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The de Valmys want an English governess. Lovely but alone-in-the-world Linda Martin is indeed English—but she’s also half-French. Still, she needs a job, and what harm can it do to pretend ignorance when the French language is spoken? Plenty. Linda’s new charge is Philippe de Valmy—Comte (or Count) Philippe de Valmy, inheritor of a grand title, manor, and fortune at the tender age of nine years old. He lives at the magnificent Chateau de Valmy with his stylish and chic Uncle Leon and Aunt Heloise, who are overseeing the extensive estate until Philippe comes up of age. Philippe is a charming boy, and if the de Valmys are a bit standoffish, the beauty of Linda’s new home more than compensates—especially when Raoul, Philippe’s devastatingly handsome older cousin, takes a decided interest in the pretty new governess. But when one too many “accident” threatens Philippe’s safety, Linda doesn’t know who to trust—and it’ll take more than faking not knowing French to secure her young charge’s life. Author Mary Stewart wrote Nine Coaches Waiting in 1958, but she draws from the literary tradition of the gothic romance and the story is still fraught with suspense. The gorgeous French landscape is evoked in all its beauty and the sense of secrets lurking just below the surface is detectable from the first page. Resist the charm of this romantic little thriller if you can.
posted Jul 6, 2010 at 10:04AM
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