Another weekend, another historical romance book! Though, this past weekend’s pick, The Game and the Governess, was a little bit different from what I’m used to. There was a little bit of mystery as well!
Remember last week when I read the Christian romance about the King who left his kingdom to woo the woman he loved? This book is kind of similar, though except for a King leaving his kingdom, it’s an Earl — trading places with his secretary on a bet. The bet? The Earl must make a lady fall in love with him.
The fun part about this book was the idea of the Earl leaving his earldom for a lesser station. Also, we got to see the Earl’s secretary take station as an Earl. The two kind of made me think of Sherlock and Watson, or House and Wilson, trading places with one another. It’s not all roses being an Earl — likewise, it’s not so bad being a secretary. Both had their advantages, and both had their drawbacks.
I really enjoyed both of the main characters, the Earl of Ashby and the secretary, Mr. Turner. They both had real unique qualities to their character which made it a challenge for them to each play one another. When it came to these characters, I think I preferred the Earl — the real Earl — to the secretary, though I that’s because the Earl’s switch started to make him a little more human, whereas the secretary’s switch made him a little greedy with power. He went off and on when it came to liking the power — like I said, it comes with its perks — but I think I preferred him to be a secretary instead.
The story was a little bit slower than I was used to — that is, it took more than just a day’s worth of reading to get through — but once I had the time to really sit down and get into the characters and the story, it played out in my head like a movie. Maybe I had just been watching too much Downton Abbey (and I have to admit, whenever Danson, the valet to the Earl, came into the picture, I was immediately picturing Carson, the valet on Downton Abbey in my head), or maybe the story was just laid out that well, but I could see the scenery, the house, the bedrooms, and the characters so vividly in my head.
The only drawback that I could really find from this story is the point of view. It was narrated by an outside character, it seemed, so the scene would flip from the earl, to the secretary, to the governess, and to other characters throughout the story. There were times I had to flip back to be sure of who I was actually reading — especially when it came to the Earl and the secretary. When the governess, for example, talked of the Earl, she was actually talking of the secretary, so it was a little confusing at times.
Other than that, though, it was a really fun story to work through. There was a lot of emotion going on, a bit of mystery when it came to the history of the governess, and a lot of romance, too. I loved the whole Trading Places aspect of it and really looked forward to reading when I had the chance. The romance was a little bit slow, but I kind of liked that. It also wasn’t instalove or anything like that — the secretary, er, the Earl, that is, really had to work for it!
In the end I’d have to say the whole thing was brilliant.
Thank you to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and NetGalley for the review copy of this book!
(Added: I just read over the synopsis of the story and saw that it was written by one of the writers who did The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, one of my favourite YouTube stories! When I think about that, I see so many similarities between the Earl of Ashby and Mr. Darcy. So much fun.)
Have you ever wanted to trade places with someone? Have you EVER traded places with someone? What was it like?