When a Duke Loves a Governess (Unlikely Duchesses: Book 3) by Olivia Drake

Book Cover
When a Duke Loves a Governess by Olivia Drake

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: July 27th 2021

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance, Historical Fiction

Series: Unlikely Duchesses

The Duke I Once Knew—Book 1

Forever My Duke—Book 2 (review here)

When a Duke Loves a Governess—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Received From: Publisher


Goodreads Synopsis:

Tessa James has worked and planned tirelessly to open her own millinery shop. All she needs now is a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her. The only problem is, she doesn’t even know his name. What’s a woman to do to find him but enter the aristocratic world by becoming a governess?

Guy Whitby, the new Duke of Carlin, has returned to London after years abroad to discover that his young daughter Sophy has become a wild-child known for scaring away every governess who’s crossed his doorstep. When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful–and that she might be fibbing about her qualifications.

Their blooming attraction leads them on a completely unexpected path to love that neither wants to deny. But when an old enemy threatens Guy’s family, their forbidden romance goes up in flames. Can they still learn to love and trust each other as forces try to tear them apart?


First Line:

“Wait until you hear the news,” Lady Farnsworth said to a friend who had just entered the millinery shop.

When a Duke Loves a Governess by Olivia Drake

When I read the blurb for When a Duke Loves a Governess, I knew that I needed to read it. I have read the previous two books in the series and was curious to see what this book would be like. I wasn’t disappointed. It was a fantastic romance.

When a Duke Loves A Governess is the 3rd book of the Unlikely Duchesses series. It can be read as a standalone. But, I would highly suggest that you read the previous two books to get backgrounds on characters that pop up in this book.

When a Duke Loves a Governess has a fast-moving storyline. There was a tiny bit of lag right before the reveal of the bad guy. Other than that, the book flowed amazingly.

I loved Tessa, but I didn’t agree with some of her actions. She was raised by a single mother who was killed when Tessa was 6. After that, she grew up in a foundling home until she was 14 (there was a sad reason why she left). At 14, Tessa became an apprentice to a millinery shop but left there to fake her way into being Guy’s governess. She was a spirited woman who lived life on her terms. Her spirit showcased that over and over in the book, and I loved it. The author didn’t attempt to have Tessa change when she found out about her lineage (a huge substory about that). It made for a refreshing read.

I liked Guy, but I found him a little “meh” while reading. He didn’t scream hero to me during the first half of the book. He was too involved in his studies. But, during the second half of the book, he more than made up for his “meh-ness.” His studies took a backseat to raise Sophy, wooing Tessa, and trying to figure out who stole from him (which lead to who killed 5 “heirs”). I loved it!!

I wasn’t surprised by how the storyline with Tessa and her father was resolved. It was typical, and I called it right from the beginning. But, I was surprised that the author added a whole new element to that storyline.

The storyline with Sophy was sad. The pain and confusion just poured off the page during her scenes. I don’t blame her for acting the way she did. When it came out what Sophy was being told about Guy, I was furious. No wonder she was so afraid of him!!!

The storyline involving Guy, his missing research, and eventually the deaths of the previous heirs was indeed a mystery. This storyline didn’t gain traction until the middle of the book when Guy’s research went missing. Then it snowballed into this huge mystery. The author did a great job at keeping the bad guy in the shadows. So when the big reveal came, I was a little shocked. I honestly thought it was the other person mentioned. Of course, I did pity that person once the story was told.

The romance angle of the book was well written. I liked seeing Tess and Guy falling in love. I did think it was cute. I loved the sex scenes. They were very steamy!!

The end of When a Duke Loves a Governess was interesting. Everyone had their version of a HEA (except the bad guy….lol). The author did a fantastic job of wrapping up all the plotlines. She also left hints for book 4, which I can’t wait to read.


I would recommend When a Duke Loves a Governess to anyone over the age of 21. There is mild violence. There is somewhat graphic sex.

Author: Jolie

I love to read. My favorite genres are women's fiction, romance, psychological thrillers, fantasy, young adult, steampunk, dystopian, LGBTQIA, and paranormal. I am also a busy mom of 3 kids and 5 cats

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