My Favorite Bride (Governess Brides Series #6)

My Favorite Bride (Governess Brides Series #6)

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by Christina Dodd
     
 

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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

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 . . .

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061794933
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Series:
Governess Brides Series , #6
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
80,702
File size:
783 KB

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.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author CHRISTINA DODD builds worlds filled with suspense, romance, and adventure, and creates the most distinctive characters in fiction today. Her fifty novels have been translated into twenty-five languages, featured by Doubleday Book Club, recorded on Books on Tape for the Blind, won Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart and RITA Awards, and been called the year's best by Library Journal. Dodd herself has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle.

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My Favorite Bride (Governess Brides Series #6) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. It was humorous and romantic. I would definitely recommend this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Light, unsurprising. Not my favorite of hers, but not bad either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice if not original............................................................................... Cute story---nice characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
MollyJG More than 1 year ago
This series is better than some of her other books. I will read more of the governess books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really liked this book, the story was great. The characters were very intresting and so was the story line, kept me intrested.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ashley92 More than 1 year ago
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.
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LadyScarlet More than 1 year ago
Totally Sound of Music without the Nuns...that being said, Dodd is always a pleasure and always delivers.
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