Lessons in Loving by Peter McAra

Lessons in Loving by Peter McAraLessons In Loving by Peter McAra
Published by Harlequin Enterpises AU on January 1st 2016
Pages: 170
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Wanted: Governess. Properly qualified in English, to instruct male pupil in rural location. Sydney, 1902. Desperate for a job, Kate Courtney travels to the faraway New England Ranges to interview for a governess position. She is greeted by wealthy landowner, ruggedly handsome Tom Fortescue, and is shocked to find that her new charge isn’t a small boy—but the grown man. It was Tom’s mother’s dying wish that he find a refined, elegant, English bride to marry. But a country man with country manners can never win a lady fair. Tom needs Kate to smooth away his rough edges, make him desirable to the English rose he wants to marry. But the more time Kate and Tom spend together, the closer they become, and Tom has to decide between the dreams of his childhood, and the reality that is right in front of him.

Wealthy landowner Tom Fortescue is in dire need of a governess to correct his language in order to win the hand of a high-brow English lady. Fresh out of teacher’s college, Kate Courtney’s ambitions have led her to rural New South Wales, but definitely not to a charge that turned out to be a strapping man who makes her knees weak. But the aristocratic English woman’s arrival signals to Kate that her contract is coming to an end and the heart she’s lost along the way to her charming pupil could never quite be regained when she finally walks away from Tom.

Sweetly written, with all the wholly innocent and proper mannerisms I’ve come to expect from Regency England coupled with rakish Australian charm, ‘Lessons in Loving’ explores the definitions of the gentleman, countrified behaviour and the Australian gentry along the way but is thankfully not as dire and bleak as any Dickensian treatise on social norms. I laughed my way through, thoroughly enjoyed that age-old dance Tom and Kate did without really realising it and simply allowed myself to be taken away by the descriptions of the bustling wharves and the panoramic splendour of the countryside.