Becky Thorn has been keeping a secret for more than seven years. A secret that, if found out, could destroy her. So before she gets too ensconced in London society, she accepts a position as a governess for a reclusive Viscount and his wife, far away from the town. Stephen Hastings, the third Viscount Hastings, is nothing short of perturbed when the tart Miss Thorn shows up on his doorstep. He is a man with little time and even less patience, who feels his pushover housekeeper is doing a fine job keeping his wards out of his hair. But Miss Thorn thinks differently and needles her way into becoming his governess, and eventually, the object of his affection. After obtaining a degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and after years of pursuing a career on the stage, Jerrica left the "glamorous" life of an actress in favor of writing romance. She resides in the Palm Beach area with her husband, cat, and princess-in-training.
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I found this book on Amazon for free and since I could purchase the audio for an excellent price, decided to give it a read. I had never heard of the author, but this is the first book in the Whetherby Brides series and I normally enjoy sagas a great deal. I am so glad I found A Gentleman Never Tells. I thoroughly enjoyed reading/listening to it.
Phoebe Blake is a damsel in distress. Her father died a year ago, and she and her mother are on the verge of losing it all. They barely have enough money for food. She knows she must find a man to marry and quickly, but she also longs for a love match.
Benjamin Whetherby, the Earl of Glastonbury, suffers from a huge case of guilt for wounding a man in a duel, and this man succumbs to fever days after. Guilt-ridden, he leaves hearth and home and goes to America, where he spends a year. When he learns his father is ill, he rushes back to be at his side. The Marquess wants to see his heir married before he dies, so Benjamin goes to London to find a wife.
When Benjamin meets Phoebe at a ball, he is immediately smitten, and wants to pursue her, intent on making her his bride. The next day he decides to visit her, but he must pay a visit to the widow of the man he killed first. When he arrives at the baroness’s residence, he is greeted by none other than Phoebe.
Benjamin has a dilemma on his hands. Should he follow through with his plans to wed the lovely Phoebe, or will he allow guilt to drive them apart?
This is a sweet romance that’s unfolds gently. It is a boy meets girl, they get married and along comes baby story, but is not boring at all. The pacing is excellent and the many twists in this tale kept me listening well into the night to finish it.
While both characters have strong motivations to marry, the attraction is instant between them, so they actually choose each other because of this more than their external reasons for marrying. It is refreshing to read a story where, the couple truly likes each other from the beginning.
Phoebe is a great heroine. Even though she finds herself in a deplorable situation, she does not let it pull her into the darkness as it has her mother. While she is a waif character type, she has a touch of the spunky kid rolled in. Her ability to grab the brass ring is evident and had me liking her from the start.
Benjamin is a fantastic hero. While not completely without faults (he has a mistress at the start of the story, and he has a short fuse at times), he is an honorable man, determined to do the right thing. His desire to protect Phoebe’s innocence is commendable, and causes him great distress. His secrets eat at him, and then he becomes the keeper of Phoebe’s mother’s secrets as well. Even though these secrets could very well tear him apart from the woman he loves, he will not break faith with the baroness.
While there is very little internal conflict in Phoebe—most of hers is external—Benjamin on the other hand, has a great deal of both. He has easily definable goals and strong motivation, which makes this book a great read.
Since I listened to the audio version of A Gentleman Never Tells, I want to mention the narration. Sherrill Turner reads with an abundance of feeling, getting the emotions the characters feel across to me. However, she needs to work on her male voices. Her voice is a bit high-pitched, so I’m sure that makes it more difficult. Even with this issue, I enjoyed her narration and look forward to listening to the other books in this series.
If you enjoy a tender romance with plenty of plot twists and turns, then you will enjoy this lovely tale of two amazing characters, finding their happy ending. I can’t wait to read/listen to the next book in this great series. I’m sure I will enjoy them as much as I did this one. Happy reading!