Oh my! This novel had all the romance, struggle and drama one could expect from a Jane Austen book! It was the story of Cinderella, yet quite different as well, and I could safely say that I loved every single bit of it.
I must be honest though and say that I approached "The Baron's Governess Bride" with caution. I wasn't sure whether I'd find in it what I'd expected, and indeed I didn't. I'd expected something average, but it turned out to be superior.
I'm a sucker for quality romance of the historical genre, and Ms. Hale's story completely won me over. From the very beginning, I was acquainted with both leading characters. I got to see their reasoning, their feelings, their fears. I felt sad and outraged because of their hurt and trials. And I respected them for their desire to fight for their happiness. Could you believe it if I said that I even cried a little at one point? That's how touched I felt!
The fact that both Lord Steadwell and Ms. Grace Ellerby were amiable characters with realistic personalities, made me want to cherish this story as much as I do "Pride and Prejudice".
Now more about the characters themselves:
*Grace was a young woman who had never felt good in her own skin due to the constant pestering of people who envied her beauty. She ended up hating her looks, because they only brought her trouble. She was smart, educated in everything (and perhaps beyond) that a self-respecting young woman should know, and yet very humble. I loved her personality because of its complexity. Grace just felt real, like a friend I'd known my whole life. It was nice to read her fairy tale.
*Rupert, Lord Steadwell - as his name suggests is a man of steady heart. He'd spent the past 4 years mourning his late wife, whom he'd loved dearly. I'm pretty sure he would've spent 4 more years in grief had he not met Grace and fallen for the charms of her personality. I was pleasantly surprised by how honorable Rupert was. Even in his anger he rarely raised his voice. It was obvious that he was not a person of conflict, that he'd rather settle everything quietly, with understanding. And he was just. In more than one occasion he could've been harsher with Grace, but he was kind and understanding. Also, the fact that other noblemen respected him and his political opinions was a great advantage - a clever man is always a good asset.
*Rupert's daughters were such amiable creatures! I loved all three of them. Sure, Charlotte, the eldest, was a tough nut to crack, but once she was won over, she was Grace's firmest ally. Little, sweet Sophie could stir anyone's heart, and Phoebe's quick with and bright character were a nice addition to the family.
If you love nice historical romance, if you are a Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte sort of reader, this book would be just right for you. It was just right for me.