Lady Sarah Miles has had a most privileged upbringing and wants for nothing—but one thing
she does not want is to get married to her childhood friend James. Returning from India, she has
the good fortune to be the sole survivor of a shipwreck, and in order to avoid the marriage, she
takes on the identity of her traveling companion, Sarah Morecroft. Sarah was returning to England
to take up the position of governess to the children of urbane MP Roland Hawthorne, and so this is
what Lady Sarah must also do. She soon finds that it is not as easy as she had imagined, especially
when Roland is so attractive...and so single!
I enjoyed this twist on the old gothic novel standby plot of the governess in the mysterious
household. This imaginative writer stands a lot of the expected clichés on their heads and treats
the reader to something rather different and refreshing. Spoilt Lady Sarah has some lessons to
learn, as does man-with-a-past Roland and his "ugly duckling" daughter Caro. There are some
surprising turns in this novel and the characters find themselves in rather more peril than might
be surmised by reading the above description. The ending is a bit far-fetched in some respects,
but don’t let that put you off diving into this talented new writer’s debut novel. If you think
standard Regencies need a bit of shaking up, then this might fit the bill.