Zebra, Nov 2009, $4.99
In 1855 Lord Roberts worries about his adult grandson Leo, who will inherit the title and estate. When Leo was seven while living in India, he witnessed the murders of his parents and has not really recovered from the trauma. He lived alone until he was found and brought home to England to live with his grandfather. However, Leo taunts Polite Society’s rules, which relegates him to being an outsider.
His grandfather hires Ella Finch to serve as a sort of governess teaching Leo how to behave amidst the Ton. Ella soon realizes Leo has been pulling a bit of a ruse as he is a lot more sophisticated than the feral beast he portrays. The teacher and the student are attracted to one another, but he remains obsessed with one goal: finding the individual who killed his parents.
With several interesting paranormal twists, this is an engaging Victorian romance starring a woman who can sort of talk to the animals and a man on a mission who has the “means” to block emotions. Their relationship evolves as she concludes her pupil is a sham when it comes to manners and he fears his attraction to her will deter his quest. Fans will brighten up with this charming whimsical mid nineteenth century tale of love.