The Game and the Governess
This Regency romance employs a familiar comic convention: the hero switches places with his servant, though here his motive is to prove that women are attracted to his charming personality, not rank. What distinguishes it, however, is the opportunity it gives the wealthy, spoiled aristocrat to observe how people behave when not trying to impress him. This chastening lesson has already been learned by the heroine, who has been forced to work as a governess after her father lost all their money; when the hero decides to pursue her to win his wager, he finds himself not only falling in love, but learning from the wisdom she has gained from her own change in circumstances. Sharing their points of view enables the reader to enjoy the foibles and pretentiousness of an idle gentry which is overly preoccupied with wealth and status on the one hand, and thoughtless (or worse) in their treatment of subordinates on the other.
After some tribulation the lovers find the happiness together they deserve, but we are left wondering about the fate of some of the characters, particularly the other couple: the hero’s secretary and the rather mysterious countess with whom he falls in love. Since this is the start of a series, we may find out later. This is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. Recommended.