Claire Bannister just wants to be a good teacher so that she and the other ladies of the Governess Club can make enough money to leave their jobs and start their own school in the country. But when the new sinfully handsome and utterly distracting tutor arrives, Claire finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance that could change the course of her future.
Jacob Knightly has a secret. He is actually the notorious Earl of Rimmel. He's just posing as a tutor to escape his reputation in the city. He never expected to fall in love with the kind and beautiful governess. She is the first person to love him for himself and not his title.
But when Jacob's true identity is revealed, Claire realizes she has risked her reputation and her heart on a man she doesn't truly know. Will Jacob be able to convince her that the Wild Earl has been tamed and that she is the true countess of his heart?
This novella by Ms. MacDonald begins The Governess Club series, which focuses on four friends who happen to be governesses. All the ladies are tired of pushing back against stereotypes of their station in life and have decided to save their money for three years in the hopes of purchasing a house where they can live and work. The first novella focuses on Claire, who proposes her childhood home, Ridgestone -- despite it having been repossessed -- as the place the ladies should purchase.
Claire works for the Aldgate family. Jacob Knightly, the Earl of Rimmel, arrives to tutor Michael and Peter, sons of the Aldgates. Jacob has no idea how to survive or blend in at a lower station, so Claire gives him some tips. They spend quite a bit of time together, and naturally, they fall in love. Jacob keeps his true identity a secret from her. Despite Claire discovering the truth, things work out fine: Jacob and Claire agree to marry; the governesses leave their employ and live free.
Some portions of the novella didn't seem possible (that Jacob could free himself of debts and purchase Ridgestone within a two-week period) or historically accurate (Jacob losing his title when his nephew is born). However, The Governess Club: Claire was a good way to spend an afternoon.