4 of 5 stars
With the death of her parents, English governess Nicola Douglas finds herself alone with no prospects. She makes the decision to start anew in the distant of Australia, but what she finds is that there are far too many young women with the same dream for the scant few jobs available. Her life takes a unexpected turn when she meets wealthy benefactor, Mr. Belfroy. He offers her safe haven and eventually a job managing the women's shelter for those in need. Determined to be the master of her own destiny, she puts all of her efforts into making The Governess Home a success. To complicate her life further, she meets wealthy Nathaniel West and as much as she would like to ignore the arrogant and frustrating young man, her attraction to him grows, but will she abandon her the much needed work for her own happiness?
The character of Nicola Douglas is well-developed and speaks to the plight of young women of the 1860s without family or benefactors to protect them. It was a cruel world and I could feel her desperation and dogged determination to make a life for herself in spite of all odds against her. My favorite character was her friend Meg, a carefree spirit, who adds worry and unexpected joy to Nicola's life. I am a fan of Ms. Brear who does a great job of spinning a story that is captivating that will keep readers intrigued and turning the pages to find out the fate of Miss Nicola Douglas. Fans of historical romance will find this a delightful story of duty, compassion, joy and love. Recommended.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.