I wish I had read The Game and the Governess, the first book of Kate Noble’s Winner Takes All series not that you have to read it I just wish I had found this series earlier. When I first read the synopsis I thought, how could this possibly work, he lies and ultimately humiliates her how could he turn it around? I really enjoyed this book. It’s always amusing when two people who love each other and are perfect for each other try and hate one another; that always means amusing antics they put each other through. Kate Noble has a wonderful narrative; it was very easy to picture everything, from the dresses and scenery to the emotions that the characters experience.
The start of the book introduces Lady Leticia Herzog, the Countess Churzy, and how she has fallen in love for the third time to the Earl of Ashby. It explains a little about her humble beginnings as a milliner’s daughter and her first husband. Konrad Herzog, Letty’s first husband, let her penniless and falling in love with an Earl was exactly what she needed someone capable of taking care of her so she never has to worry about money again. Unfortunately, something happens and the man she fell in love with wasn’t who he said he was. Now broken hearted, betrayed and the laughing stock of the ton she flees to the continent to try and find a husband, never expecting to see John Turner the man who lied to her again. A year later in Paris, she finds her solution in Sir Barty. Letty has been living off the last pennies she has was luckily enough to meet Sir Barty a widower on his belated tour of the continent. He is a kind older gentleman a who immediately becomes taken with the beautiful Letty. Letty travels with Sir Barty to him home in Lincolnshire, the quaint town of Helmsley. She never expected that John Turner was the owner of the local mill.
John Turner made a bet with his employer to switch places, and if he won than the Earl of Ashby would pay him enough that John could rebuild his father’s mill with the updated steam powered system. John never expected to meet Letty, but everything about her made him fall hard and fast. After the truth came out John thought he lost his Letty forever until she showed up engaged to the largest land owner and potentially his biggest client for the mill. John was determined to hate her because he thought it would be easier to hate her then to love her and watch her marry another man.
The town of Helmsley turns out to be a bit more difficult to win over then either Letty or John thought. John with his new steam powered mill and Letty just trying to make friends. Letty also learns that Sir Barty has a grown daughter who is more interested in horticulture then balls and dress like other girls her age. Fortunately Letty is quite the genius and soon has the entire town as her friend and uses that to help John win them over to liking and accepting the new mill. But that’s not all they are also dealing with the unctuous rival of John’s, Palmer Blackwell is the owner of a large mill operation and is trying to keep Sir Barty and the other local farmers as his customers. There is something fishy about Blackwell; Letty is bound and determined to expose it before he can expose John and Letty’s past.
Overall, I loved this book. It has some great characters; I hope to see Margaret and Rhys in their own book. It’s a beautiful read about finding out that what you want isn’t the same as being where you need to be and finding that place, or that person who is exactly what you need.
**ARC provided by Publisher**