Rules of engagement

Posted by reviewer | 10:34 a.m. | , , , | 0 comments »

Rules of engagement, By Christina Dodd
Published by, Avon Books, Feb 2003
Grade: B

Back cover reads

Devon Mathewes, earl of Kerrich, has a plan that is sure to restore him to the
Queen's favor. First, he must hire a sensible, unattractive governess. Next, he
will see to adopting a properly grateful orphan, which will surely lend him a
patina of respectability. Finally, he must obtain a guarantee that his orphan
and the governess will better his character and reputation without unduly
disturbing his life -- love life or otherwise.

As a condition of
accepting the governess position, Miss Pamela Lockhart of the Distinguished
Academy of Governesses has a few rules of her own. Devon at all times must
behave with propriety, an unlikely accomplishment that would delight the ton and
completely astonish Pamela herself. She must be allowed to choose a suitable
orphan at her own discretion. Most important, Devon must vow to never ever delve
into Pamela's background, or her appearance, lest he discover the truth behind
the deepest secrets of her heart. But of course, all rules are made to be

Pamela is the co owner of a Governess school. Lord Kerrich goes to school and hires a governess so that he can adopt a child in order to make himself appear more presentable to the Queen. Kerrich is a dashing man of wealth and women throw themselves at him (including his upstairs senior maid who showed up in his chambers naked) So, he wants a governess who is unattractive, on the shelf, and not interested in marriage.

Pamela is the only available governess who can take the job. The only problem is that she is young and beautiful, so she dresses in ugly ill fitting clothes, puts on a ghastly amount of face paint, and wears coloured glasses.

After meeting Kerrich and moving into his home in her disguise, she goes and gets an orphan. Kerrich wants a boy, but Pamela brings home a little girl. Her name is Beth, and Pamela soon falls under the little child's spell. Beth is pretty darn spunky.

Kerrich and Pamela develop a friendship, and even though he finds her pretty ugly with all her face paint and baggy clothes, he starts the like the honest conversations they have together. Pamela isn't afraid to tell him like it is. One evening while talking about their dreams, Kerrich kisses Pamela. Afterwards, he says he only kissed her as a test, but the truth is that he is starting to really like her.

One day Pamela gets really mad after she finds out that Kerrich has taken Beth to the horse races. She goes to the race track and yells at him. It starts to rain, and the water washes off Pamela's ugly face paint job. As soon as Kerrich sees how beautiful she is underneath he confronts her and demands to know why she has come into his house in a disguise. Pamela mocks him and says she had no choice but to ugly herself down. It was the only way to get the job and prove that she wouldn't try to bed him in the process. Kerrich doesn't like how she makes him out to sound so conceited, but he realises that she only speaks the truth.

During this conversation, Pamela finds herself getting more and more physically attracted to Kerrich. She is also angry and wants to treat him the same way so many men have treated her in the past..Like nothing but a pretty face. At this point Kerrich is wearing nothing but a robe, and she forces it open. She starts playing with his manly parts, and he is sure as heck isn't trying to stop her. I gotta say that it was the best 'virgin first time' sex I have ever read. They do it on his desk with her on top. Then they do it again on the floor, and then again in her bed chambers.

The next day Pamela is embarrassed and afraid that the other servants will treat her bad for what she did, but no one knows. Besides, they are too surprised with her true appearance to think about anything else.

Queen Victoria would like to meet Beth, and sends an invitation to Kerrich for a meeting. After Beth charms the queen, Pamela is shot by someone who has been stealing from Kerrich's bank. Pamela survives the shooting, and after spending time getting better in the palace, she realises that she is pregnant, as well as in love with Kerrich. Kerrich has fallen in love with her too, and when he tries to tell her his feelings, she goes and messes it all up. She was sure that he wanted to be rid of her, so she pretended indifference to him.

After some coaching from his grandpapa, Kerrich decides that he can't live without Pamela, and with Beth's help he tricks her into visiting his country house. At the house he tells her that he loves her, gives her a ring, she takes some time to think about it, then accepts the ring.

The only thing I didn't like was the ending. I wish there had been an epilogue to tell us how many kids the couple have had, how Beth is doing. Do they still have the same pets. Anything! I don't always need an epilogue, but the ending here was flat.

This was the 2'nd book in the Governess brides series. I read the first one, and I liked that ending much better. Even though I was disappointed at the end of this one, I still plan to read the third book in the series.