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The Governess Club #2

The Governess Club: Bonnie

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Miss Bonnie Hodges, governess to the Darrow family, is desperately trying to hold it together. Tragedy has struck, and she is the sole person left to be strong for the two little boys in her care. When the new guardian arrives, she hopes that things will get better. She wasn't expecting her new employer to be the most frustrating, overbearing, and…handsome man she's ever seen.

Sir Stephen Montgomery is utterly distracted. He should be trying to figure out how his two best friends were killed in a suspicious accident and why the new young viscount seems destined to be the next victim. But he can't concentrate on anything but his growing infatuation with the beautiful, mysterious, and utterly captivating governess.

Together they're doing their best to save the two boys, but will Stephen's feelings for Bonnie get in the way of their search for a killer?

192 pages, ebook

First published September 17, 2013

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About the author

Ellie Macdonald

8 books52 followers
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 traveled to five different continents, she has swum with elephants, scuba dived through coral mazes, visited a leper colony, and climbed waterfalls and windmills, but her favorite place remains Regency England. She currently lives in Manitoba, Canada. The Governess Club series is her first published work.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews
Profile Image for Melanie.
922 reviews29 followers
August 29, 2016
I'm not sure why both the first and second story in this series were presented to us as short novellas. I think if they were combined, it would have been a better presentation.

In any case, the second story was good, but it lacked focus on the main characters, yet I still found it interesting and entertaining. I also thought the plot intriguing, and the fast pace contributed to my over all enjoyment.

Since this author is new to me and so far I've only experienced her voice in only short stories, I'm looking forward to reading the next two books in this series as both of those stories will be full books and not novellas.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
Profile Image for Lady Wesley.
924 reviews311 followers
September 20, 2013
This novella was short and sweet but not terribly engaging. Bonnie's mother had been a governess who became a rich man's mistress; she raised her daughter to be a governess. Thus, I found it incredible that Bonnie would so easily fall into bed with Sir Stephen. There was a mystery, but it wasn't much of one. Sir Stephen is no Sherlock; he doesn't even ask who would inherit the title if the new young viscount dies. Ellie Macdonald is a competent writer, but the plot had inconsistencies. For example, after witnessing their parents' deaths in a carriage accident, the little boys refuse to ride in a carriage. Later, they are complaining about having to walk to the village, noting that the carriage would have been warmer. They refuse to leave Bonnie's side, so she sleeps on a trundle bed in their room, but later they have their own separate rooms. Sir Stephen is said to have inherited a barony, in which case he would be Lord Something and not Sir Stephen. I would not recommend this book.
Profile Image for Tin.
340 reviews110 followers
September 30, 2013
Disclosure: I received this book from the tour organizer (via Edelweiss) as part of the book tour. Thank you to Tasty Book Tours, to Ellie MacDonald and to Avon Impulse for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.

* * *

Bonnie Hodges serves as governess to Henry and Arthur, the young sons of Viscount Darrow. After she and the boys witness the horrifying accident that kills the Viscount and his wife, Bonnie has no choice but to delay her planned resignation from Darrowgate, waiting for the boys' guardian to arrive.

Sir Stephen Montgomery hadn't expected the welcome he receives at Darrowgate. His closest childhood friend is dead only a week after sending him an ominous note. Sir Stephen had come to help his friend investigate the strange accidents -- he had not expected to investigate his own friend's tragic death.

There is something afoot here, Stephen, and I cannot put my finger on it. My worry increases daily, not for myself, but for my family. Small accidents are becoming larger and harder to explain away and no longer involve only me. You must come, I beg of you. You have always had a knack for ferreting things out. The safety and well-being of my family depends on it. There is no one I trust more.
- loc 202

There is more to the mystery than what the late viscount had written about: not only was there a trail of mysterious accidents but also a trail of bad business investments -- and it takes all of Sir Stephen's time and energy to untangle the knot of lies, questions and decisions that lay before him.

Add to his added burden is Bonnie's insistence that he act as guardian to the boys. It grates at Sir Stephen to be told of his responsibilities -- he has no choice but to continue to work and live with Bonnie, whom the boys are attached to and who continue to irritate (and fascinate) him with each passing day.

Two people put in an unusual situation brought about by unusual circumstances -- And drawn to one another by an inexplicable attraction. Try as he might, Stephen cannot help but see Bonnie as a mere governess -- Bonnie who courageously stands up to him and speaks up for her charges' well-being. And Bonnie knows of the dangers of falling in love with her employer -- but Stephen and his dreams of a family prove irresistible.

He felt so deep in the hole he had dug, Stephen thought he would take a risk. "For instance, if we were married, I wouldn't be standing here."

She looked at him in question. "You wouldn't?"

He shook his head. "I would be sitting beside you, like this."

He put his actions to words and settled on the sofa beside her, not close enough to touch, but he could feel her heat. "I might even sit like this." He stretched his arm along the back of the sofa, his sleeve brushing her shoulders.

Bonnie cleared her throat. He was so close she could smell the sandalwood cologne he wore and tingles radiated along her shoulders where his sleeve brushed them. "Might you?"

"Aye. I imagine many evenings spent like this with my wife, just the two of us."
- loc 1273 - 1288

Ellie MacDonald continues to build on the compelling world of governesses in her latest installment of The Governess Club. In Bonnie's story, MacDonald showcases her skillful hand at painting a murder mystery: who wanted the Viscount killed and why? The mystery deepens when more accidents happen: this time to Bonnie and the two boys.

I really enjoyed reading about Sir Stephen's methods of investigation -- his deductive skills reminded me of Sherlock Holmes. He's observant and logical and able to think on his feet -- but what is most amazing about Sir Stephen is that he does not disengage from the people around him. All of his actions, his decisions always takes into consideration the welfare of the two boys and of Darrowgate.

Bonnie has such a nurturing spirit. Ellie MacDonald hints at some emotional baggage for Bonnie: her mother was also a governess who became her employer's mistress and Bonnie was the result of that arrangement, so there is a weariness to Bonnie and she also struck me as a bit bleak and a bit too serious. I thought this aspect of her character was under-utilized in the story, but MacDonald succeeds in painting a picture of Bonnie that is so very distinct from Claire (and also Sara and Louisa.)

What really shines through in this story is the growing bond between Sir Stephen, the two boys and Bonnie -- like it or not, each interaction was a string that eventually tied them all together as a hodge-podge sort of family. The irony was not lost on me: Sir Stephen's own childhood wasn't a happy or idyllic experience but it is a testament to his own personal character that he learned from the mistakes of his own parents and is applying the lessons to how he is raising Arthur and Henry. And it's interesting that, the position that caused her mother's ruin is the same position that restores Bonnie.

The Governess Club: Bonnie is a very compelling book with nail-biting/exciting and heartwarming moments. It is the second installment in Ellie MacDonald's The Governess Club series. Definitely looking forward to reading the next one!
Profile Image for Lorka .
782 reviews
Shelved as 'dnf-at-all'
February 12, 2020
I didn't very far into this book. The hero and heroine just did not click for me. Book #3 Sara was my favorite of this series.
Profile Image for Lexie.
2,073 reviews297 followers
October 1, 2013
The second novella in MacDonald's "Governess Club" series features Bonnie, who as the beginning letters to Claire (the heroine of the first novella) explain, has remained with her charges after their parents' untimely deaths a couple months previously. She's worked with the two boys for almost three years and after witnessing their parents' deaths decides to stay on until their Guardian arrives and hopefully is able to help the boys in their grief.

Whereas Claire's novella set up an unlikely scenario, Bonnie's is more realistic in its portrayal. With the eldest now the Viscount at merely 8 years old, the youngest all but mute and both unwilling to leave Bonnie's side for more then a few minutes at a time, it made sense for Bonnie to stay on until they grew accustomed to their guardian (a friend of their parents').

I liked that Bonnie didn't let their guardian, Sir Stephen (a landless baron), push her around in regards to what the boys needed. While he may have had his heart in the right place, he doesn't understand what they needed to feel comfortable with him or their new circumstances.

The underlying mystery of who killed the children's parents is a good one, though MacDonald played her hand too quickly with who it could be. Stephen and Bonnie work through the possibilities and attack the question intelligently, relying on evidence and a bit of history digging.

As for the romance its a slow build, like Claire's was. I did get a bit annoyed with Bonnie's constant 'Sir Sir Sir'ing. It started to sound less then respectful at one point in fact.

Oh! And it was a rather amusing conversation Stephen had with the young viscount. In child like innocence all the kid wants is to keep Bonnie with them forever, but he understands she can't stay on. So his solution would be to marry her, but he feels he might be a bit young for that so wouldn't Stephen please marry Bonnie just to keep her around? Out of the mouths of babes and all that.
Profile Image for Megan.
348 reviews45 followers
August 20, 2013
This title can be read as a stand alone. All the governess’ are introduced in book one and each subsequent story is about a different governess.

Bonnie was raised to be a governess by her mother. She enjoys her job but when the Governess Club comes up with the plan to get their independence by offering private lessons, she agrees. Being their own boss and taking only the charges they want make the governess’ lives similar. Bonnie’s one problem right now is the recent death of her employers in a carriage accident. Since their guardian, Sir Stephen Montgomery, has yet to arrive she finds herself thrust into a mothering role for her young charges. When Sir Stephen arrives all he wants to do is get to the bottom of how is best friend was murdered. Not knowing who to trust he watches everyone but finds himself drawn to the quiet governess. Trusting her becomes necessary and together they endeavor to keep the boys safe and find the perpetrator.

Like the first book in the series, we are treated to characters that aren’t part of the haut ton. Stephen is a baron but he is landless so, while he does outrank Bonnie, it doesn’t take him long to overlook the fact that she is ‘just the governess.’ I enjoyed watching Stephan and Bonnie slowly come together. There wasn’t any instant love or even lust. As they get to know each other, they start to develop feelings that they eventually act on. There is a murder plot in the story and while it is pretty significant, I had the bad guy figured out almost from the start.

We get to see a little of what happens to the characters from book one. We get to see letters that Bonnie writes to Claire, the heroine from book one. They show us what Claire is up to and how things are going with the Governess Club. I am looking forward to reading more in this series as they come out.
Profile Image for June.
104 reviews19 followers
November 2, 2013
The second book (novella?) from upcoming author Ellie Macdonald.

Bonnie Hodges is a governess to children of late Viscount Darrow. After the accident that killed both the Viscount and his Viscountess, Bonnie vow to not left the children, at least not until their guardian come. However, when the guardian finally come, it become apparent that caring of those two orphaned is not his number one priority. But why oh why, despite his arrogance, she find herself to be intrigued with him?
Sir Stephen Montgomery, the guardian find himself to be thinking about the beautiful governess, a lot. But he got bigger problem in hand. He's suspicious that his friend, the late Viscount was actually murdered. And he fear that the new Viscount would be the next target.
Together they try to keep the boys save and uncover the villain who intend to finish his job.

The book started really well. But after some pages, I feel that the narrative annoyed me for a bit. I find the writing to be inconsistent. The pace move too fast. The characters, while at first appear to be interesting become bland and boring. The heat and passion in their supposed romance almost non-existend. And the mystery is not much mystery either. I think everyone would guess correctly the villain right from the start. The book had a lot potential, unfortunately it failed to explore the possibilities. Maybe if it was full-lenght novel, instead of novella, the story would be much better.

However I think Ellie Macdonald is a promising author. I hope she'll be more patient in developing her plot and characters for next book.
Profile Image for Farrah.
1,249 reviews209 followers
October 8, 2013
A lovely continuation of The Governess Club series. Bonnie was a wonderful historical romance novella.

Bonnie was a lovely heroine. I really liked how dedicated she was to her charges (and those two little boys were adorable). Her loyalty to them and her determination to take care of and protect them made her a likable character. She was great. I really liked her.

Stephen was also wonderful. He was really sweet. Like Bonnie, he's very loyal. He was a great hero and I really liked him.

The plot was well paced. I was kept interested the entire way through. The only reason this novella isn't getting full stars is because I just wasn't totally hooked. It wasn't really a problem, though, just a minor issue. I really enjoyed the story and the mystery of who was after the Darrows was thrilling. I never suspected who it turned out to be. The story was great and the ending was lovely.

Bonnie was a wonderful historical romance. I really enjoyed reading this novella. Lovers of romance, this is a book you'll want to read.

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
2,102 reviews30 followers
November 4, 2019
Still felt American and I detest the use of contemporary words like "process" referring to thinking and phrases like "in the same page" in present day context... these distort the Timeline for me, thus making this work inauthentic. Good storyline, though... not too common.

P.S. ~ I would apologize in advance if the above mentioned examples of word and phrase do not refer to this particular book but I am pretty sure they appeared in one of those I read regarding The
Governess Club.
Profile Image for Ana Ionite.
49 reviews5 followers
January 28, 2018
Very touching love story & salt&pepper: an atrocious murder case to solve. Bonnie and her aristocratic ”Clyde” became detectives. A lot of emotions to feel and action to chill ...My only minus to this book: not as sexy as Maiden Lane or Pennyroyal Green. I look forward to read the next 2 stories.
125 reviews
April 22, 2020
Fun Read

Good read for a rainy afternoon at the beach. A bit of a mystery to this Bonnie Governess Club book. But the romance between Bonnie the governess and Sir Stephen the employer is fun to read as they grow to love one another.
Profile Image for Annika.
645 reviews45 followers
March 3, 2021
My favorite so far because of the murder mystery. Why is Louisa so awful. I already read her (final) installment of this series but she's absolutely grotesque. Bonnie is so far the most lively and likable.

I like these are novellas.
Profile Image for Angela.
582 reviews3 followers
February 15, 2020
This is a romance but there was suspense and intrigue and murder involved. The new guardian and Bonnie had to get to know each other and watch there backs.
Profile Image for Mary - Buried Under Romance .
369 reviews164 followers
September 24, 2013
Originally Posted on: Buried Under Romance

The second novella in Ellie Macdonald’s The Governess Club series features Bonnie, a beautiful and kind-hearted heroine who is in ways like the Beauty to Sir Stephen Montgomery’s Beast.

In the wake of Claire (The Governess Club: Claire)’s betrothal to Mr. Knightly, Bonnie writes of her plight: her employers, Viscount and Viscountess Darrow, have died in a carriage accident, leaving their two young sons orphaned and the elder in possession of the title. Sir Stephen Montgomery is named the boys’ guardian, a task he takes to dislike for he neither had the patience nor special fondness for children, especially not when he is trying to solve a mystery: his friend’s murder. Stephen knows his friend’s death was no carriage accident, but a deliberate murder, so he is suspicious of the household, though his doubts of Bonnie quickly vanished:

“The boys are suffering from severe trauma. They know me and I care for them. Henry and Arthur need someone they can trust. There is nothing admirable about it.” – Loc 189 of 2115

From the onset, Bonnie is far more likable than Stephen. Her character is that of a sweet yet resilient governess, who puts her charges first before herself, staying to care for them even when no wage is being paid. On the other hand, Stephen test Bonnie’s trustworthiness; he somewhat desires her, but mostly his thoughts turn to the mystery at hand. He initially comes off as a cold and unyielding man, knowing not how to care for young children.

“You misunderstand me, sir. It is the children who do not leave me, not the other way around.”
“Ridiculous. They are children. Call a maid or footman.” – Loc 161 of 2115

In the end, he still is. There are moments when Stephen seems to bond with the children through teaching Henry to ride and Bonnie, though those are short-lived as Stephen’s suspicions ruin what bonhomie they had built.

“Well, I certainly fell assured that the man who has done nothing to gain out trust feels that I am worthy.” – Loc 488 of 2115

In essence, Stephen exhibits behaviors typically attributed to a scarred hero; he is coarse in mannerisms, unrefined and unsophisticated, while Bonnie, despite being a lowly governess (in the eyes of Regency society), has beauty of character far beyond that of Stephen. With regards to Bonnie and Stephen’s romance, it is very much instant love. That is, based on Stephen’s own thoughts and his actions, he appreciates Bonnie and lusts after her, but until the end he did not behave toward her any differently than when they were first acquainted. It seemed as if the lack of pages post-resolving the murder case had left Stephen with little recourse to go on if he wanted to win Bonnie back, and even then, he did not show the signs of a man in love, mainly a hero who needs to be with his heroine at the end. On that point, Bonnie was too accepting of Stephen’s mercurial thinking, one minute pushing her away, only to ask her hand in marriage on the last page. Naturally, given that this is a novella, it is understandable that the “love” between the characters must be rushed, but for the story’s over focusing on the murder mystery, the romance element was rather hastily put together, and not as refined as in Claire’s story.

*Review copy provided by the publisher via edelweiss
Profile Image for Mrs Giggles.
138 reviews28 followers
October 15, 2013
Bonnie is a part of Ellie Macdonald's series The Governess Club, but it can stand alone very well. That's the good news. The bad news is that, while the author still shows that she can deliver some very competent writing, the story is not very interesting to read.

Bonnie Hodges is a governess. Her mother was a governess who became her employer's mistress, and that didn't turn out so hot. Bonnie, therefore, has some issues about fraternizing with the boss, so this means she takes... oh, 10 pages longer than usual before putting out to the boss. Maybe I can't be too hard on Ms Macdonald: this is a pretty short story, and therefore, the sex scene has to be in there... somewhere.

When this story opens, Bonnie's employer and his wife had died in a terrible carriage accident. It was very sad, and the two sons were traumatized. Bonnie couldn't desert her charges so she decides to stay, even if she isn't paid, until these kids' guardian shows up.

Sir Stephen Montgomery shows up to catch up with his friend, only to learn that the friend is dead and he is now guardian to the dead man's kids. Naturally, he wants to look into the deaths, but he also has to look into the affairs of the estate. Bonnie is a distraction that he doesn't want, or so he thinks.

The romance in this story is very muted. The main characters spend a lot of time being concerned about the kids, especially when "accidents" start happening around them. This is understandable, but this also means that the romance isn't very happening. I'm told that Bonnie and Stephen are attracted to one another, but these two don't even seem to like each other when they are together. They seem more like, well, an employer and his employee. The chemistry is non-existent.

This won't be so bad if the mystery is interesting, but it isn't. The cast is small, so it's very easy to guess who the villain is. For someone bent on investigating the deaths of his best friend and the friend's wife, Stephen seems pretty clueless. Let me put it this way: he doesn't even check to see who would inherit everything when the eldest boy dies, and I'd think that's the first thing even a novice investigator would think of checking.

The story also suffers from some glaring inconsistencies. For example, the kids are too traumatized to sit in a carriage, I'm told, but then they'd ask for a carriage later in the story. These kids stick to Bonnie when it's convenient, but when she and Stephen want to play, they abruptly have no problems sleeping in their own rooms. My favorite inconsistency is how Bonnie would write an anguished letter to her friend, lamenting that she's being tempted like her mother to put out to the boss, so oh, life is so complicated but she will never give in... only to do just that a few pages later.

With neither an interesting romance nor mystery, Bonnie is just a competently written bore of a read.
Profile Image for Gaele.
4,079 reviews80 followers
September 29, 2014
We first heard of Bonnie and the difficulties with her position from a letter shared in Claire’s story. This second installment of the Governess Club series by Ellie Macdonald is now focusing on her and the mystery surrounding her young charge’s parents.

When the Viscount Darrow and his wife are mysteriously and suddenly killed in an accident, Bonnie is left with their two young sons in her charge. She is tasked with waiting for their guardian to arrive, and arrive with a vengeance he does: Sir Stephen arrives without patience for children and a bit of a chip on his shoulder regarding the “help”.

In what has come to be my expectation from this author, she manages to provide fully developed characters that are detailed with distinction and singular presence. Bonnie is a wholly likeable character: her determination to protect the children, and her devotion to them in standing up to Stephen’s rather oafish manners and behavior are admirable and make her the favorite in the story.

Stephen is more a fish out of water, with his concerns more involved with the death of his friend: he knows it was not an accident and is determined to find the murderer and bring him to justice. While he hasn’t the exposure to children, his manner with them is far less patient and based in some fairly antiquated expectations of both the children’s abilities and Bonnie’s true intentions. We do, however, see him loosen up and grow in both his openness to the children and to Bonnie, although this wasn’t as openly displayed in his behavior. In fact, much of his energy was directed toward resolving the murder of the Viscount and his wife, and only after that was done was he realizing that perhaps his lustful feelings toward Bonnie were more than just simply physical.

While I didn’t enjoy the love story as much in this book as in the first, the quality of characters, writing and plot were stellar and the story is a wonderful installment in this new series. I wholeheartedly recommend this series to fans of regency and historical romance, and while you can read each book without no great loss of plot or story, you will want to read both – they are that good.

I received an eArc copy from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review as part of a tour with Tasty Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Profile Image for Stevie Carroll.
Author 4 books25 followers
November 11, 2013
Previously reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread:

I was a little unsure what I was going to get with this book. The first book in the series had a cute premise, but far too many anachronisms and errors (especially with regard to titles and their inheritance) for me to be entirely happy with it. This book, I’m pleased to report, does far better on the latter score other than one brief dip into 20th/21st Century pop-psychology and a few situations where I couldn’t quite believe the hero and heroine would really have got away with being alone together. But such is the nature of a lot of romances.

From the very start we know this is going to be a somewhat darker story than the previous one. Bonnie’s employers have been killed in an accident – in front of the children and their governess – and since their deaths there seems to be a problem with payment of the servants’ wages. Enter Sir Stephen Montgomery, appointed guardian to the two little boys and in charge of the estate until the elder reaches his majority. Stephen, however, knows none of this, but has arrived in response to a summons from his friend, the boys’ father, written five days before the accident, hinting that all was not right in his household.

Stephen and Bonnie join forces to try to uncover who might have wanted to kill his friends and whether that same person is responsible for money being lost from the estate due to dubious investments. Then ‘accidents’ start occurring again, mostly directed at the older of the boys, but with others getting caught up in them too. I like the mystery; it is fairly obvious who the villain is, but it takes a while before we learn the motive. On the other hand, the initial showdown with Stephen happens off-screen, as it were, and I’d have preferred to have seen that instead of the rather unlikely sex scene and even less likely morning-after scene.

The final showdown is effective enough though, and most, if not all, loose ends get tied up afterwards. I do wonder rather at Sir Stephen’s phonetically rendered Scottish accent; I’d have thought that any deviation from correct English would have been beaten out of him at school, but on the whole this book gives me more hope for the rest of the series than its predecessor. I’ll be interested to see how this pair (and the two boys) are assimilated into the group at the school belonging to the Governess Club – or not, as the case may be.
Profile Image for Pam.
916 reviews40 followers
October 2, 2013
Bonnie is a member of the governess club and while she is ready to join the girls she has a responsibility first. The two little boys she cars for have had a horrible tragedy happen and now are orphans. Until their new guardian arrives she will not leave these boys. When Sir Stephen appears he is surprised to learn that not only is his two best friends are dead he is now the guardian of these two boys. While he tries to solve the mystery of his friends murder he also gets to know the two boys and their protective governess Bonnie. Bonnie truly loves these kids and will do whatever to protect them. She doesn't expect to fall for Stephen and knows it can go no where as she is a nobody and he is an important man. They have to work together to find a killer and keep the boys safe. Each day grows harder for them to fight their feelings for each other and danger seems to be lurking every where.

Bonnie is a wonderful woman who really loves these kids who are not even hers. She doesn't leave them like others did and will not leave them until she knows they are cared for. She is a beautiful caring woman and strong as you will see. She tries her best to let nothing get her down. She is scared of her feelings for Stephen as she never expected to find someone who could care for her. She has a family secret she really doesn't want anyone to know. Stephen at first seems kind of gruff and standoffish but you see it just because he is trying to figure out if it was an accident or murder. He is a strong, smart man who doesn't consider that he is better than anyone else. He grows to care for the kids and Bonnie as well as he learns to trust her and he begins to fall for her.

This book adds an element of danger to the series. You get Bonnie's story and you might think she is the quiet one but you see she is really very strong. I love Bonnie and Stephen's story they work well together in all areas. I had guess part of this mystery but it still had a few surprises in store for me. These two boys are the type you want to take home and cuddle with. Again the author does a great job giving another member of the governess club her story. This is different than the first one so it fely fresh and new. Historical romance fans here is a series for you to try.
Profile Image for Cruth.
1,656 reviews127 followers
October 10, 2013
Warning: When trying to view the excerpts on my Kindle for Mac, the Kindle program crashes.

"She was, after all, just a governess." p.20, loc.287

Author: Ellie Macdonald
First published: 2013
Length: 143 pages, 2236 locations
Setting: England, 1822
Sex: reasonably specific but only the once and there's more story than sex.
Series: Book 2 of 4(?)
Includes: excerpts from Skies of Gold by Zoe Archer, Crave by Monica Murphy, Can't Help Falling in Love by Cheryl Harper, Things Good Girls Don't Do by Codi Gary.

You know, I was really enjoying the story. It was a great yarn with interesting characters... until the last chapter.

I was not happy with how it wound up.

A very disappointing ending - not enough grovel, too much Insta-Love, and no explanation for her sudden lack of backbone. I was willing to forgive her bed-leap given the genre, but I can't forgive the wrap-up.


The Governess Club:
Book 1 The Governess Club: Claire - Claire Bannister and Jacob Knightly
Book 2 The Governess Club: Bonnie - Bonnie Hodges and Stephen Montgomery
Book 3 Sara
Book 4 Louisa

Author's website: http://www.elliemacdonald.com/

(ISBN 9780062292247)

Profile Image for Pam.
872 reviews
September 19, 2013
The second in this fun novella series with engaging women who want more out of life than working as governesses. This second book about Bonnie is a wonderful addition.

Bonnie Hodges is unable to join Claire, Sara and Louisa at Ridgestone, her two young charges need her after the death of their parents. They were recently traumatized as they witnessed the deaths when the carriage carrying their parents crashed. Bonnie wants to wait for the guardian to come to Darrowgate before she can make any decisions about her life.

Sir Stephen Montgomery is names the guardian of the boys, Henry and Arthur. Stephen had received a letter from George before he died saying something was wrong, now he thinks George may have been murdered. Stephen is stuffy and rigid and does not bond right away with the boys and Bonnie calls him out for this.

After a series of accidents happen, Henry falling from a horse and Bonnie being poisoned, the two step up their investigation of what is going on, as they spend more time together their relationship blossoms and they fall in love.

I enjoyed this second installment of the series and look forward to more. Although we get a few glances of the other girls, this book takes place away from Ridgestone, as we watch how Bonnie and the boys interact with the new guardian. Bonnie is fun and engaging and the perfect fit for Stephen. I like Stephen, although he is stuffy at first, but he has his reasons, however I do believe he falls in love too fast, definitely no angst in their relationship, as the main story is the solving of the murder.

The plot progression is well done and I enjoy each of the characters in the series. I like that each of the heroes, so far, are more like the women, just outside of the ton as they are either second sons or landless barons. A well written series that I will be continuing.

Copy received from publisher through Edelweiss for an honest review
Profile Image for Secretly Reading.
944 reviews
September 17, 2013
Originally reviewed for The Book Vixen

In a Nutshell: Nice historical with a straightforward romance and cute child plot-moppets.

The Set Up: Bonnie is the governess for two young boys whose parents just died. The children’s new guardian is Sir Stephen Montgomery who believes the deaths weren’t accidental. Bonnie knows better than to get involved with Stephen but when an attempt is made on her life, she can’t resist taking comfort from Stephen.

Why I Read this Book: Avon Addict here and I enjoyed novella one (my review) in this series.

What I Liked: This is a nice little novella that doesn’t attempt anything flashy but sticks with a straightforward story. Bonnie and Stephen have a solid romance with just enough tension with her being a servant to him being a lordship and guardian to her charges. The sex is uncomplicated without drama or forced tension and I liked that. The emotional denouement is mildly satisfying and fit the simple characters.

What I Also Liked: I’m not like Brianna as I enjoy children plot moppets in some of my romance. Bonnie’s charges are three and eight years old and very cute. Henry is the new viscount after the death of his father and his conversation with Stephen about how to make Bonnie stay is adorable. Little Arthur is three and provides the little sniffle moment at novella’s end when he finally starts talking again after witnessing the deaths of his parents. I like this little novella of family building between the four of them.

What I Didn’t Like: This isn’t an angst-filled romance and it isn’t going to stick out in the nearly 500 books I read a year but it was sweet. The identity of the killer isn’t going to surprise any reader but it was a good hour’s read that held my attention.

IMO: I liked this novella and think other fans of uncomplicated historical romance may like it too.
*review copy from publisher*
927 reviews4 followers
October 17, 2013
“Bonnie” is book number two in The Governess Club series by Ellie Macdonald, her first published work. I liked this novel because it kept my interest until the very end. Bonnie Hodges is the governess for two little boys whose parents have just died in a tragic accident. The whole house is waiting for the arrival of the guardian of the children, Steven Montgomery, a good friend of the deceased Viscount and father of the boys.

When Baron Montgomery arrives, he is suspicious of most everyone in the manor house. It seems that George Darrow, the boys’ father thought that someone was trying to murder his family. He and his wife Roslyn were involved in quite a few mishaps before the accident that took their lives. Steven Montgomery is determined to get to the bottom of the reason for the accident and find out if it really was an accident.

I enjoyed the repartee between Steven and Bonnie from their first meeting. She did not act subordinate to him and he seemed to accept that because she doted on her charges, Henry and Arthur. Steven and Bonnie were quite taken with each other, but each had reasons not to act upon this growing affection. I thought the story line was well thought out and well presented. I would like to read the other novels in this series.

I was sent this free advance reader kindle copy of this book from the publisher, Avon and Night Owl Reviews in return for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

You can find this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p2pjIt-8i
Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,701 reviews779 followers
November 21, 2014
This is the second book of the series, and I have enjoyed this series...its has been jolly good fun. I adore governess romances, and this one was quite entertaining and had a aspect of mystery mixed in with the story that added a sense of intrigue and suspense. The story is about a governess, who is over two little boys, whose parents have died in a horrible accident, and their guardian is Sir Stephen Montgomery. Stephen was the father's best friend, and is now guardian over two boys and learning about the death of his two closest friends. When certain events lead him to think that his friends death was no accident, and that there is foul play around them, involving poison and cut saddles, he has no choice but to use every knowledge he has to find the culprit, and meanwhile he is drawn to the governess: Bonnie. A woman of poise and a sweet nature.

One thing that I really liked about this installment, was the connection that we see between Bonnie and Stephen...they definitely have some sparks flying around them, but I also enjoyed the aspect of her connection to the two little boys, the romance was steady and slow and we see quite a deep development on the emotional with a balance of the physical portion of their relationship. It was quite a ride, seeing Bonnie's spunky nature and Stephen's rakish behavior clash and merge together. I also felt like that the way that this author builds this story up, with the development of characters and the story line, we have a love story that is bound to pull at your heartstrings. ENDEARING!!
Profile Image for My Book Addiction and More MBA.
1,958 reviews61 followers
October 25, 2013
THE GOVERNESS CLUB: BONNIE by Ellie MacDonald is an exciting Regency Historical Romance. #2 in "The Governess Club" series, but can be read as a stand alone. See, "The Governess Club: Claire". Another hit for this talented author whose writing is only improving with each title. This is the story of: Miss Bonnie Hodges, governess to the Darrow family and Sir Stephen Montgomery, the new ward of her charges. Tragedy has struck the Darrow family, both parents where killed leaving the two young boys with Bonnie to care for them until Sir Stephen enters their lives. He is determined to find out what happened to his best friend and his wife.accidental by foot and someone is trying to kill the young Viscount,who is having accidents himself. Although, Sir Stephen is a bit over the top, he is determined to keep his charges and their Governess safe. Bonnie is spunky, and determined to hold the boys together and move on with her life. Except when emotions enter the picture all bets are off. With danger, romance and passion what's not to enjoy. Another fast paced, quick read from this author. Well done! Keep them coming. I can hardly wait to hear what happens to the next Governess Club governess. A must read! Received for an honest review from the publisher.



REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Profile Image for Jennie.
158 reviews6 followers
September 1, 2016
From Goodreads: Miss Bonnie Hodges, governess to the Darrow family, is desperately trying to hold it together. Tragedy has struck, and she is the sole person left to be strong for the two little boys in her care. When the new guardian arrives, she hopes that things will get better. She wasn't expecting her new employer to be the most frustrating, overbearing, and…handsome man she's ever seen.

Sir Stephen Montgomery is utterly distracted. He should be trying to figure out how his two best friends were killed in a suspicious accident and why the new young viscount seems destined to be the next victim. But he can't concentrate on anything but his growing infatuation with the beautiful, mysterious, and utterly captivating governess.

Together they're doing their best to save the two boys, but will Stephen's feelings for Bonnie get in the way of their search for a killer?

My thoughts: Another good example of how to write a short story and still be able to actually tell a story. I didn't quite like this one as much as the first in the series, but I have had a hard time decided if that was the story or the characters (which for some reason I just never quite connected with). Definitely an author I'll watch and look for further stories.
Profile Image for WTF Are You Reading?.
1,300 reviews87 followers
September 1, 2013
The road to romance seems paved with mystery for young governess, Bonnie Hodges.
After the suspicious deaths of Viscount and Viscountess Darrow, Bonnie stands as their only safe haven amid the chaos of deserting servants and uncertain futures.

Enter Stephen Montgomery, as friend to the Darrow's and and guardian to their sons. Stephen feels that it is his duty to unravel the mystery surrounding the deaths, while insuring the safety of the household...
But is his heart safe with Bonnie?

This romantic morsel is sweet enough to melt the heart of any reader. Bonnie's fierce loyalty to her young charges, coupled with Stephen's need to protect them while honoring the memory of his late friends; is a wonderful introduction to the minds of these two.
Bonnie is a perfect counter for the serious Stephen, and manages to impress him with her quick with and sparkling humor.
She also serves as a of sorts, when it comes to handling the boys. It seems that while school is in session, he teaches her to listen to her heart.
This is a very short read. The perfect little vacation from the everyday. - See more at: http://www.wtfareyoureading.com/#stha...
Profile Image for Jo (My House of Books).
367 reviews22 followers
September 2, 2015
The Governess Club: Bonnie is the second novella in The Governess Club series by Ms. MacDonald. Though Claire and Jacob from The Governess Club: Claire do make a short appearance, it's not necessary to have read any other novellas in the series.

Bonnie has delayed her arrival to join her friends, fellow governesses, when tragedy strikes the family who employs her. She feels guilt about leaving her young charges, so she decides to stay and see what will happen with their guardian arrives. Bonnie and Sir Stephen Montgomery don't see eye-to-eye immediately, but the undercurrent of attraction between them is quite obvious.

I liked that Stephen is trying to solve a mystery, and that Bonnie's story is similar in tone -- and outcome! -- but not in content to Claire's. I am anxious to read the remaining novellas featuring Louisa and Sara, respectively.
Profile Image for Codi Gary.
Author 33 books880 followers
August 28, 2013
The second installment of The Governesses Club was just as entertaining as the first, with a bit of a mystery to it. I adored Sir Stephen, especially when he would get upset or emotional and his accent would thicken and I could just imagine the Scottish Brogue....sigh...I loved Arthur and Henry, and the close relationship they shared with Bonnie after their trauma,and that last intense scene had me chewing my nails. The story was well written, the language was beautiful, and the romance was sigh worthy...Fantastic Job Ellie! Can't wait for the next one!
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