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The Secret Desires of a Governess (The Hallaway Sisters #2)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  439 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews

From the moment Abby meets her new employer—the mysterious, brooding Earl of Brendall—she is appalled by his brutish manner…and even moreso by her own attraction to him. Has she lost her senses? As a governess, Abby has no choice but to play by the rules. But as a woman, she cannot deny the fiery sensations he ignites—or the fantasies he inspires…

From the moment Elliott

ebook, 352 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sarah Mac
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rose May
Jun 17, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
haunted castles, mysterious injuries, brooding hero, child with learning disabilities, a lady posing as a governess in an effort to gain female independence, surprisingly this all mixes well in a page turner. i essentially read this book in one day (warning: you probably will so set aside time, this is not a pick up put down type story). the hero was so hot and cold, his son was so adorable. the big mystery was pretty easy to guess, but the why behind it was harder to work out, which is why this ...more
May 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical Romance set in Northumbria in 1848

A great romance -- a gothic -- reminds me of Victoria Holt

Dark gentleman, Earl of Brendall with a young son and Abby "Hallaway", a young lady who has trudged through 15 miles of mud and rain to become the son's governess.

All is not as it appears and to make matters worse, strange accidents begin happening to Abby. Who is causing these accidents and why?
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This was my first Tiffany Clare book and one of the first historical romances I have read. I enjoyed the book. It's definitely lustier than most books I have read before and enjoyed those scenes. I liked the spunk of the governess and I wasn't fully sold on Elliot at first, but his stone cold exterior faded quickly. Over all it was an enjoyable read.
Eli Yanti
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reason I love reading this book :

I love the cover so much ups.. I’m the cover lover *lol
Who will not feel so interesting with the title of this book : The “Secret Desire” of the Governess.. hem
Once I see the cover of this book, I’m so curious, so I went straightly to this author’s website to read the excerpt and I decided I must have this book

Abigail, had failed to find a proper husband in 3 years, so she decided to not marriage and what she want is only freedom. Lied to her sister that
Lover of Romance
Abby wants adventure, and to make her own way in her life. So even though she could experience the joys of the 'season', its the very last thing she wants to do. So she decides to accept a position as a governess. When she arrives, she is cold and wet, and had to walk from the town to the estate. And what does she find when she arrives? A brooding and brute of a man, who didn't even know that she was coming. His manner is rude but his eyes burn her, and she can't resist his burning desire for he ...more
Anesha †Curious & Obsessive Bookworm†
Just finish reading this - and I'm sad it's finished! D:

I am a huge fan of historical romance - i go crazy over them so it was so surprise that I hopped to this early today and refused to put it down until i finished it.

Omg, where to start??? xD

(view spoiler)
Book Review Diva
“The Secret Desires of a Governess” by Tiffany Clare

Abigail Hallaway finally has had enough of seeing her two sisters marry themselves off. Abigail has no intention on being like her sisters and settling down with some guy. Abigail would rather be independent, and have her own freedom where she can do what she likes. Abigail decides the only way she can be independent and not have her sisters support her, is to take a job as governess and teach a young boy. Abigail does not like lying to her sis
Cocktails and Books
I had great expectation for this book, based on some of the other reviews that I had read. That was my problem. I'm sure because I had, in my mind, set the bar so high that this book fell short.

Lady Abigail Hallaway needed to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. Both her sisters had married well, leaving her feel as if she's the young spinster sister left in the care of her family. Sure, she's an heiress who would get her fortune when she was twenty-five (in two short years), but she
Dec 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Romance Lovers
The Earl of Brendall, a recluse in every sense of the word, is a dark, brooding, hulk of a man. A man and employer not at all fitting the expectations of a proper governess such as Abby. Then again, this delicate, "pixie" of a woman was the last thing the Earl expected to see wandering the dark halls of his estate late one night. Although she may think him an uncouth barbarian, making her walk 15 miles in the cold and rain were not his intentions since he did not even realize he had hired a gove ...more
I'm not a huge fan of historical romance novels. There are too many out there that spend way too much time discussing the many fashions and hair styles that the characters are wearing. I once read a book where the main character changed her clothes 6 times in one day. I was like, seriously? How is she going to catch the attention of her man when she is spending all her time changing clothes and getting her hair restyled for pity's sake? And the simpering. Lord save me from the simpering milqueto ...more
A mistaken identity, a young woman hiding from her past, mysterious accidents, a misunderstood young boy, a brooding hero, a witty heroine. How could I pass this up?

Abby has taken the job of a governess to escape her family, her past, and what could be her future. She makes her way to the home of the Earl of Brendall - Elliot. Who upon their first meeting mistakes her for a woman of loose morals!

I loved Abby, she was witty and looking to find herself. She takes this job and falls totally in lov
May 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure what it is about this author's writing style, but there seemed to be a strange disconnection throughout this story, which I've noticed in her previous two in the series. Clare can write lusty yet emotional love scenes, but when Elliott and Abby were not in the bedroom, their interaction was weirdly wooden. I enjoyed the various dark and forbidden similarities to Jane Eyre, but I was disappointed that Clare didn't further pursue the dyslexia angle or the relationship/friendship betwe ...more
If Jane Eyre, were to be rewritten as porn, this would be it.
Brooding hero with secrets and crazy wife who dies horribly in a fire? Check.
Innocent, bookish governess in love with her employer? Check.
Precocious child? Check.
Employer boning his servant at every opportunity? Chec-Wait a minute... That didn't happen in Jane Eyre! This is like a dirty, fanfiction type thing!
Holy, horn-dog pants batman! They could not keep they're hands off each other, but for some crack-pot reason couldn't get marr
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just plain funny. She arrives in the rain, soaked from a fifteen mile trek to his castle to teach his son his lessons. He doesn't seem to know she was to arrive. Yet he catches her bathing in the kitchen in the morning and can't get her out of his head. After awhile he kisses her. Then later she kisses him and eventually things spiral out of control. Did I mention I just reached the halfway point? All I've found out between the passionate episodes is that he's probly cursed, his son has some lea ...more
May 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had so much potential! I absolutely loved the initial meeting between the hero and heroine but it quickly went downhill from there. This is more of a gothic type book with the mystery surrounding it, but at points it almost seemed unrealistic - falls from the tower and only sprains an ankle...nearly drowns but the would-be murderer decides to let her live? To me, it seemed as if everything was dramatic to the extreme and way too much action and way too little romance (romance, not sex/ ...more
May 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This started out ok, not great, but good enough to get me to keep going. It was all moved a bit too fast, and lacked a lot, a lot, of backstory that would have made what we did hear more interesting about the castle and the cast of characters. At first I thought it was because I was reading a later book int he series, but that really wasn't the issue. The missing pieces were all related to this story and this book. I felt like the story sort of fell apart at the end too with little explanation a ...more
Carrie Felton
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book and i really liked the plot line. It was well thought out. The characters were interesting and the mystery was well done. I just didnt love it. I couldnt disappear into the story...
What i also really liked was the mini story that was told at the beginning of each chapter with the Dragon Prince and the way it tied into the story. I didnt like that Jacob never read it to her. I also didnt like the number of sections i had to skip in the second half of the back... they were kin
Connie Fischer
I have to admit that I was rather disappointed in this book. While I am a great fan of governess novels, this was not one of them. At the risk of sounding like a prude, there was entirely too much explicit sex in this book. The hero and heroine were hot for each other from the very beginning of the book and nothing was left to the imagination. I would love to have seen more of a real plot here.
3 stars.

I didn't realize that the heroine of the story is the youngest sister of the heroine from The Seduction of His Wife...

I'm not sure how to review this book. I like the middle part of the story, but not the start and the end. And the tone of the story is dark and somber which I don't particularly like for Historical Romance.

Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romantic-reads
This is what I read when I can't sleep. Has great bones for a really good historical fiction...then there's about a zillion sex scenes and language that's a appropriate for the 21st century, not the 19th (including slang that hadn't been invented yet). Genre, straight up genre.

Also, gratuitous use of the word "pectoral".
Jun 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was ok, haven't read any other Tiffany Clare and if I run out of other things I might go back and read her other books. I liked the Hero and the Heroine but it seemed drawn out and with a little too much emotional turmoil with an obvious villian. Goes back to: with a little communication between the main characters the stories would be much shorter lol.
I loved it. He was everything I desire in an alpha barbaric man. She was ballsy and full of love n compassion. I understood when he pushed her away, what a reveal and with all she had suffered. But it still broke my heart.

The little boy was probably my favorite side character. His stealing the book and his love of his teacher. So precious

Twisted villains and creepy to a degree as well
There was really no surprise in who was causing problems in the castle. I enjoyed the quick moments together between Abby and Elliott, though I wish there was more. I would not classify this as historical outside the fact that they lived in a castle, had titles, servants and she was a governess. Wish there was more 18th century instead of 21st century words.
Ok, ok, 2.5 rounded up
Hated the first half but the mystery in the second half was entertaining enough to redeem it...

For a complete review, visit Affaire de Coeur magazine, hard copy or online at: - June 2011 edition.
Fay Ann Hollcroft
I will admit this book wasn't even close to being as great as the last book. But it still was a good read. It reminded me that even though dyslexia wasn't really discovered until the late 1880's, it did still exist prior to that date. Something I'm personally effected by. Still a good historical.
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the strong female character in this book, no matter what came her way, she stayed true to herself and her heart. There is some mystery involving past deaths as well. This is a steamy read in some sections too, just a heads up.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Eliott and Abby but my favorite character was probably Jacob. He was in such strong need of a mother figure and Abby was exactly that for him. Eliott's insecurities were refreshing and I loved Abby's persistent personality.
Way too different from the first Hallaway sister book. We went from light hearted painter and lonely widow to battling death, illiteracy (view spoiler) mixed in with a general bleak outlook on life.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 09, 2015 08:15AM  
  • Ripe for Pleasure (The League of Second Sons, #1)
  • To Tempt a Rake (Circle of Sin, #3)
  • Once Upon a Scandal (Scandal, #2)
  • A Most Scandalous Engagement (Scandalous Lady, #2)
  • Cloudy With A Chance Of Marriage (Impossible Bachelors, #3)
  • Heiress in Love (Ministry of Marriage, #1)
  • The Paradise Bargain
  • Never Resist Temptation
  • After Dark with a Scoundrel (Lords of Vice, #3)
  • The School for Brides (School for Brides, #1)
  • Smuggler's Lady
  • Bought: The Penniless Lady  (Gentlemen of Fortune, #2)
  • Treasure Me (The Legend Hunters, #3)
  • The Devil in Disguise (Regency Rogues, #1)
  • Never Trust a Rogue (Heiress in London, #2)
  • My Lord Scandal (Notorious Bachelors, #1)
  • The Secret To Seduction (Holt Sisters Trilogy, #3)
  • Wicked Becomes You
Deciding that life had far more to offer than a nine to five job, bickering children and housework of any kind (unless she's on a deadline when everything is magically spotless), Tiffany Clare opened up her laptop to write stories she could get lost in. Tiffany writes historical romances set in the Victorian era and is currently working on her Desire Me Now series for Avon Impulse, which releases ...more
More about Tiffany Clare...

Other Books in the Series

The Hallaway Sisters (2 books)
  • The Seduction of His Wife (Hallaway Sisters, #1)

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