was also quite disappointed that it wasn't better, Sarah. It did bring Jane Eyre to mind, but wasn't nearly as good. Although, I think that's somewhat of a difficult comparison given the literary value of Jane Eyre. :) Overall, I wish this book was better, it had a great premise but I think it got lost somewhere along the way.

  3. Saw this over at the romance challenge :)
    Ok is ok, light and quick reads are good sometimes, but would I buy it? Nope