I really, really, really didn't like the first book I read by this author (The abduction of Julia) but since everyone else seemed to like her work, I decided to give it another shot. And I am glad that I did.
This book is about a girl who has come down in the world. Her family is well conected, and knows all of the right people, but they have no money. She is a clothes-horse, and her grandfather gets caught up in money-making schemes that lose money. So, in order to hold off debtors prison for her grandfather, she becomes a governess. As a past member of society, she initially makes the mistake that she is on the same footing as her employers, a mistake that she learns from and survives when the younger brother of her first employer tries to take advantage of her, and the employer fires her on the spot as a slut.
So, Anna is a governess who tries to cut herself off from her former friends, but during a ball which a former friend and member of society has convinced her to attend she runs into the older brother (unmarried of course) of another friend of hers, who has just inherited the five children of his cousin, who have been allowed to run wild by their uncaring parents. For some reason (which is revealed at the end of the book), their grandmother wants the children to live with her instead, and she actively works to encourage their misbehavior in their uncle's home. So the Earl (he's an Earl) in desperation hires Anna who has become known as the best governess, who can deal and transform the most unruly of children.
This is a nice little story about two people with different ways of dealing with life, and how they fall in love. Not very realistic of course, but that shouldn't be what you are looking for in romance novels. This is a delightful book.
on 11 June 2003
This was my first novel by Karen Hawkins. I came upon it as I researched through Amazon for new authors to read from. Karen Hawkins's books came with grand reviews and I decided, after much deliberated selection, upon 'An Affair to Remember'.
The plot of a governess falling in love with the master of the houshold is commonplace enough. However, one hasn't yet read about a bankrupt high society lady forced to be a governess, with a level of spirit and humour that makes the heroine immediately appealing. Combined this plot to a hero with 5 unruly children stuck to him and of whom he had no idea how to keep in rein, sizzling chemistry between the lead characters and a deviously lovable grandfather, this is a novel to keep!
Excellent work, Miss Hawkins!
on 20 March 2008
I love Karen Hawkins, she brings a bit of humour to her books, she draws you into the characters lives. The 1st one of a series and the best, i recommened this book to anyone who likes a bit of humour with their romance.
on 15 July 2010
I think of the "governess falls in love with lord of the manor" plot line, this one offers a good take on it where the governess is actually part of the nobility whose family have fallen on hard times, thus necessitating her to get employment as a governess. I like how Ms Hawkins portrayed Anna's struggle of straddling the two very different worlds of servitude and high society in regency England.
The children that Anthony inherited were individuals themselves and their individual personalities are shown in the story and are not just "the children" as a group like how kids are usually portrayed. As usual, the book has well developed characters and lots of funny scenes, great dialogue and even some heart warming, "stuff of daydreams" moments that are typical of Ms Hawkin's novels.
If there is a criticism I can say for this book, I guess it's that it kinda loses steam in the last 30 pages or so in the story. As if the author was delaying the development of the relationship while also resolving all the conflicts all at once! Though I liked the characters I do think the approach to the ending felt a bit tedious/dragged out and at some point I actually roll my eyes and think, "for chrissakes, just get married already!" I don't know why this is -- maybe the characters needed more internal conflict instead of external? That could have probably filled the last remaining pages in a more interesting and engaging way.
That said, as a book it is a light hearted read and if you enjoy Karen Hawkins then you should definitely give this one a go.