Anne Mather, The Reluctant Governess

Several years ago I bought this in the British Bookshop in Mainz. Thanks to the decade-long presence of the US army nearby, the shop had accumulated a nice collection of older Harlequin titles (most of them in desperate need of a dusting – or, in more severe cases, of a wiping down with a damp cloth), so consequently I‘ve accumulated a nice collection of older Harlequin novels as well. Most of which I haven’t yet read, I have to admit.

But this morning, I was in the mood for an older romance and picked Anne Mather’s The Reluctant Governess, first published in 1971. As you can probably tell from the cover it is set in what today would be deemed an “exotic” location for a category title: in Austria. In winter (hence the lovely snow-covered views of steep rocks and the castle). In a remote castle. And I have to say, the castle on the cover even looks like an Austrian castle!

Our dashing hero is Horst von Reichenstein, an embittered and impoverished baron with a ten-year-old daughter, Sophie, the bane of all governesses. Victoria Monroe, the heroine, comes to the castle as — guess what! — Sophie’s governess and is somewhat appalled by the lack of central heating and electricity in the majority of rooms (most certainly in her room). There are also big, huge wolfhounds around (one of which is called Fritz). And a pair of elderly servants, Maria and Gustav, who seem to inhabit the kitchen. So far, Victoria hasn’t had much success in making Sophie behave and instead is currently going for a walk around the castle, with Fritz on her heels.

More to follow!