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My Favorite Bride (Governess Brides Series #6)

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Overview

When Miss Samantha Prendregast arrives at Devil's Fell to take charge of six rebellious girls, the vibrant, outspoken governess is not quite prepared to deal with the tall, dark and dashing master of the grand estate. The children she can manage with intelligence, guile . . . and a little bribery. Their widowed father, Colonel William Gregory, is not so easily charmed — and far too easy to fall in love with, which she dares not do.

William always cherished the orderliness of his...

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My Favorite Bride (Governess Brides Series #6)

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Overview

When Miss Samantha Prendregast arrives at Devil's Fell to take charge of six rebellious girls, the vibrant, outspoken governess is not quite prepared to deal with the tall, dark and dashing master of the grand estate. The children she can manage with intelligence, guile . . . and a little bribery. Their widowed father, Colonel William Gregory, is not so easily charmed — and far too easy to fall in love with, which she dares not do.

William always cherished the orderliness of his life, until this captivating troublemaker began flouting his authority and distracting him with her witty defiance and breathtaking beauty. Despite the fact that they clash at every meeting, William finds himself inexplicablydrawn to Samantha's fire. And now he's even contemplating marriage, which would be sweet madness indeed.

But before he can successfully woo her, William must discover what it is that Samantha is hiding from him. But the secret the lady is preciously guarding is far too shocking and dangerous to ever reveal . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Sound of Music meets Jane Eyre in Dodd's refreshingly humorous addition to her post-Regency era Governess Brides series (In My Wildest Dreams, etc.). After being dismissed again! for her inability to stand by and watch injustice reign, Samantha Pendregast, a born and bred Londoner and ex-cutpurse, is exiled by the proprietress of the Distinguished Academy of Governesses to the wild Lake District and the home of widower Colonel William Gregory and his six daughters, who've already run through 11 governesses. Despite her preoccupation with the governess-eating bears, wolves and lake monsters that supposedly roam the area, Samantha captures the interest of the children and of the colonel, who finds himself distracted from his spy-catching duties by his mouthy and clever governess. Determined to fight temptation, William entertains a noblewoman who has all the wifely qualities he desires except, he realizes, desire itself. The comedy that highlights Samantha's and William's sparring magnifies the couple's compatibility, and Dodd serves her hero and heroine well by allowing them to mostly escape the grim, lust-led relationship that characters from her previous books have endured. But passion still thrums throughout, peaking in the sexy scenes Dodd's fans have come to expect. (Sept. 3) Forecast: The book's bland cover design isn't likely to impact sales Dodd's Governess Bride novels sell well no matter how they're packaged but print advertising in Redbook and the Romantic Times may attract new readers. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060092641
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Series: Governess Brides Series , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 363,369
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Christina Dodd's novels have been translated into ten languages, won Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart® and RITA® awards, and been called the year's best by Library Journal. Dodd is a regular on the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and New York Times bestseller lists.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

London
Summer, 1847

"It's not that you were a pickpocket, Samantha. It's that you persist in exposing your employers' foibles to your employers themselves, and they don't care for it." Adorna, Lady Bucknell, spoke in her soft and husky voice, and anyone listening would think she placidly accepted Samantha's most recent dismissal.

Samantha Prendregast didn't make that mistake. She stood before the desk with her chin up, shoulders back, just as Adorna had taught her. "No, ma'am."

The study of the Distinguished Academy of Governesses had been decorated in shades of pale blue, and Adorna's lush blonde beauty shone like a diamond in a satin setting. "I warned you about Mr. Wordlaw. I told you he was a martinet who believes women should be seen and not heard, and you assured me you would be able to handle him." Samantha resisted the desire to shift back and forth. "Yes, ma'am."

"Yet in two short months you are back at the Distinguished Academy of Governesses without a job, without a reference, and with a guarantee that Mr. Wordlaw's vengefulness will spread your larcenous reputation among the few of the ton who don't yet know it." Adorna folded her hands beneath her chin and fixed her large blue eyes on Samantha. "So what is your defense this time?"

Samantha thought of what she should say, how she could pacify Adorna, but she had given up lying at the same time she had given up stealing. "He bullies his son. The lad doesn't want to study the law. Little Norman stammers already, and when his father dragged him up in front of the entire family and mocked him, my heart ached for him, and I wanted to" -- she grewwarm as she thought about that day, or perhaps the heat of a summer day in the City affected her -- "teach that man a lesson."

"So you told his wife about his mistress and convinced his mistress to abandon him. How will that benefit young Norman?"

"Mrs. Wordlaw's father controls the money. She has taken her son and left Wordlaw, which she should have done years ago, but she was too proud to admit she'd made a mistake. Norman's grandfather will make sure Norman gets to follow his dream." Samantha remembered how science fascinated the boy. "I think the lad is going to invent something wonderful."

"And the mistress?"

Samantha grinned. "She's a friend of mine from my street days. She relished giving the old whoreson the heave-ho for a chance at young Lord Penwyn."

"How did she get that chance?"

"I arranged it."

Adorna's delicate sigh conveyed resignation. "I'll wager you did."

"My lady, I'm sorry I lost the position and brought disgrace upon the Distinguished Academy of Governesses." Samantha really was sorry, sorrier than she could say. "But I'm not sorry I helped Norman."

"No, I'm not sorry, either. But there are always more discreet ways of maneuvering."

Samantha hated that she had disappointed Adorna -- again. "I know. I really, really do. I try to remember what you tell me, but sometimes I lose my temper, and I don't get it back for a long time. By then it's too late."

"Sit down." Adorna indicated the blue velvet chair beside Samantha.

Samantha slid into it gratefully. Adorna had rescued her from the streets six years before, and for the first three of those years Samantha had studied Adorna's every word and move in hopes of emulating her charm and beauty. Now, at the age of twenty-two, Samantha faced the fact that a tall blonde Viking with outspoken tendencies could never squeeze herself into Adorna's dainty, circumspect mold. But the time spent contemplating Adorna had given Samantha insight into the shrewd mind her patron hid beneath her breathy voice and curvaceous body. The worst of the censure was over. Now she must face the consequences.

And she knew how to face consequences. She'd learned that, not from Adorna, but from a father who, from the time she could toddle, taught her to pick a pocket and smile charmingly all the while.

"Mr. Wordlaw had quite the black eye when he came here to complain," Adorna said.

Samantha bunched up her skinny fist.

Adorna nodded. "That's what I thought. Did he attack you?"

"He tried. After his wife had moved out." Their tussle had been brief and sharp, and Samantha's arm ached where he had wrenched it. She didn't allow herself to show the terror that struggle had engendered, nor would she admit how often she came awake, heart pounding, in the grips of a nightmare. "He really is a despicable little man."

"He's over six foot. Most people would not call him little."

"Not in stature. In character."

"Hm. Yes. Be that as it may, he is a respected judge --"

"Respected?"

"For the moment. Until I can spread gossip to the contrary."

"You are good, my lady." Samantha folded her hands in her lap and tried to appear demure.

She obviously didn't succeed, for Adorna's voice sharpened. "Even then, my dear young crusader for justice, there are those who believe a woman should honor her vows regardless of how corrupt her husband is."

"Men, mostly."

"Mostly." Adorna tapped her nails on the open letter before her and stared beyond Samantha. "Part of the problem with placing you is that you're an attractive young woman."

"Thank you, my lady." Adorna had taught Samantha many things, among them how to make the most of her best features. Samantha braided her platinum blonde hair and wrapped it over her ears, and into a loose knot at the back of her neck. She used her large brown eyes to flirt and admire, and never did she allow them to reveal her intelligence. Her lips were generous -- too generous, in her opinion, but Adorna had told her men would want to kiss them. That turned out to be true ...

My Favorite Bride. Copyright © by Christina Dodd. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

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(14)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2004

    Another TOE CURLER!!!!!

    Christina does it again! From beginning to end this book captivates the reader! I read Just The Way You Are, and dont care for Historical Romance, but this book stole an entire day from me. The only thing I didnt like its that the book had to end, I could have read on forever!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2002

    Nice Story

    I liked this book. It was humorous and romantic. I would definitely recommend this story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014

    Fantastic

    Ms Dodd has done it again ! This was a fun story with spies, secrets untold and six very special conniving little girls. The whole book was very enjoyable to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Typical Dodd

    Light, unsurprising. Not my favorite of hers, but not bad either.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Nice if not original............................................

    Nice if not original...............................................................................
    Cute story---nice characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Sound of Music

    This is the Sound of Music without the charm. William Gregory, the hero, is pompous and arrogant. Samantha character isn't quite flushed out. Still, it was a fun, quick read. The children were quite charming.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2013

    Pretty good

    This series is better than some of her other books. I will read more of the governess books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Really liked this book, the story was great. The characters wer

    Really liked this book, the story was great. The characters were very intresting and so was the story line, kept me intrested.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    OMG!!! Loved this book so much. It's different from other romanc

    OMG!!! Loved this book so much. It's different from other romance books I've read. The plot was unpredictable and refreshing.  Book was well written. The book was funny, sweet, hot, and touching.  The ending was hilarious and so perfect. I'm a new fan of Christina Dodd. Can't wait to read more of her books. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!!!

    I fell in love with the Character in this book. I am a Historical Lover, this is a book you wont be able to put down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 7, 2012

    No Nuns

    Totally Sound of Music without the Nuns...that being said, Dodd is always a pleasure and always delivers.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Eliza Doolittle after the Higgins¿ transformation in the middle of the Sound of Music

    In 1837 Lady Adorna rescued Samantha Pendegrast from life on the streets of London. For three years the grateful Samantha tried to model her behavior after her mentor while becoming a self-sufficient employee of the Distinguished Academy of Governesses. However, within three years Samantha concludes you could take the gal off the street, but you can¿t take the street out of the gal. In 1843 Adorna censures Samantha for her latest incident though the latter championed the mistreated from their odious patriarch. Coupled with other incidents and Samantha¿s reputation as a pickpocket, Adorna exiles her charge to the Lake District countryside to serve as governess to Colonel William Gregory and his twelve and under six children. <P>While struggling to adapt to the country, Samantha enjoys her wild bunch charges. However, she is attracted to William though he treats her and his daughters like they are in his regiment. The Colonel admires Samantha¿s courage to challenge his behavior towards his family and her fortitude to survive her rustic adventure. However, besides country vs. urban, their histories pop up when items are stolen leaving love doomed to fail. <P>Place Eliza Doolittle after the Higgins¿ transformation in the middle of the Sound of Music and relocate to the English countryside to understand MY FAVORITE BRIDE. Readers will enjoy this Victorian romance due to the characters as the audience will adore Samantha and the six children and even feel for the soldierly William. Though a subplot involving espionage adds intrigue that sidebar also takes away from a strong tale in which the hills are alive with the sound of Christina Dodd. <P>Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

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    Posted January 24, 2010

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    Posted June 29, 2012

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    Posted August 30, 2010

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews

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