Review by Jenni.
Sebastian Shipley is a businessman, widower and an over-protective father of a young girl whose health prevents her from attending school. Seeking to find a tutor for Anastasia, Sebastian places an ad, praying that the right person will come into their lives.
Sophie Baird is still mourning the recent loss of her parents but answers a newspaper ad for a live-in tutor, hoping for a change of scenery and the time to heal. Practically hired on the spot, Sophie begins to get settled in her new home (which happens to be a huge, beautiful mansion) and finds her charge to be the perfect, proficient student. As Sophie and Ana grow closer as friends, the story gathers speed on a trek that aims to redirect Sophie’s heart toward trusting God. But while Sebastian sees Sophie as an answer to his prayers for Ana, he realizes that God may be offering him a second chance at love at the same time.
Drama begins to unfold when Ana’s health takes a turn for the worse while Sebastian is on business in Europe. But when Sebastian’s life becomes threatened as he makes his way home, will he trust God to watch over Ana and Sophie until he can make it home safely? And will Sophie find the strength to trust God to see her through the challenges she faces with caring for Ana and a growing attraction to her employer?
Mr. Shipley’s Governess is a sweet and comforting contemporary story that I really enjoyed. It has a fast-paced, easy flow that keeps the pages turning with some nice twists and turns but, as a result, lacks any real depth with regard to detail. The story’s editing also lacks a spit-shine polish (i.e. pairing one character’s movement with another character’s dialogue in the same paragraph, or not designating enough dialogue) which might confuse readers a bit. Some passages I needed to reread a time or two to keep the characters straight. But all that aside, the story reads a lot like a period piece thanks to a lavish setting and travels to England and Ireland. A few mild innuendos add to the fun and romantic tension between Sebastian and Sophie as we watch their friendship build into a touching romance. Sebastian’s romantic side is sure to make readers sigh with a smile.
While definitely a romance with moderate inspirational tones, this story did not strike me as being too preachy, nor too heart-wrenchingly tragic, which is often my gripe within spirational fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and recommend it to those looking for a nice, cozy and comforting romantic read.
My rating: 8 – Definitely on my keeper shelf