Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blog Tour: The Governess Club: Sara & The Governess Club: Louisa by Ellie MacDonald (Review + Giveaway)


Love Saves the World would like to welcome Ellie MacDonald, who is currently on a blog tour for her The Governess Club series. This tour features Sara and Louisa, the remaining members of The Governess Club. ^_^

For this event, Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for Two Digital Sets of Claire & Bonnie, The Governess Club Series Books One and Two. (Enter via Rafflecopter below.) To visit the rest of Ellie MacDonald's blog stops, click here.

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About the books:

Blurb:

Sweet Sara Collins is one of the founding members of the governess club. But she has a secret ... She doesn’t love teaching. She’d much prefer to be a vicar’s wife and help the local community. But this quiet mouse doesn’t want to upset her friends, and she resolves to help in whatever ways she can.

Nathan Grant is the embodiment of everything that frightens Sara. Which is why she can’t understand why the handsome but reclusive and gruff man is so fascinating to her. When Sara decides it’s time to take a chance and experience all that life has to offer, Nathan is the first person she thinks of.

Will Sara’s walk on the wild side ruin her chances at a simple, happy life? Or has she just opened the door to a once-in-a-lifetime chance of passion?





Buy Links

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My Review of The Governess Club: Sara --

One thing I took away from reading through the entire The Governess Club series by Ellie MacDonald is that there is value and story to the governess-as-heroine. Ellie MacDonald has succeeded in crafting four very interesting women with very interesting stories. Claire was a genteel woman fallen on hard times. Bonnie was born a bastard to a governess-turned-mistress and a titled father. They've both told their stories and married well, but, now it is Sara and Louisa's turn to tell their stories.

I have to admit to being a bit worried about the remaining two members of The Governess Club: Would this be a series about four working girls "marrying up" and marrying well? Would they all be Cinderellas whisked away to a castle by their princes to live happily ever after?

Clearly, the author had very different plans for Sara and Louisa. Different, but good plans. ^_^

Sara is a vicar's daughter and is the most timid of the four women. It was clear from the previous instalments that Sara was more a follower than the leader-type, but it wasn't until her own book that we discover the extent of Sara's timidity: Sara actually suffers from social anxiety and gets "ants in her throat" when a difficult social situation arises. Her friends have tried to help her gain more confidence and courage, and they've been very supportive and protective of her -- but Sara never had problems of courage and confidence, because she had a lot of those two hidden away. Sara's main problem is that she had repressed herself as her mother had expected her to be.

It was truly heartbreaking to read about Sara still being shadowed by her mother's very puritan, very strict instructions. Sara didn't allow herself an excess of anything: not food, not emotion, not words -- she had folded herself up into the tiniest version of herself. It wasn't until she encounters their new neighbour and new owner of Windent Hall, Nathan Grant, that Sara discovers a different version of herself.

"I don't know what you mean," she whispered. "You say things and I don't know if you are sincere or mocking me. It is disconcerting. That is why I stopped speaking."

Mr. Grant raised his eyebrow in question. "Is that so?"

She nodded. "Like when you said it was ambitious of us to open a private school. Do you actually admire us or do you feel we are behaving unnaturally for women and believe we will fail? Others have said as much. And the way you mentioned how I fetch the post and make visits with Mr. Pomeroy. Your tone and inflection made me feel ridiculed for doing such things, even though I enjoy them. I dislike conversations where I have to second-guess everything being said to me."
- loc 611

Nathan has escaped London and all its corruption, seeking to hide in the quiet town of Taft. Our hero is a former politician and self-proclaimed misanthrope who is truly disillusioned with life and with humanity. He's seen and done it all, and he's sick and tired of it and everyone. He has lost the ability to trust and take things at face value and views Sara and the vicar with suspicion, and questions their motives.

There's no villain or mystery or anything external to take their minds off their personal problems: their obstacle is themselves and the ghosts of their pasts. What I appreciate about Nathan and Sara's story is that love wasn't a magical potion that suddenly cured them of all their ills: Sara still suffers from anxiety and guilt and Nathan is still wary of the world, but, in each other, they've found a safe haven and discover the liberating experience of being loved and appreciated and accepted despite all your flaws and failures.

The Governess Club: Sara is the 3rd instalment in Ellie MacDonald's The Governess Club series.

Disclosure: I received this review copy via Edelweiss as part of the blog tour. Thank you to Ellie MacDonald and Avon Impulse for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.

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Blurb:

Louisa Brockhurst is on the run -- from her friends, from her family, even from her dream of independence through The Governess Club. But sometimes it’s easier for her to hide from those she loves in order to escape the secrets of her past.

Handsome but menacing John Taylor is a former prize-fighter turned inn-keeper who is trying to make his way in society. When Louisa shows up at his doorstep he’s quick to accept her offer to help -- at a price. He knows that she’s hiding something and he can’t help his protective instincts around the beautiful woman.

Their attraction grows, but will headstrong, fiery Louisa ever trust the surprisingly kind John enough to tell him the dangerous secrets from her past that keep her running? Or will the power of her feelings scare her into running yet again?





Buy Links


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My ARC Review of The Governess Club: Louisa --

I have been waiting to read Louisa's story ever since I read about this stern, no-nonsense member of The Governess Club. Louisa always seemed so cold and distant, and I wondered about her. Louisa's story begins where Sara's story ends -- and Louisa has run away from Ridgestone and has found herself at The Beefy Buzzard, an inn owned by John Taylor, a former boxer.

Louisa's character and strength really shine through as she leaves her former life (and identity) and embraces a new one, but this is also part of Louisa's mystery: why does she run away? Who was she before she became a governess?

I really enjoyed Louisa and John's interaction and how they worked together to make John's business flourish. I loved seeing the inner workings of a pub, and all that is required to run a good one. Louisa amazed me with how well she adapted to her new situation, and she grew into her new role as manager of the inn.

He stared at her. "Why did you not just consult me?"

"This is me consulting you."

"By manipulating me?"

She frowned. "That is an unpleasant word. I prefer guiding or directing."
- loc 685 - 696

I was honestly surprised when the love story between John and Louisa developed, because they seem like such an unlikely match: the Five-Hit wonder, and a former governess who is obviously well-borne, but keeps so many things a secret. But, it's also a relationship that makes sense. Our hero and heroine have both taken a beating from life (the former, quite literally) and have emerged stronger and better versions of themselves. The love that grows between them is also something wondrous: it isn't controlling or demanding. In fact, it's a love that is so deeply-rooted in sacrifice. All that John and Louisa really, really want and wish for is the happiness of the other.

"I fucking well love you, Louisa. No matter what you do or where you go, I will be here, loving you. You just have to decide what you want."

She couldn't stop staring at him. Was he speaking a foreign language? She couldn't quite comprehend what he was saying. "Wh-what?" she stammered.

"It's your choice," he repeated.

"My choice?"

He nodded.

She glared at him, his words unsettling her. She shoved at his chest, not moving him an inch. "Aren't you going to tell me to stay?" Isn't that what men in love wanted, for the woman they loved to stay with them?

His thumb traced her cheekbone. "No. This is your decision. You have to want to stay if you are going to be happy here."
- loc 2790

Ellie MacDonald did a fantastic job of resolving her series. She touches on the real meaning and purpose of The Governess Club: while it was founded to pool funds together to build a better future, what really kept the club going was the friendship and companionship of these women. Louisa's story is, at once, a goodbye to The Governess Club because everyone is now married, and a hello to the next chapter and adventure of the lives of these amazing women: love, family and friends.

The Governess Club: Louisa is the 4th (and final) instalment in Ellie MacDonald's The Governess Club series. Louisa's story will be released on October 7.

Disclosure: I received this review copy via Edelweiss as part of the blog tour. Thank you to Ellie MacDonald and Avon Impulse for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.


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Author Info:

Ellie Macdonald has held several jobs beginning with the letter t: taxi-driver, telemarketer and most recently, teacher. She is thankful her interests have shifted to writing instead of taxidermy or tornado chasing. Having travelled to five different continents, she has swum with elephants, scuba dived coral mazes, visited a leper colony and climbed waterfalls and windmills, but her favorite place remains Regency England. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada. The Governess Club series is her first published work.

Author Links
Website: http://www.elliemacdonald.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllieMacdonaldAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elliemacdauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7034029.Ellie_Macdonald

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Giveaway:

For this event, Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for Two Digital Sets of Claire & Bonnie, The Governess Club Series Books One and Two. (Enter via Rafflecopter below.) To visit the rest of Ellie MacDonald's blog stops, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. My pleasure, Lisa! Love Ellie MacDonald and her series!

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  2. I like these stories more and more whenever I read the reviews and excerpts. I like Sara and Louisa both...not too sure about Nathan, but I also like John very much. Can't wait to read these stories! jdh2690@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Janice!

      Thank you for your comment! It's a really great series and I hope you enjoy it!

      Have a great day!

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