MY BROWN-EYED EARL– Anna Bennett
The Wayward Wallflowers , Book 1
St. Martin's Paperbacks
Margaret (Meg) Lacey was going to interview for a governess job, encouraged by her friend Charlotte Winters, who works as a governess for Lord Torrington. At age twenty-three, she had to find a job. Her Uncle Alistair, Lord Wiltmore, was the only relative willing to take Meg and her sisters, Beth and Julie, when their parents died in a carriage accident eight years ago. His eccentricities, though, have turned away those gentlemen who (if any) might have been interested in marrying one of the sisters. Now they are labeled as Wilting Wallflowers. Her uncle's money has run out, and Meg knows she must help him. The problem is, she learns the man who will interview her for the position is Lord Castleton, whose proposal she had rejected at age fifteen in a very direct and confrontational manner.
William Ryder, the Earl of Castleton, is desperate for a governess. He had just broken off his relationship with his mistress when the mistress of his recently deceased cousin dumped their twin six-year-old daughters on Will. Diana and Valerie now reside with him, disrupting his household and his life. Right now he is in his study recovering from a hangover after the previous night's debacle where his mother publicly elicited a promise he'd find a wife within the year. His butler informs him the candidate has arrived. When he hears the name of the prospective governess announced, he can hardly believe it. Beyond her stubborn and forthright nature, Will admires Meg for her fiery personality. What sells him on her as a governess is when the twins knock her over, but she still covers his mistake in giving the names of his charges to her as her own error, not his.
The situation is volatile with the two young girls, Will's reaction to Meg, and her reluctant admiration of him. Throw in the antics of Meg's uncle, a woman who wants to be Will's fiancé, and her devious father who is determined to fulfill his daughter's wishes, and the situation erupts. The characters are true personalities and the situations unique, varying from funny to poignant, making MY BROWN EYED EARL an entertaining read.