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The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister 0.5)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  9,742 Ratings  ·  1,058 Reviews
She will not give up…

Three months ago, governess Serena Barton was let go from her position. Unable to find new work, she’s demanding compensation from the man who got her sacked: a petty, selfish, swinish duke. But it’s not the duke she fears. It’s his merciless man of business—the man known as the Wolf of Clermont. The formidable former pugilist has a black reputation fo
ebook, 101 pages
Published April 21st 2012 by Courtney Milan
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2012 Historical Romance Novels
9th out of 262 books — 674 voters
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173rd out of 2,597 books — 4,973 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Courtney Milan has become one of my favorite historical romance authors and books like this, The Governess Affair, is why. This introduction to the Brothers Sinister series is a charming, beautiful tale that I simply couldn't put down. And surprisingly, while this is a novella, a short read, it lacks nothing. A powerful story, romance, passion... yes, this book has it all - including one of the sexiest, sweetest bedroom scenes ever!

I fell hard for both Serena and Hugo... their secrets, their tor
The Holy Terror
ETA on 4-24: Free on Amazon! Grab it!

Historical romance isn't my least liked genre though it's nowhere near my favorite, but every now and then I feel the need to read something that isn't YA or fantasy and I branch out into the world of corsets, cravats, and carriages. I generally don't enjoy the time I spend there, and I often find myself at odds with fans of the genre, but thankfully this short story has high ratings because it's a tale that people who don't automatically love the genre can s
♡Karlyn P♡
Loved it!!! Just when I thought I was getting burned out (ney, sick and tired!) of Euro/Regency historical romances, I pick up this Courtney Milan novella and realize my problem might have been something else. I was just bored. But Courtney Milan infuses such flavor into her writing I couldn't stop devouring it. which is simply refreshing among the glut of today's bland and formulaic offerings. I honestly haven't been this excited to read a Euro/Regency era historical in many months now, and I ...more
Aug 24, 2016 Jill rated it really liked it

Hugo Marshall is determined and ambitious. As a former boxer Hugo has squared off against any number of opponents and won. But Hugo has met his match. Serena Barton is tenacious and optimistic. She'll fight until she gets what she's owed.

The Governess Affair is a novella and prequel to Courtney Milan's new series, Brothers Sinister. Set in 1835 a generation before the characters in the main series, this is an introduction to what looks like another impressive series from this talented author.

Dec 21, 2014 Mo rated it really liked it

3.75 stars.

I quite enjoyed this short read. First time reading this author but I will be checking out other books by her.

I liked both characters. She was strong and would not back down for anything!!

As you know, if I don't do a review straight away, they are usually short. Thank fuck, I hear some of you say!!!

Nenia Campbell

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THE GOVERNESS AFFAIR is the fourth Courtney Milan book that I have plowed through this month. I regret nothing about this experiment, except for the fact that I have gone through all the books of hers that I already owned, so any further binges must be put on hold until I am able to obtain more books. Booooo.

GOVERNESS AFFAIR is the direct prequel to THE DUCHESS WAR. I think it could be read as a standalone, but reading it was also interesti
Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter
"You could make me say it again," he whispered. "Make me say it always. Make me say it so often that you never have cause to doubt. I love you."

Oh yes, again, I love it when a story turns from pretty good to amazingly good! 3 stars for the first half and 5 stars for the second half of the story.

"A perfect sunrise--seen once, remembered always. Never duplicated."

This was a first for me but certainly not my last read by Courtney Milan. I really loved the second half of the story. In hindsight I th
Dec 19, 2013 Navessa rated it it was ok

DNF @ 50%. I really expected to like this one. I enjoyed The Heiress Effect. But then, part of the reason that I enjoyed it was because none of the characters were fucking idiots.

So the premise of this book is a ruined governess seeking recompense from the man that ruined her, who happens to be a duke. He sends his man of business to handle it because he has better things to do. The first thing his servant does is ask what the female lead wants. The next five conversations that they have go som

5...I told you so Karla...Stars!!

Safe. Yes Serena, Hugo Marshall is...Safe, and the most honorable of men. One of the softest, sweetest stories, I've ever read! Never were two people more meant to be together.

I'm doing the Yippee Skippee and I can't stop smiling!

Thanks for the push Jill and Dhes, it was so worth dropping everything!

Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Apr 23, 2012 Anna (Bobs Her Hair) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romance readers
Recommended to Anna (Bobs Her Hair) by: Jill's review
Grade: A+ or 5 brightly shining stars

Beautiful, poignant, and skillfully written novella! I absolutely loved it!

***updated to add full review****

The Story
Serena Barton is a ruined woman. Her dismissal as a governess position leads her to demand compensation from the Duke of Clermont. Serena will not leave empty-handed. She is prepared to fight for there is much at stake. She’s aware the duke employs an unmerciful man of business, yet she bravely resolves never to be weak again.

Hugo Marshall has
Khanh (the Grinch)
Dec 26, 2013 Khanh (the Grinch) rated it it was ok
Recommended to Khanh (the Grinch) by: Navessa
I blame myself. My disappointment with this book is partially my fault. I just set the bar too high. I built up my own hype. I gave myself unrealistic standards for this book.

I've resisted reading this novella since it was released, despite reading all the glowing reviews on it. I thought for sure it would be good, and that I would love it if I ever gained the courage to read it. Why? Because of the premise. The rape, the defilement of an innocent governess? Her strength in standing up for herse
Christina ~ Brunette Reader
3,5 Stars

Setting the stage for the following series about the next Victorian generation, Courtney Milan gives us a solid novella about two common people whose lives have been anything but common and who soon and poignantly recognise each other's hard-won inner strength, finding both healing from past hurts and hope for a brighter future in their love.

Hugo Marshall, a coal miner's son and an ex-pugilist, is now the Duke of Clermont's unscrupulous right-hand, the final step in a steady social a

"Are you flexing your muscles for me?" she asked.
"That", he said smoothly, "would be vanity".

What a romantic, inspiring, heartbreaking, heartwarming, wonderful, amazing tale.

"If you fell out of a tree as a child, I'd clean you up and bandage your knees, and next I looked you'd be out climbing again. You never learned your lesson."
Oh, she'd learned her lesson: Climb harder.
Somehow, Serena didn't think that was the lesson Freddy had expected her to learn.

I have a soft spot for rape-recovery tales
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

BR with the awesome Kat and Nenia

So, The Governess Affair...

Congratulations! You successfully entered my I don't care territory : no chemistry, not to mention that the rape issue isn't well-handled in my opinion. To be frank, the characters' behavior is incomprehensible to me. I. DON'T. GET. THEM. Add a complete and utter boredom, and what do you get? Certainly not a good romance.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
This is not outside my comfort zone, this is beyond my wildest imaginings. I'm never going to survive this one.

Thank you Liz, I love you forever and always. I really do

ETA: Liz said she would shave her head if I ended up liking this one (read the comments if you don't believe me). I think I'm just about to fall in love with HR.
Dec 16, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
5 STARS!!!!!
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He didn't want to talk. He didn't want to answer any questions. He didn't know who he was or what he wanted or what dreams would come to fill his heart. He only knew that if he couldn't have her, nothing would ever be right again. And so he kissed her. He tasted her, sweet and steady against him, put his hand in the small of her back and drew her toward him.

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OH BOY!!!! I've got a new author!!! What a wonderful little gem this is. It's just a short novella, but man oh man, don't le
Mimi Smith
Jul 17, 2014 Mimi Smith rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mimi by: InD'tale Magazine
5 stars

Loved, loved, LOVED it. It's so hard to write a great, believable novella. It's too short, there's no time for the characters to feel real, or the relationships... But here, boy...

We have:

1. Serena Barton, a former governess, girl with big dreams and a grudge against the Duke of Clemont.
2. The Duke of Clement, a rather simple and shallow gentleman with little self-control, morals and a money problem, which led to his spouse problem.
3. Hugo Marshall, the Wolf of Clemont, a boy who has plan
August, 2013 - Re-read

A perfect Novella to begin her new Brothers Sinister Series.

I always enjoy Milan's writing style and this short story doesn't disappoint. CM gives a strong sexy hero that I came to love along with a heroine who is persistent and smart. The banter between Hugo Marshall, aka Wolf of Clermont, and Serena Barton kept me invested and wanting more.

This author's talent shines through in this delightful read. There is a scene involving hair pins that I particularly liked. Who wou
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Sep 01, 2016 Heather K (dentist in my spare time) rated it really liked it
Recommended to Heather K (dentist in my spare time) by: Jill

*3.5 stars*

Lovely start to a new series. Narrator was good in the audio, and I immediately bought the next two in the series the moment I finished.
Apr 17, 2016 Ally rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love this book

Setting / Time / Genre: Regency, I think.

Length: 201 pages.

Series: Yeppers and I am reading em all! This is the fist. An introductory novel if you will.

Sexy times: One or two scenes. All well done. There's a scene with hair pins. Just trust me on this. Hashtag worthit.

Plan on reading more by the author Hell to the yeas, my friends.

Synopsis in one sentence or slightly more: Hmmm, there's this governess, and this man of business and a sh!thead of a Duke, and an issue
Wonderful short read and an introduction to her new series, The Brothers Sinister. I wasn't ready to leave these two strong willed people. Serena is in a pickle and she isn't given up. A certain duke owes her and he is going to pay. No matter if he sics the Wolf of Clermont on her or not. She refuses to go gently into that goodnight. For Hugo's part, he has a job to do and a stubborn ex-governess isn't going to slow him down. Once Hugo and Serena trade quips however, all becomes fair in love and ...more
Okay, so this is where the fact that Goodreads treats audiobooks as just another edition of a book is problematical, because I've already read and reviewed the ebook and can't create a separate review for the audio. So, instead, I've added it to the review of the book, so apologies to those of you who are seeing this on your feeds for the third or fourth time!

Anyway. This most definitely the review of the audiobook version which has appeared at Audiogals today.

Also - my original rating for the b
Dec 21, 2012 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
4.75 stars for this wonderful little story. It's short but quite meaty -- Milan gets the job done. I just wanted it to be longer, so Hugo and Serena could have more lovin' time together. But sometimes a short read is perfect, and many long books get bogged down with repetition and endless rumination. No so in this case!

Courtney Milan just keeps getting better. In her first books, her characters seemed a bit too ... cerebral and almost unemotional, even though the plot was always well orchestrate
Written March 22, 2013

A little shiny genuine gem pearl, 4 1/2 Stars.

Book #0.5

A wonderful story, I loved it. Two nice a bit special characters, not the richest, no one is noble, not the prettiest or the most handsome, not the most innocent, not the nicest BUT with two really, really smart and cunning brains. I got mad (stupid and mean men), got hurt in the heart (... just choose her!), I smiled (over and over), laughed (the letters), and am very pleased at last.

A really good reading as so often
Laura the Highland Hussy
Jul 11, 2012 Laura the Highland Hussy rated it it was amazing
Review posted at Demon Lover's Books and More

I always know if I open a Courtney Milan book, that it will be a winner. This book did not fail me.

Serena is in quite a fix. Hugo is known for fixing problems. . .for the duke he works with. Unfortunately, Serena is a problem. Hugo is supposed to clean up any problems the duke has, and he’s worked really hard to get where he is (oh don’t be fooled into thinking he works for the duke, he has a different sort of arrangement with his Grace).

Serena quick
If you like HR genre,

If you are stressed out or feeling down,

Or just want a well-written, compelling and deeply-satisfying romance,

Then don't hesitate! Read this book!

It's getting harder and harder to find something flawless lately, but this was definitely a gem. I admit, the covers of this series looked a little bit cheesy to me, discouraging and fooling me into believing it will be another silly historical romance. So I was pleasantly surprised to have turned a page after page with no desire t
*I gave this audiobook an A- for both the narration and story at AudioGals*

The Governess Affair may quite possibly be the best novella I have ever listened to. This was my first experience with Courtney Milan, and I guarantee it will not be my last. I’m extremely impressed that Ms. Milan was able to deliver an original, well developed, believable, and touching romance in just a little short of four hours. Further rounding out this well made audiobook is Rosalyn Landor’s expert narration which ma
Aug 22, 2012 D.G. rated it really liked it
I so love a hero that's a wolf in sheep's clothing but sadly, we get so few of them in romance. I guess most women love to fantasize about being with really attractive men but personality and brains are a bigger turn on for me. That's why I enjoyed Hugo so much and would have loved to have him as the hero in a full length novel.

Regardless, this was a lovely historical novella with two non aristocrats as the leads - something I also prefer. The heroine didn't stand out as much for me but her jou
Lisa Kay
Lavender Farm Shoreham. Kent, England.

(This is a review of the audiobook.) I love Rosalyn Landor and she does her usual stellar performance reading The Governess Affair novella.

Alas, with the story-line, it looks like I'm in the minority, considering all my friend's reviews. I spent too much time with my heart in my throat to enjoy Serena and Hugo's story. Too, too sad at the beginning and, in all likelihood, all too true, given the era. I can handle this topic, but most of the book is center
I'm not quite sure how to write up a review for this novella without giving away some spoilers so I am just going to say--as I started reading this and seeing how the plot was to unfold, I can this end happily without damaging Serena further than she has already been hurt? Have no fear, there is no reason to doubt Courtney Milan (not that I really did). This story is going to make you sigh, smile, laugh and make you fall hard for the Wolf of Clermont, Hugo. How Hugo handles the ...more
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And this is where we say things and stuff. 16 23 Apr 20, 2015 02:06PM  
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Courtney Milan lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, a marginally-trained dog, and an attack cat. Courtney wishes she could say she has lived in numerous fabulous places. But aside from her husband, there is a distinct lack of fabulousness in her life. Instead, she is happy when standards in the Milan household hover above mediocrity. Her husband attempts not to kill people for a ...more
More about Courtney Milan...

Other Books in the Series

Brothers Sinister (4 books)
  • The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)
  • The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)
  • The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3)
  • The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister, #4)

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“I will not be browbeaten, however nicely you do it. I am done with things happening to me. From here on out, I am going to happen to things.” 36 likes
“Never hit a man with a closed fist," he told her. He could feel her pulse.

"Why? Because it gives you an excuse to manhandle me?"

He let go. "Slap his face instead."


"It will make him take you less seriously, and then he won't be expecting it when you knee him in the groin.”
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