Rules of Attraction (Governess Brides Series #3)

Rules of Attraction (Governess Brides Series #3)

by Christina Dodd

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The Rules of Enticement:

A woman should never surrender to a man without knowing his intentions. A man should never seduce a woman for the purposes of revenge.

Rules of Society

After nine years, Hannah Setterington has decided tosell the Distinguished Academy of Governesses and explore the secrets of her past. To that end she has agreed to be a companion to the elderly aunt of Lord Raeburn, a man enshrouded by dark mystery and haunted by the rumor that he murdered his wife. A strong-minded woman accustomed to the vagaries of nobility, Hannah believes the rumor to be so much piffle, until she comes face to face with Lord Raeburn.

Rules of Fascination

Dougald Pippard, Lord Raeburn, is deviously satisfied when his plan to trap Hannah springs itself successfully. But his satisfaction is short-lived as the indomitable Hannah draws the battle lines and kisses him with the pent-up passion Dougald hasn't felt for nine long years. The fire that has always flared between them rages again with every touch, every glance,until Dougald is almost ready to forget his wounded memories and plans of revenge for just one more night with her.

Rules of Attraction

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061795565
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Governess Brides Series , #3
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 85,894
File size: 2 MB

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

At this moment, Miss Hannah Setterington could unequivocally state that she was alone. Completely, absolutely, bleakly alone. As she let her valise slide with a thud onto the wooden boards of the railway platform, she looked around in the Lancashire twilight. No building rose among the encroaching trees. Nowelcoming light beckoned through a shaded window, no human voices grumbled or laughed, and the faint city glow that surrounded London even on the darkest of nights was absent here in the depths of the country. In-deed, she could no longer see the outlines of the moun-tains that rose to the north. Night and fogwere settling over the landscape, the train was nothing more than a departing rumble along the tracks, and right now, changing her mind about this position of caretaker to the marquess of Raeburn's elderly aunt seemed wise.

But to whom could she announce her decision? The servant she had assumed would meet her was nowhere to be seen along the rural road that wound over the hill, past the platform and out of sight.

And she had a mission herein. She had come here to fulfill her heart's desire, and she wouldn't leave until she had done so.

Although she knew it was impossible for her to have made a mistake, she fumbled in her reticule and brought forth the letter sent by the housekeeper who had hired her. Hannah squinted through the rapidly fading light and read in Mrs. Trenchard's beautiful penmanship: Take the train to Presham Crossing, arriving there on March 5, 1843, and there depart it.

Hannah knew the date to be March 5. She glanced up at the sign erected above the newly constructed platform. Proudly it proclaimedPresham Crossing.

I will send a coach to bring you to Raeburn Castle, where the master most anxiously desires your arrival.

Hannah considered the narrow road again. No coach. No servants. No anything. Tucking the letter back into her reticule, she sighed and wondered why this evidence of ineptitude surprised her. In her experience, efficiency was a commodity she possessed which most others did not. Indeed, it was her efficiency that had enabled her to run the Distinguished Academy of Governesses alone these past three years, and successfully enough that when she had gone to Adorna, Lady Bucknell, and asked for help in selling it, Adorna had bought it for herself. “I need something to occupy my time since Wynter took over the family business,” she had said as she wrote out a check for a tidy sum.

Now, at the age of twenty-seven, Hannah found herself in the enviable position of never needing to work again.

Although she would, of course. From the time she could remember, she had always worked. Sewing, running errands, helping out as a maid. Even when she'd studied at school, she had labored to be the best ... then there had been that brief, terrible, and wonderful time when she had not worked.

Pulling her cape closely against her neck, she looked again at the road, but it remained obstinately empty and the light was fading fast.

Lately she had all too often recalled those days when she had been useless, unnecessary, a possession. Although the clarity of her memories discomfited her, it failed to surprise her. Every time she came to a crossroads in her life, a time when everyday tasks failed to occupy each second, her mind drifted back to the past, and she wondered again. At moments such as these, standing alone while wisps of fog became drifts and banks, blotting out the stars and wrapping her in isolation, she pondered what would happen if she returned to Liverpool, where the past awaited her.

Yet always she rejected the idea. In the end, she was too much the coward to dare face the consequences of her youthful misdeeds -- and too wise to brood about them now.

Tucking her chin into her wool muffler and her gloved hands under her arms, she turned her thoughts along a more useful path'what to do. The servant had failed her, the village was nowhere in sight, and the night grew frigid. She would certainly not give way to panic because she'd been abandoned.

At least she knew she hadn't been followed from London. One of the many reasons she'd taken this position was the recent suspicion that she was being watched. Either that, or one of the three very somber, identically clad gentlemen whohad taken the house across the street visited the market when she did, attended the theater when she did, and even appeared in Surrey where she attended thebaptism of Charlotte's second child and visited with Pamela.

And who cared enough about the humbly born owner of a London business to find her and observe her every movement?

Only one man ... and in all fairness, how could he ever forget her?

So when a job request came in for a companion for an elderly lady in Lancashire, she had decreed it to be fate. She sold her business and slipped away from London. The ignorant might call this flight. She preferred to call it a sabbatical.

She nodded firmly. Yes, a sabbatical to consider her future. The future of Hannah Setterington. Still no coach. No driver. She considered the ways she had taught student governesses to deal with such dilemmas -- with good sense and without rancor. If no one appeared within the hour, she would step onto the road and start walking, and hope that whichever direction she chose would be toward Presham Crossing. From there she would hire someone to take her to Rae-burn Castle. When she arrived, she would give Mrs. Trenchard, the housekeeper, a firm but thorough up-braiding. Gently bred women who took positions such as governess and caretaker were frequently abused by the servants below stairs. Hannah meant to start as she would go on, and that included demanding respect. If that wasn't possible, then she'd best know at once before she became attached to the elderly aunt who, she'd been assured in the exchange of letters, was a lovely lady, if occasionally a little confused.

Rules of Attraction. Copyright © by Christina Dodd. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Rules of Attraction (Governess Brides Series #3) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
urbangirl72 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book. I won't say it's the best by her by any means but it kept me interested. I think I would have liked it better if there weren't so many of the older ladies living there, kind of out of place for me. The man and wife scenerio went better than I anticipated. The back cover misled me as to the plot. The book didn't get to in depth with the plot and seemed to reach the climatic end without much fanfare. I got the book from the library so I didn't spend any money which I would have been let down a little, I think, if I had paid full price.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The betrayal of heroines friends in this book ruins the entire series. Disgusting behavior.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't read the governess series, but I did read this book. The setting was terrific it was dark and mysterious, as is Dougald. I also liked Hannah, head strong and very independant. The aunt's made me laugh throughout the whole story. This book was that sort of love hate love relationships that always have a happy ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the 3rd book in the governess series and i would have to say not the best. This is the story of hannah setterington, who decides to sell the successful governess school and dig into her past and at the same time become the companion of Aunt spring, the Lord Raeburn's elderly aunt. Lord Raeburn turns out to be the husband she left behind nine years ago who wants revenge... story goes into the relationship that develops between the hannah of present and her husband, who's plans for revenge are spoiled when hannah kisses him. in general i didn't feel like i knew hannah, she was never really involoved in the other stories and sad to say it doesn't even seem like she is in this one. i feel i know more about the younger hannah they flashback to and her husband, than the newer one. however the aunts and all the other secondary characters help to pull the story along even if hannah herself didn't really. IF U WANT TO BUY THIS STORY THEN DO SO!! it was tolerable but could have been better.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1843 Hannah Setterington sells her very successful business, the Distinguished Academy of Governesses, to accept a job as a companion to an elderly person. Her real reason for going to the countryside is to obtain information about the identity of her father. Hannah hears rumors that the present master of Raeburn Castle murdered his wife, but she can prove otherwise because the new lord is her husband Dougald Peppard. He has searched for her since she ran away over eight years ago and only found her through the money she recently returned to him. He tells her he worried about whether she lived or died and plans to enact vengeance for her desertion.

Hannah agrees to stay after meeting Aunt Spring and her three elderly buddies. An angry Dougald threatens her, but Hannah retaliates with a kiss that shakes up both of them. However, before they can explore their feelings, someone tries to kill the new lord just as the previous four were murdered in the last few years.

Best-selling author Christina Dodd concludes her awesome governess trilogy with a powerful tale starring Hannah. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action while the loose ends from the two previous novels (see RULES OF ENGAGEMENT and RULES OF SURRENDER) are fully tied together in the subplots. The lead couple is a darling duo who hopefully live long enough to share the love that was placed on hold eight years ago. Fans of Victorian romances will relish this exciting tale and be enticed to obtain its predecessors.

Harriet Klausner