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The Secret Desires of a Governess [Kindle Edition]

Tiffany Clare
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $6.83
You Save: $1.16 (15%)
Sold by: Macmillan


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Book Description

From the moment Abby meets her new employer—the mysterious, brooding Earl of Brendall—she is appalled by his brutish manner…and even more so 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 lays eyes on his new young governess, he knows he's in trouble. Abby is intelligent, defiant, and utterly captivating, but Elliott must do his very best to resist her.

But as the two grow closer, the passion burns hotter. In this historical romance from Tiffany Clare, author of The Surrender of a Lady, the only thing that can destroy their love is the darkest secret of his past—and the secret desires of a governess…

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Tiffany Clare:

"With its irrepressible heroine, deliciously dark and dangerous hero, and suitably atmospheric setting, Clare’s latest impeccably written novel cleverly references the classic gothic romances of Victoria Holt and Madeleine Brent, while at the same time incorporating plenty of the steamy passion and lush sensuality found in today’s brand of sexy historical romances."--Booklist on The Secret Desires of a Governess

"With its brooding hero and dark backdrop Clare brings an updated gothic twist to her latest novel. By incorporating the themes and red herrings of a classic Victoria Holt or Daphne du Maurier, she entices readers to keep turning the pages to uncover the mystery and savor the highly sensual romance." --RT Book Reviews on The Secret Desires of a Governess

"THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS is excellent reading material for those who like their romance novel with explosive love scenes and a good solid plot."--Fresh Fiction

“Tiffany Clare writes a swoon-worthy romance filled with rich details and vivid characters. Any readers wishing for a bold and sweeping historical romance need look no further—Tiffany Clare is a treasure of an author!”—Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author

“A unique, unforgettable, sensual love story sweeping from the harems of the east to staid Victorian ballrooms. Watch out for this sizzling new talent to rise to the top.”—RT Book Reviews on The Surrender of a Lady

“Exotic, bold and captivating. Tiffany Clare’s rich, sensual prose is delightful indulgence!”—Alexandra Hawkins, author of All Night with a Rogue

“Dazzling, daring and different! Exotic and erotic! The Surrender of a Lady will have you turning the pages until you finish, no matter how late it gets. Tiffany Clare is a bri...

From the Author

Excerpt © All Rights Reserved.

Without kissing her, Elliott's lips brushed over her cheek and around the shell of her ear. His breath was hot against her skin. Her eyes slid shut as he whispered in that gruff tone of his, "What do you want, Miss Hallaway?"



Oh, God, she was so close to falling into a trap that she daren't speak in fear of making this whole situation worse.

There wasn't a sound to be heard, except those that occurred in nature. A lone warbler chirped a soft song in the nearby shrubbery; gulls cried in the distance, their wails carried in on the wind whistling through the castle grounds. The constant chirp of crickets hummed around them as they stood quiet and still against the wall.

Then there were the even, deep breaths of Lord Brendall, awaiting the answer she could not give. Refused to give him. She clenched her hands into fists so she wasn't tempted to flatten them against his chest and feel the muscle so taut and brawny and just within her reach.

"Why should you want me at all?"

"I've been asking myself that question since you arrived."

What could she say to that? His hand glided firmly over her arm then around to the small of her back. His long fingers spread wide, his arm strong as he held her away from the cool stone wall.

Move away, she told herself. Slip beneath his arms and tell him he should stay away from her. Tell him that she wanted nothing to do with him, even though it was a lie.

No objection made it past her lips. Her fluttering, frantic heart did not beat in protest, either. Her mind, on the other hand, insisted she do what was proper before she acted on rash impulses.

But right was relative, wasn't it? "I have to go back to the house."

What a feeble excuse. The words were the right thing to say, her actions the opposite of what she should do to follow through on that suggestion.

"Not yet," he said, brushing his thumb over her right cheek and then cupping it with his palm. At least she held herself back from nuzzling into the rough feel of his hand. She looked up into his eyes; the blue was eaten up by the black centers. They were so intense and full of lustful hunger. Need. Want. It all mingled there. So many emotions, she couldn't pinpoint just one. She shouldn't have looked so closely at him. Because now she didn't know why she should deny herself something she wanted. Deny herself something that felt so right to indulge in.

Fists unfurled, she pressed them against his shirt and went up on her toes. She'd do the kissing this time. Because there was definitely going to be kissing. Lots of kissing if she could help it, since she liked the way his tongue rolled around in her mouth. The way he tasted faintly of coffee and brandy.

"Oh, damn," she whispered.

Before she could think better of her hasty actions, deny herself what she wanted most right now, her mouth pressed against his. She didn't start slow and gentle. She didn't want any such thing. She took and took. Delving her tongue into his mouth, thrusting her tongue against his, with his, around his.

This was a very bad idea. But no one would know what had transpired between them, except them. Mayhap it would be their little secret. She nearly snorted with that thought. It was as though she were reaching for a glittering shilling in a deep, deep well. Instead of clasping it, she was tumbling over the precipice. Eventually she knew she'd crash to the bottom, broken and dejected.

Yet she still reached for that shiny, tempting coin.

Product Details

  • File Size: 433 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; 1 edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004OA63EO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,707 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 2 stars bcs I payed money for it! July 8, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Picked this up when it first came out. I was traveling to Europe and thought it would make a great plane read. NO!

This novel failed to draw me in from the beginning. It took me 1 week to finish it (and that says a lot - as in, it is a horrible read). I even left it at my parents' house (an ocean away, where it belongs).

The novel felt choppy at best. The author needs to learn how to write more smoothly.

The story takes place in the country, in a dark, "gothic looking castle" - and it gets even more cliché from there.

Our hero is more believable that the heroine. He has issues because he is dyslexic, is rumored to have killed his first wife, and is generally consider villainous in the country surrounding his estates.

Our heroine is of respectable birth, and even has two sisters who through marriage are members of the ton. Yet, she is determined to be independent and make a life for herself, not relying on marriage, by becoming a governess (as if that can be believed in that time period).

Look, I really don't know where to start with this review. I just felt that people should not believe the rave reviews. Perhaps my standards are higher.

The love story was not all that well developed for me. The sexual attraction was there, but not as palpable as the "hot/hot/hot" reviews make it out to be. And as for the sizzling element - it could have been a lot better (especially after the hero mentions some spanking fantasies and then ends up having typical sex with the heroine). So may be that is what this novel is - a sort of tease. It makes on think that it is something more, something worthwhile, when in fact it is not worth it at all.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Barely tolerable. June 28, 2011
By Claire
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As an avid reader of HR, I often comb through reviews, hoping to avoid the poorly written drivel that sometimes looks like a novel, sounds like a novel, but reads like fan-fiction written by preteens. But whoever wrote glowing reviews for this book were either unaware of what distinguishes good quality from poor, or very dim...not unlike the characters. They were stupid, horny, and unable to take control of themselves in ANY aspect of their lives, and frankly, it got old. The sex scenes were steamy, it's true, but without intellect or personality between the characters, I might as well have watched porn. Furthermore, the characters had sex at wildly inappropriate times. If a man tried to put it in me after a near death experience and likely head trauma, I'd kick him where it counts. Lastly, I understand the quiet, reserved, Bronte-esque male lead, but there is nothing I hate more than a weepy, incapable, histrionic female.

Save your money, people.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sub-par romance, choppy writing November 14, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It took me a long time to read this book, and I only persevered because I paid good money to buy it. If I had borrowed it from a library, I would have not have bothered to finish it.

This is the second book of Ms. Clare's that I have read. I didn't care for "The Seduction of His Wife" either. The problem is that Ms. Claire's writing does not flow well, and her constant use of run-on sentences drives me insane. I'm surprised that her books make it all the way to publication, as they read more like the works of a self-published amateur writer. There is not much romance in her novels, either. There is a lot of sex, though, so if that's all you want, this book has it in spades. There was one sex scene that I took exception to, though <SPOILER AHEAD>. The heroine is struck in the head and dragged into the ocean, where the hero finds her. He finds her in the water with a gash on her head and takes her back to his bedroom. He lays her on his bed with her hair and body full of sand and sticky from the ocean. She wakes up with a headache, and they make love. Huh? Where did that come from?

I'm puzzled by the glowing recommendations for Ms. Claire's work from authors such as Lisa Kleypas and Anna Campbell. These authors are on my autobuy list and I haven't read a bad book from either of them. On reading their recommendations for Ms. Claire's books, I wondered if they had actually read the books. As authors of top-notch romances themselves, you would think that they would know what makes a good romance. As a romance reader for 20+ years, I know I do, and this isn't it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to write home about July 18, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although this story had the right atmosphere for a gothic romance (dark, foreboding castle, dark foreboding lord, bad weather etc) and the hero was appropriately flawed, the book just didn't quite work. The mystery started out well but the ultimate logic behind it was convoluted nonsense (I won't give spoilers) and the sexy scenes (and there were quite a few of them) didn't work for me. They seemed crass rather than romantic even when each character knew they loved the other. I'm not a prude but spanking just doesn't do it for me (sorry for that spoiler). I really wouldn't bother with this book.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The cover's beautiful. The book is terrible. July 18, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a voracious reader. I will probably read 300+ books this year. I made it to page 40 of THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS, and deleted it off my Kindle. The publishing house (and numerous reviews,) portrayed this book as a rival to JANE EYRE, one of my all-time favorite books. Uh, no.

First of all, I'd like to know why authors mentioned in the reviews (and reviewers I previously thought were truthful,) are raving about this book. The characters don't distinguish themselves. I love a oft-used historical romance trope (aristocratic woman down on her luck becomes a governess in the home of a dark, brooding, sensual man,) as much as the next woman, but if you're writing these characters, the characterizations had better sparkle. They don't. There should be a twist that sets them apart from those currently burning up the bestseller list. There isn't. Mostly, I am very frustrated that the promise of the first fifteen or so pages available in the preview collapsed into a poorly written mess.

Tiffany Clare's work has nothing to do with the funny, charming, beautifully written works of Julia Quinn.

I can't even express how disappointed I am in this book. If you're looking for an outstanding gothic, steamy romance read, this isn't it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Honestly I don't understand all the low reviews! The cover is indeed very pretty and was what caught my eye along with the recommendation from Lisa Kleypas. Read more
Published 7 months ago by R-tee Gibb
4.0 out of 5 stars look the cover of the book, yay.. I love purple :p
The reason I love read this book :

1. I love the cover so much ups.. I'm the cover lover *lol
2. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Eli
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
This was a very good read I enjoyed everything about it Tiffany Clare is an awesome writer love her books
Published 19 months ago by Malena Dawson
1.0 out of 5 stars Little plot
I thought, reading the back of the book, that this would be a gothic tale that would keep me reading to find out what happened next. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Stephanie P. Payne
2.0 out of 5 stars So Unlikely
The plot idea is fine and occasionally the author's capacity to write well breaks through, it is just a pity that the heroine's responses are so unlikely. Read more
Published on April 13, 2012 by Laurie
5.0 out of 5 stars Steamy read!
I read this book straight through, couldn't put it down! The sex scenes got me very hot and bothered, it was unreal. Read more
Published on October 22, 2011 by Tatiana L. Ortiz
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too much inner dialogue
I had great expectation for this book, based on some of the other reviews that I had read. That was my problem. Read more
Published on October 10, 2011 by Cocktails and Books
2.0 out of 5 stars barely readable
I almost never abandon books, but I was tempted with this one. The characters are neither described nor developed much throughout the book. Read more
Published on September 17, 2011 by Regina Phalange
3.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Desires of a Governess
I was very eager to get my hands on this book as I love the authors other 2 books. However it did fall short of my expectations of this author. Read more
Published on July 26, 2011 by Kim
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable. Mindless.
If you want to re-read a story plot you've probably already read, then this is the book for you. You don't have to think, you don't have to solve, you don't have to worry how it... Read more
Published on July 25, 2011 by J. Gossett
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More About the Author

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 in 2015. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two kids and two dogs.

Tiffany loves to hear from readers! You can email her at

You can also connect with her on:


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