Rules of Engagement (Governess Brides Series #2)

( 22 )

Overview

The Rules of Engagement:

Choose a bride from this year's debutantes.
Decide on a proper settlement.
Send an announcement to The Times.
Inform the bride of her good fortune.

Rules of Respectability

Devon Mathewes, earl of Kerrich, has a plan that is sure to restore him...

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Overview

The Rules of Engagement:

Choose a bride from this year's debutantes.
Decide on a proper settlement.
Send an announcement to The Times.
Inform the bride of her good fortune.

Rules of Respectability

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.

Rules of Passion

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 neverever 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 broken . . .

Rules of Engagement

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Editorial Reviews

Teresa Medeiros
Christina Dodd is everything I'm looking for in an author.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dodd's extraordinary second book in the Governess Brides series opens with Miss Pamela Lockhart and Miss Hannah Setterington in precarious financial straits: someone has stolen the monthly income that insures the survival of their Distinguished Academy of Governesses. So when the Earl of Kerrich requests a mature governess who will acquire him an orphan and provide Queen Victoria with proof of his respectability, the young ladies are forced to accept Kerrich's profitable offer, despite its slightly dishonorable aspects. Pamela, once a belle of society, disguises herself as an elderly, plainspoken governess and rescues young Beth from the orphanage to become Kerrich's ward. As head of his grandfather's bank (which manages some of the Crown's wealth), Kerrich must convince the queen that he is a man who can be trusted, even while he is aware of a scandal involving counterfeit money and the possible theft of bank funds. As Kerrich investigates the crime, Pamela and Beth become more closely intertwined in the earl's life, and he finds himself relishing the daily sparring with a woman who meets him as an equal. When Pamela's disguise is revealed, Kerrich's banked passion ignites and he tries to convince her to marry, thereby solving her money problems and assuring his respectability. A fiery romance ensues and the two proud lovers discover intimacy in the midst of family difficulties. Dodd's beautifully rendered love story expertly portrays the growth and maturity that develops in the course of realizing true love and continues her series with a thoroughly satisfying addition. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380811984
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Series: Governess Brides Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 916,597
  • 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

Miss Pamela Lockhart knew that proper behavior could guide a governess through any trying situation. The rules were straightforward: never become too familiar with your employer, always take your meals upstairs on a tray, and remember your station at all times. But what happens when your employer is devastatingly handsome... and his behavior is anything but proper?


"You consider marriage the sure route to misery."


"Not really." He stroked his chin, a gesture he had adopted from his grandfather. "The trick to marriage is not letting expectations get in the way. A man needs to understand why women get married, that's all."


Her mouth drew down in typical Miss Lockhart censure. "Why, pray tell, do women get married?"


"For money, usually." He could tell she was offended again, but with Miss Lockhart, he didn't have to worry overly much about offense. After all, she didn't. Besides, he thought his assessment quite fair. "I don't blame them. The world is not fair to a spinster. She has no recourse but to work or starve. So if she's asked, she marries."

Obviously, Miss Lockhart did not consider his assessment fair. She slapped her mug on the table so hard the crockery rattled. "Do you have any idea how insulting you are? To think a woman is single because she has never been asked, or if she is married, she has done so for monetary security?"


He found himself entertained and very, very interested. "Ah, I've touched a nerve. Are you telling me there is a man alive who dared to propose to you?"


"I am not telling you anything." But swept along by her passion, she did. "A man can convey financial security, butwhither thou goest, I shall go, and all that rot. A woman has to live where her husband wishes, let him waste her money, watch as he humiliates her with other women, and never say a word."


"Men are not the only ones who break their vows."


"So fidelity is a vow you intend to keep?"


Of course he had no intention of keeping that vow, when he was forced to make it, and falling into that trap which had so neatly snared his father. "I've supported more women than Madame Beauchard's best corset-maker. If I let marriage stop me, think of the poor actresses who would be without a patron."


She wasn't amused. "So nothing about your wife would be sacrosanct, not even her body. Your wife will cherish dreams that you never know about, and even if you did they would be less than a puff of wind to you."


Women had dreams? About what? A new pair of shoes? Seeing a rival fail? Dancing with a foreign prince? But Miss Lockhart wasn't speaking of the trivial, and he found himself asking, "What are your dreams?"


"You don't care. Until I spoke, it never occurred to you that a woman could have her dreams."


"That's true, but you are a teacher, and already you have taught me otherwise." Leaning back in his chair, he gazed at her and with absolute sincerity said the most powerful words in the universe. "Tell me what you want. I want to know about you."


She had no defense to withstand him. She leaned back, too, and closed her eyes as if she could see her fantasy before her. "I want a house in the country. Just a cottage, with a fence and cat to sit in my lap and a dog to sleep at my feet. A spot of earth for a garden with flowers as well as vegetables, food on the table, and a little leisure time in which to read the books I've not had time to read or just sit ... in the sunshine."

The candles softened the stark contrast between her white complexion and that hideous rouge. Light and shadow delineated her pale lips, showing them in their fullness. Her thick lashes formed a ruffled half-circle on her skin. When she was talking like this, imagining her perfect life, she looked almost ... pretty. "That's all?"


"Oh, yes."


"That's simple enough."



"Yes, very simple. And mine."


Careful not to break into her reverie, he quietly placed his mug next to hers.

"Why do you want that?"

"That's what I had before --"


She stopped speaking so suddenly he knew what she had been about to say. Moving to the side of her chair, he knelt on the carpet. "Before your father left?"

At the sound of his voice, her eyes flew open and she stared at him in dismay. She had been dreaming, he realized, seeing that cottage, those pets, that garden, and imagining a time when she could sit in the sunshine. Her countenance was open and vulnerable, and his instincts were strong. As gently as a whisper, he placed his fingertips on her cheek. "There's one dream you didn't mention, and I can make it come true." Slowly, giving her time to turn if she wished, he leaned forward ... and kissed her.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    interesting historical romance

    Queen Victoria threatens to blackmail Lord Kerrich unless he becomes respectable. Having no plans to marry, Kerrich decides to pretend to adopt an orphan. He goes to the financially struggling Distinguished Academy of Governesses to make his demands, which include any ugly spinster as the governess. Part owner Pamela Lockhart dresses in a disguise to hide her beauty and accepts the job. <P>Pamela finds Beth at the orphanage. Kerrich, who has a super-ego when it comes to women, thinks Pamela is perfect, but has doubts about a girl. Kerrich also is trying to uncover the head of a counterfeiting ring that includes his cousin. To his shock, Kerrich is attracted to Pamela and she to him after he kisses her. However, she wonders how he will react to her when he learns the truth about her deception. Additionally, she worries about his tossing Beth out of his home. <P> Christina Dodd, author of sixteen wonderful romances, which include SOMEDAY MY PRINCE and THE RUNAWAY PRINCESS, has written an interesting historical romance. The Victorian love story provides an intriguing look at the era¿s gender relationships, especially how males stereotyped females. The two ethical lead characters struggle with the seeming lack of commitments and honor by his still living mother and her now deceased father, which adds to the fun of their developing love for one another. Beth is a fabulous secondary player who deserves her own Victorian romantic tale hopefully told soon by the always-entertaining Ms. Dodd. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    Good read!

    Didn't put the book down until the very end. I especially loved the dialogue between the main characters, making them irresistible. Cute and funny book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2006

    it was okay...

    i read the synopsis to this book and thought it would be an interesting read. the book started off kind of slow but i decided to stick to it because i was sure that i was going to be rewarded later but it was clear to me by the middle of the book that it wasn't going to happen. i caught myself dozing off on many of the parts and i didn't particularly enjoy myself. the plot was interesting but the characters were pretty dull compared to others. plus, that 'moon over a foggy night' thing was pretty dumb. i have no idea why anyone would make a fuss about it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2005

    One of my top three favorites ever!!

    Christina Dodd is a great author. I loved Rules of Engagement. I love the sexual tension between the two main characters and the on going drama with the counterfeiting ring. I HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2003

    This book took a lef turn on me...

    I am avid romance novel reader and I have to say this book really shocked me!! The book was fairly exciting in the start with the premise being quite different from other books I've read before. However, somewhere around the middle, Ms. Dodd seems to have either handed the book to someone else to finish off or had a sudden change of heart...The characters you have become familiar with no longer behave as you expect and it is quite sad as the book would have been on my top ten list if not for this set back..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2002

    This book rules!!!

    This was the first book that I read from Ms. Dodd, and I simply loved it! This is the second book of the governess trilogy, but I'm glad I started out with this one, because it made me want to read the other two. The characters are simply funny, and the battle of the sexes is delightful. If you aren't laughing when you're reading, you are probably enjoying the characters intimate encounters!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2000

    different

    when i found out this book was coming out i was at our local bookstore weeks before it was due. When i recieved the book i literally giggled crazily. here's the result.... the book was a good experience though on some parts i felt Dodd forgot to go into detail and the conterfeiting plot was a little weak it could have been more in depth. anyway it was still an enjoyable book but not my favorite (of hers). READ IT YOURSELF!! I still love Dodd and I can't wait for her next book.

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