As I started to read this book, I could also see the fog rolling in as the sun went down and night took over, with light from a single black carriage on it’s way to the looming castle ahead as the only light... Karen Ranney set up the feel of this book so well, with the play on light and dark, but the light from a single candle could even fight the darkness away... After the death and lost of her parents Beatrice Sinclair and no one to turn to and has been trying to make ends meat, now trying to find any job she can to fight off starvation. The job she finds is one who never would have imagine- a governess to a young duke who has felt the pain of lost like Beatrice. Her world keeps turning 180s when she meets the adult cousin to the young child duke Devlen Gordon, the pull and fascination she feels for him, puts her at odds with herself and these new emotions she feels around him. These emotions are put to the test when she finds herself and Devlen protecting the young Duke life from someone out to kill him. As their path leads them into danger, it will also lead them to something greater.....love. An Unlikely Governess was a purely character driven novel with many characters not in shades or black or white or good and evil. Each character a many layers to them, and Karen Ranny kept the plot going with many surprises and a few that after reading it I still couldn’t believe! KR sometimes felt she was leading you away, but in truth just giving another clue, this book held me spellbound, but not so much so as the two leads Beatrice and Devlen. Beatrice has faced the brink. She’s lived when all those around her have died, she’s faced hunger and she’s faced the cold. Inside Beatrice, she never gave up, she kept moving on, even when inside of her, she wanted to cry a river of tears for her lost. Beatrice at times was complex, but simple in the ways she lived her life. Her lessons she had to learn were hard, but ready herself for what she had to face ahead, as she protected the young duke Robert and helped him with his own grief. Beatrice could be clever or standoffish, but as she grew to understand Robert and love Devlen, these emotions which she forced down, started to rise up. Beatrice had a fear of lost. Not surprising after everything she did lose, she grabbed the moment of happiness when she could, but when the time came to take the chance on love or lost. Beatrice finally let go on the past that weight her down, shed the tears and took that love and ran with it. I adored Beatrice and the strength she carried through the darkness and then into the light. This not only changed the life of the young and once spoiled duke but of Devlen. Ah, be still my beating heart! Devlen Gordon, could light as many candles as he wanted as long as I could curl up to him. Devlen grew up with a father whom wanted to be the duke and the want to reach for more and more, even trying to push the night away by lighting all the candles he wanted to chase the night away, a night he loved but sometimes hated the dark. Devlen’s father may have called him ruthless, but I never saw him that way. I saw him as a man whom worked and played hard to get what he wanted, and he had real joy in what he did. While Beatrice pushed down her emotions, Devlen lived to work. While he enjoyed all that money could buy, he started to see how hallow his life was. Through his growing love with Beatrice, Devlen starts to see there’s more to life then just making money. Devlen teaches Beatrice about trust, love, and enjoying the simple things in life. When Devlen gave his word, he meant it, and come hell or high water, he was going to keep his word. Devlen quickly made my top list of romance heroes, there was always something that pulled me in, from his words, his actions or the way he would try to hold back the night by lighting all the candles. Devlen and Beatrice don’t fall madly in love with one another on the spot, they don’t even know what love is, (heck even the first time they made love wasn’t all that great either!) so it’s as they got to know one another do you start to see the love blossoming between them, it takes time for love to grow, when in the book it’s such a short time, but KR makes it where the love flows and is not just rushed and says “Here, it’s love!” One scene I felt really hit the nail on the head, showing how both Devlen and Beatrice start to fll in love by actions, words and conservation...... ”Do you believe in love at first sight, Miss Sinclair?” “No” He laughed softly. “Now who’s the cynic?” “Why fall in love with someone’s appearance? People get sick, or old. The character matters more then looks Mr.Gordon. Wit, intelligence, kindness, all matter more then appearance.” “So, you would have love come after conversation?” “Perhaps.” “How long would it take?” “The conversation?” His smile chided her. “Falling in love.” “How should I know if it’s never happened to me?” “Perhaps we should talk longer, Miss Sinclair, have a few more conversations.” I was stuck once again in the heart by Devlen and by his words, was it at all a surprise to me that Beatrice fell in love with him? Not in the least! Overall: just a pure joy to sit down and read, KR became an author I’ll be on the lookout for and An Unlikely Governess became a gem of a keeper.