Annabelle Quinn never knew her family and was abandoned on the doorsteps of Mrs. Baxter’s Academy for Young Ladies as a young child. Since that time, Annabelle has been considered of a lower station, which has led to mistreatment and being the subject of ridicule by both the teachers and students alike. A letter arrives on the doorstep one day, which states that Lady Milford would be visiting in search of a governess for the young Duke of Kevern. Annabelle sees this as her opportunity to escape her dreary life but is almost prevented from meeting Lady Milford by the headmistress, Mrs. Baxter. By sheer luck and a clever scheme, Annabelle comes face to face with Lady Milford and wins the coveted governess position for the Duke of Kevern.
When Annabelle arrives at Castle Kevern, she finds that everything isn’t what it seems and she isn’t even expected by the staff. Lord Simon already has a tutor for Nicholas, the young Duke and believes that he is too old to have a governess. He plans to send Annabelle back where she came from until Annabelle comes up with a proposition. Lord Simon will let her stay one month without pay to prove that she is indispensable to both him and Nicholas. If she can do that, Lord Simon will have to keep her as the governess and let her help with furthering the Duke’s education. Annabelle has her job cut out for her because everyone seems to be against her succeeding, including Lord Simon himself.
I have never heard of Olivia Drake before reading this novel but I can’t wait to read more from her. This book captivated me from the beginning and I was rooting for Annabelle with every page that I read. Annabelle was such a sweet character with so much strength and spirit which you could see in her loyalty to Nicholas. She never backed down from anyone and wasn’t going to let anyone bully her because of her lack of family. She and Nicholas bonded immediately because she understood what it felt like to be alone in the world and being able to watch his personality open up while he was with Annabelle was amazing to see.
Lord Simon, on the other hand, started off as a very bitter man that felt that he was trapped raising the child of the woman that had spurned him for his older brother. He almost didn’t realize that Nicholas was also the child of his beloved brother and he would have missed out on so much if Annabelle didn’t help him to see this. I was so happy when Simon finally fell in love with Annabelle and wanted her to be with him always. She deserved a bit of happiness after everything that she had been through in her life so the scenes where he admitted his feelings for her just made me smile.
This book is filled with romance, breath-taking passion and a dash of mystery that will leave you wanting more. This is the beginning of the Cinderella Sisterhood series and shouldn’t be missed. I’m looking forward to “When the Clock Strikes Twelve,” the next title in the series to see who else gets their happy ending.
Raised in a girls’ school, Annabelle Quinn longs for the world outside the walls of the academy. When she’s hired as the governess to an orphaned duke, Annabelle never expects the child’s breathtakingly handsome guardian to capture her imagination—or her heart.
Falling for his young nephew’s governess is an irksome complication in Lord Simon Westbury’s orderly life, but Annabelle’s quiet beauty and wry intellect are too much to resist. Meanwhile, a mysterious danger looms over the remote Cornwall estate. Will their newfound desire stand the test of time? Or are some happy endings just too good to come true?