Rating: 3 out of 5.

3.5 stars

This was a cute historical regency romance about Tessa, a young woman who yearns to open her own millinery shop. When Tessa’s mother dies during an accident, she gives her a locket with a coat or arms on it that presumably belonged to her father. Tessa plans to find her father and ask him to loan her enough money to open her own shop. Not having access to seeing the coat of arms of the nobility, she lies about her background and takes a job as governess to the troubled four year old daughter of the new Duke of Carlin in hopes that she will discover her father with her new access to the ton.

After his wife died in childbirth four years ago, the Duke left his daughter with his wife’s parents and took off on a scientific journey around the world. He returned when the rest of the male heirs in his family unexpectedly die, to find his daughter a spoiled, unruly child. Even though the Duke discovers Tessa fudged her qualifications, she is making so much progress with his daughter that he’s willing to keep her on. What neither of them expected was to be drawn to each other, even thought they know they can’t be together.

When the Duke is shot at the circus, he realizes that there may be something to the rumored “Curse of the Carlins” and begins to investigate who may be out to kill him. Tessa insists on helping him and as the couple grow closer, they can’t deny their attraction to each other.

This was a very typical historical fiction romance. There was nothing very new about the storyline or characters, but I still enjoyed reading how the story unfolds. The book is a quick and easy read and would be a good companion while lying on the beach or taking cover during a rainstorm.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. All opinions are my own.