Lessons in Loving by Peter McAra


Wanted: Governess. Properly qualified in English, to instruct male pupil in rural location.

Sydney, 1902. Desperate for a job, Kate Courtney travels to the faraway New England Ranges to interview for a governess position. She is greeted by wealthy landowner, ruggedly handsome Tom Fortescue, and is shocked to find that her new charge isn’t a small boy—but the grown man.

It was Tom’s mother’s dying wish that he find a refined, elegant, English bride to marry. But a country man with country manners can never win a lady fair. Tom needs Kate to smooth away his rough edges, make him desirable to the English rose he wants to marry.

But the more time Kate and Tom spend together, the closer they become, and Tom has to decide between the dreams of his childhood, and the reality that is right in front of him

Personal Thoughts 

                  Received an ARC from Netgalley for an Honest Review 

I thought this story was super cute. It isn’t all tearing bodices, but it does have your gentlemen and ladies. I enjoy time period pieces. My favorite though is listening to them because I LOVE hearing the different accents. Same with Southern Fiction. This one wasn’t completely British, even though we do have some Brits in it. It has an Australian setting. It takes places in different parts of the country.

The story is about a young women, named Kate, who just graduated from teachers college. She is in search of a position or pupil to begin making her way in the world. She answers an advertisement for a governess to teach the ‘Kings English.’ The location was a far distances. She applied and ended up taking the position. Kate finds out that her pupil is not a young boy, but a man. I tall, handsome, fit man; whom speaks poorly due to his lack of education.

Tom found the love of his life when he was in England about a year prior. He knew that marrying the beautiful Laetitia would make his deceased mother happy. He was determined to learn how to speak like a gentlemen to woo her into matrimony.

This story reminded me of “My Fair Lady” meets “Jane Erye.” I enjoyed reading it. The dialogue isn’t difficult to understand. The author made it obvious that Tom has a difficult time speaking correctly, but made it easy enough for us as readers to understand what is being said.

I loved Kate. She was so strong and independent for a women at that time. She wasn’t going to let others walk over her. One thing that stood out to me was she understood how to have fun and how to work hard. When she was in teacher mood, it was all business. I respected that. I think that is difficult for many people to be able to put on their “different hats.” Tom was so sweet and humble for having SO much money. Kate was exactly what he needed. 

I just must say, our villain in this story (Laetitia) plays it very well. I seriously wanted her to fall off a horse or get poo dung thrown at her. Something! She was such a snob. With the way her parents were, I wasn’t surprised by her actions or language. 

Majority of the book is from Kate’s POV. There is one chapter in the middle and then a large chunk near the end that is told from Tom’s POV. This only occurs when the two are no longer in the same vicinity.  

​For a period pieces I was glad I found it. Nothing graphic and no foul language. There is insinuations of physical reactions due to the other ones being around. Also, two characters have a scene in bed where it was implied that they had intercourse. 

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