Industrial-Sized Deals Shop all Back to School Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Beach House $5 Off Fire TV Stick Off to College Essentials Shop Popular Services pivdl pivdl pivdl  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Big Savings in the Amazon Fall Sportsman Event Deal of the Day

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2004
It's a romance, and you expect a happy ending, but the journey Mary Balogh creates to get there is so satisfying. Her characters are plausible, the dialog is clever and apt, and the situations play out without awkward deus ex machina. You may want to smack the earl upside the head occasionally, but it's because Balogh writes so well. You like the characters, so when they behave irrationally, they disappoint you. That's good writing.
Jessica is a governess, more of a companion now, to a vain and complacent debutante. Rutherford is a houseguest, misled by his hosts into thinking it would be a much larger house party. He is as annoyed by the presumption that he'll offer for the young lady of the house, as he is intrigued to see if the little grey governess is really a pretty dove under her servant's clothing. She could relieve the tedium of his stay.
Or not! Jessica is offended by the Earl's overtures and repels them, but, caught by her employer alone with the Earl, she is dismissed. The Earl, not knowing his own behavior has ended life as Jessica knows it, decides to leave before his host's complacent assumption that his daughter is about to receive an offer of marriage becomes an unavoidable reality. Encountering Jessica on the road, Rutherford offers her carte blanche.
Okay, now you have to read the book. Believe me, it's very well worth it.
The balance of the book explores the presumptions of the age toward women "servants" and men of quality. It is outrageous that anybody belowstairs is open to an invitation that would send a lady into hysterical offense. Rutherford can't get it through his head that Jessica is still a virtuous woman even though she was tempted by his offer. Where can she go? She is a woman without means, now turned off without a character. Who is going to hire her as a governess or companion without a reference? Does that automatically make her no better than a lightskirt just because her prospects are grim? Well, duh! Only a man would think like that.
Indeed, the ladies in the book are quite interestingly open-minded. Rutherford is often infuriating at the same time he is appealing, a credit to the author. Jessica is never coy, and has some great lines. She doesn't suffer her insults in silence.
Highly recommended. Indeed, Mary Balogh at her worst is better than anybody else except Jane Austin or Georgette Heyer.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2005
Mary Balogh has written some of my favorite short Regency romances, but I found "The Ungrateful Governess" to be pretty bland.

At the beginning of the story, the heroine, Jessica Moore, is the quiet, unassuming governess for a pelutant young girl. When the dazzlingly handsome, charming and wealthy Earl of Rutherford comes to look over Jessica's pupil as a potential wife, he is unimpressed with the girl herself, but the governess catches his eye. Being a typical upperclass rakish cad, Rutherford makes an unwelcome pass at Jessica and unwittingly gets her dismissed without a reference. Realizing that she will have trouble finding other employment, he then offers her the position of his mistress. Jessica is a virtuous girl, but the Earl is gorgeous, and she is tempted....

My main problem with the story was with the heroine, Jessica. This is a girl who will cut off her nose to spite her face. Jessica's options, it becomes clear later in the story, are not really as limited as we have been led to believe. In light of her true background, her decisions regarding employment and the Earl of Rutherford's offers seem very strange and rather hard to believe. She is also inconsistent--in some situations full of destructive, unbending pride and in others acting like a meek little mouse.

Rutherford is a better character--high-handed, arrogant and spoiled, but ultimately a nice guy who is willing to sacrifice his own happiness for Jessica's. His sister, Hope, was also a great character.

In summary, this a good (but not great) Regency romance--limited primarily by its rather frustrating heroine. It is a quick, pleasant read, but Mary Balogh has written a *multitude* of books that are far, far better than this one.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2005
When a reader picks up a Regency story written by Mary Balogh, they are most certainly guaranteed a trip into yesteryear. With Regency England, Mary Balogh is a masterful storyteller. For the aristocratic upper class, Regency England was a time of elegance and grace and style. For the lower class, it was a time of hardship, injustice, and definite class distinction.

As a governess, Miss Jessica Moore knew, all too well, the distinction between a wellborn lady and a servant girl. By choice, Jessica Moore dwelled among the lower class. Although her father was the youngest son of a baronet, he died as an impoverished country clergyman. Unmistakably, Jessica Moore knew class distinction, but that knowledge came from her mother's side. Her grandfather was a very wealthy and very influential man. Her grandfather was the Marquess of Heddingly!

Without a doubt Charles, the Earl of Rutherford, was accustomed to getting what he wanted and right now, he wanted the little somber governess. Desperately, he wanted the little creature hiding under the ugly dress and behind the severe hairstyle. Abruptly, the mousy governess refused the Earl of Rutherford's scandalous offer and promptly, her dictatorial employer dismissed her - without recommendation.

Now what? Without a recommendation, Jessica could not work as a governess, nor as a lady's companion, or even as a lady's maid. In fact, even a scullery maid post was now beyond her reach! She had no choice, Jessica Moore must accept the position as mistress to the Earl of Rutherford, but would she?

Definitely, Mary Balogh has the knack for writing around Regency detail. The author firmly takes her reader into this fascinating period and allows the enchantment to flow. However, THE UNGRATEFUL GOVERNESS does read with a blemish. Unfortunately, the heroine's reluctance to accept the hero's offers and proposals grew burdensome. It seemed the beautiful, intelligent, and very obstinate Jessica Moore wanted to live a life based on free will. Yet, in the early part of the nineteenth century, English women did not have such freedom. To build the story successfully, a rejection of once or twice would have been suitable, but after the heroine refused a third and fourth time - well those rejections grew unbelievable.

Grade: B

MaryGrace Meloche.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
This is a Signet Regency from 1988 by the talented Mary Balogh. It is largely a chase story: an Earl makes a pass at a governess, who is kicked out by her employers for tempting him. They meet again at an inn as she travels to an uncertain future and he suggests that she become his mistress. When she refuses - at the last moment - he sends her to his grandmother to find respectable employment. In Romancelandia, where such things can happen, the grandmother recognizes the governess as the descendant of an old friend of high birth, and brings her into society. The Earl is furious at the apparent deception, but winds up proposing marriage. He's rejected, but his grandmother wants to see him married and arranges a house party to throw the couple together. Yet a fourth proposal is issued, and rejected...by this time, Jessica Moore's estranged grandfather, a Marquis, is also urging marriage, but she runs off with the Earl once more in pursuit. There is nothing terribly complex about the story line, and there is a rather charming side plot involving the Earl's sister. This is a pleasant read, competently written, but not an immortal classic.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on August 9, 2014
I enjoyed this book very much but I have to agree with other reviewers about the heroine. It was more than a stretch to believe she would keep turning down the very appealing hero's offer of marriage and put herself at risk of having to sell her body in order to maintain her sense of independence. Women during that period did not have a lot of choices when it came to supporting themselves. They were very much at risk if they were not under the protection of some man in their lives; father, husband, or other male relative.

But, as others have already said, Mary Balogh's weaker books are much preferable to some other author's best books.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on April 13, 2015
I read this book when it was first published. Upon rereading it, I was reminded why it donated it to a library instead of keeping it. The main characters were not that very likable. The decisions made by the heroine seemed beyond reasonable given her circumstances and mindset. The hero was not very likable either.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on August 27, 2013
Really did not like this book and I usually like Mary Balogh. The very idea that the Hero? of this story felt it was OK to go after the servants in various homes was repugnant to me!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2000
I like Mary Balogh, but I didn't like this book. It was very formulaic and the secondary characters were much more interesting than the main ones.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Truly
Truly by Mary Balogh (Mass Market Paperback - May 1, 1996)

Secrets of the Heart (Signet Super Regency)
Secrets of the Heart (Signet Super Regency) by Mary Balogh (Mass Market Paperback - April 5, 1988)

A Certain Magic
A Certain Magic by Mary Balogh (Mass Market Paperback - February 1, 1991)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.