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Lord St. Claire's Angel by Donna Simpson
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Lord St. Claire's Angel

by Donna Simpson

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LORD ST. CLAIRE'S ANGEL by Donna Lea Simpson is an exciting Regency Historical Romance. #5 in the "Classic Regency Romance" series, but can be read as a stand alone. *A Re-release*

Meet Celestine Simons, a lady of good bred but forced to work, due to funds, as the governess of Lord Langlow and his wife. And Lord Langlow's scandalous brother, Lord St. Claire Richmond. He is a rogue of the first water and a seducer of many a woman.

While, Celestine is either beautiful or rich, but considered plain, and comely, she is intelligent, older than most young women, smart, and witty. Oh and a challenge for St. Claire! But what St. Claire soon learns is Celestine is more than expected. She is what he wants. Follow passion, love and a sweet romance as these two unlikely couple learn to deal with their feelings. If you enjoy classic Regency as Miss Jane Austen wrote it, than this is a story for you to pick up, I promise you will not regret your choice.

Fast paced and filled with learning about yourself as well as falling in love with more than seduction but with life. A wonderful tale of a notorious nobleman and an older governess. Not some debutante. I enjoyed this story!

Received for an honest review from the publisher and Net Galley.

RATING; 4

HEAT RATING: MILD

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More ( )
  MyBookAddiction | Feb 25, 2014 |
A New Look at a Familiar Genre

This is a wonderful take on the popular storyline of the plain governess and the handsome nobleman. If you want to read a Regency romance with some weight to it instead of going through the standard plot lines of the genre than get this book. The lead characters are drawn with a realism that goes beyond the usual stereotypes. This includes letting the hero, St. Claire be very unlikable for a large part of the story and lets the heroine, Celestine, occasionally verge on martyrdom. What draws you to them is realizing how the era they live in plays such a part in who they are and watching as their developing love for each other inspires them to be more than they thought they were capable of.

St. Claire doesn't have a dark secret or wounded psyche hiding behind his rakish ways. He is a wealthy second son, his brother is the Marquise and has two young sons. At 32, St. Claire has never been responsible for anything or anyone. He is not a fool or a wastrel but he's made a lifestyle of having a good time, particularly with women, which is why his snobbish sister-in-law has hired Celestine several months earlier as a preemptive strike against her brother-in-law's usual flirtations with her staff when he visits at Christmas.

Celestine is genuinely plain, (not just a hidden beauty waiting to be revealed) and her hands are gnarled with the severe arthritis she has suffered from since childhood. From a good family, the death of her father leaving her penniless but refusing the help of her wealthy aunt, Celestine takes the position of governess with a friend of her aunt's because she is determined to earn her own way in the world while being useful to others. She has no experience or interest in the superficial upper level Polite Society of the time. She loves working with children and at 28, Celestine sees this as the only way she'll ever have the chance to be near children as she has long ago realized her age, looks, health and lack of fortune will most certainly add up to spinsterhood for her. Still Celestine is intelligent, generous, open and has a positive attitude towards those around her. She refuses to dwell on the negatives of her life and finds happiness in the children she cares for and participating in life in the local village.

When the two first meet it is not love or hate at first sight. St. Claire realizes the plain little governess has been put in place by his sister-in-law and is determined to ruin her scheme by starting a flirtation with Celestine anyway obnoxiously rationalizing that a few kisses from a handsome lord like himself will brighten the years of spinsterhood ahead for her. Celestine, however, is aware of her employer's intent and while finding St. Claire quite handsome has no intention of losing a job she loves for his amusement.

The story steps up as after hearing Celestine's angelic singing voice during a choir practice, St. Claire finds himself unusually moved by the beauty of her voice and in her spirit and begins to question himself and how he leads his life. The more he gets to know Celestine, the more he, unknowingly, is falling in love with her. The reader gets to go along with St. Claire as he finally starts to grow up and learn to think of someone else's comfort and happiness besides his own. Love truly makes him a better man.

Celestine is not unaffected either. We cheer her on as her own self confidence builds and she stands up for herself, physically as well as verbally. It is a joy to watch Celestine stop being a shrinking violet and learn to broaden her own horizons by broadening her own expectations of what she is deserving of.

The story and characters are so well written and strong that it has the reader wondering how these two characters so far apart in every way can realistically overcome themselves as well as Society mores to be together. Yet, the author manages to show each of them changing for the better through their feelings for the other even when they aren't ready to admit the depth of their feelings even to themselves. This is definitely worth reading for a change of pace in a often duplicated genre.

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. ( )
  Myrt | Feb 17, 2014 |
....redeemed by love, finally! A gem!

Ah! Christmas time! It conjures up ideas of Yuletide logs, snow, and family! Including for the Lady Elizabeth, Marchioness of Langlow, that wretched rogue of a brother-in-law, Richard St. Claire, who turns the female staff on their collective heads and wreaks havoc on any maid foolish enough to be burnt. Dratted, dangerous man!
When we first meet St. Clair he is at his despicable highborn worst, with no care for how their employers will treat his ex-flirts. The chase is the thing! The possibility that these susceptible young woman can be dismissed without a reference, thrown onto the refuse heap of humanity, ruined if not in deed then in fact is atrocious. With no prospects and no living these young women would be forced to make ends meet in whatever way possible. Thoughtless, selfish, cad! I was totally disgusted with St. Clair at this stage.
Fortunately, he later exposes the sensitive side to his nature that with careful nourishing will help him grow into a better person.
When St. Clair does falls in love, he falls hard and it takes an age and many mistakes later for him to be able to recognize what has happened.
Celestine Simons is from an old and honourable family. Fallen on hard times, Celestine takes the position of governess at the home of St. Clair's brother, the Marquis of Langlow. Celestine is plain, intelligent and generous. Suffering badly from arthritis she is not the type to make a connoisseur of beauty take a second look. St Clair is an unrepentant rake, a rogue. When his sister-in-law throws down the gauntlet and declares her female staff off limits St. Clair determines to pursue the new governess. When St. Clair realizes his true feelings for Celestine, he is just as focused in pursuing his love for all the right reasons as he was for pursuing her for all the wrong ones.
As the story progresses, so does the redemption of St. Clair.
Celestine is a rather wonderful character, physically frail but with a strong and luminous personality. The question is, does St. Clair even deserve her?
In the end this is a grand old fashioned love story! Indeed it is just is the perfect Christmas Cinderella love story with a twist.

A NetGalley ARC ( )
  eyes.2c | Nov 10, 2013 |
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