Rules of Attraction (Governess Brides, #3)

ISBN: 0380811995
ISBN 13: 9780380811991
By: Christina Dodd

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Christina Dodd Currently Reading Historical Historical Fiction Historical Romance Regency Regency Romance Romance Series To Read

About this book

THE RULES OF ENTICEMENT:A WOMAN SHOULD NEVER SURRENDER TO A MAN WITHOUT KNOWING HIS INTENTIONSA MAN SHOULD NEVER SEDUCE A WOMAN FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVENGERULES OF SOCIETYAfter nine years, Hannah Setterington has decided to sell the Distinguished Academy of Governesses and explore the secrets of her past. To that end she has agreed to be a companion to the elderly aunt of Lord Raeburn, a man enshrouded by dark mystery and haunted by the rumor that he murdered his wife. A strong-minded woman accustomed to the vagaries of nobility, Hannah believes the rumor to be so much piffle, until she comes face to face with Lord Raeburn.RULES OF FASCINATIONDougald Pippard, Lord Raeburn, is deviously satisfied when his plan to trap Hannah springs itself successfully. But his satisfaction is short-lived as the indomitable Hannah draws the battle lines and kisses him with the pent-up passion Dougald hasn't felt for nine long years. The fire that has always flared between them rages again with every touch, every glance, until Dougald is almost ready to forget his wounded memories and plans of revenge for just one more night with her.

Reader's Thoughts

Rhoda Fort

I loved this book and couldn't put it down, not at all unusual for a Christina Dodd novel. The hero was such a jerk at the beginning of the book, I wondered if even Ms. Dodd's superior storytelling skills were going to be able to redeem the manipulative, overbearing, angry Dougald, Lord Raeburn, to my satisfaction. Wise, strong-willed Hannah Setterington was the perfect woman to bring this arrogant lord to task. The book started off on a dark, edgy note with Hannah selling her Distinguished Academy of Governesses school and taking a position as companian to an elderly woman. In this remote part of Lancastershire she hopes to discover the truth about her mysterious origens and hopefully destroy the demons of her past that have haunted her seemingly content and serene life as headmistress of a thriving school. It turns out her mysterious employer, Lord Raeburn, is none other than Dougald, a man with whom she had once shared a passionate, yet troubled relationship. He has set a trap for her by luring her to his home so he might take his revenge.Hannah is unable to escape Dougald immediately, for their former intimate relationship gives him the knowledge and the tools needed to keep her in Lancastershire. Hannah's cunning wit, sharpened by years of experience teaching clever young girls and holding her own in the man's world of business, makes her a more difficult challenge than the conniving Dungald had expected. Both Hannah and Dungald have an axe to grind as a result of their previous relationship, and both have suffered the scars of it. The dialogue and dynamic back and forth between the two main characters sizzle with tension as both wrestle with the stong passion that failed to ebb during their years apart.The book is full of delightful secondary characters like the four elderly eccentric "aunts" who provide humor and help move the plot along. There is the dandyish, flirtatious Seaton, heir in waiting who might not be as harmless as he seems and the old servants who are privy to the estate's dark secrets.The novel is set in early Victorian times and contains a dark and deadly mystery, just like the Gothic novels I used to read as a teenager. Even as things get more dangerous, the book lightens up towards the end as Hannah and Dungald sort out their troubled pasts. Their difficult experiences since their parting have made them better and wiser people who are better able to rise above the ravages of their harsh childhoods.Ms Dodd's weaving of a storyline involving Queen Victoria and her family was an added treat for me. The pace never lagged, and I read seamlessly from chapter to chapter.


Of the Governess Brides books thus far in the series, this had the most intriguing synopsis to me. However, it was incredibly disappointing. The hero really brings down the book for me. Dark and brooding heroes are one thing. He was just depressing to me. Too cruel to be enjoyable in any way. Overly manipulative and cold. Downright abusive, really. He manipulated her into marrying him, he was cruel and dismissive of her during their relationship, he connives to bring her back to him, he steals her money so she can't leave him again, and then he's just awful to her once she's there. I really, REALLY didn't want a happy ending for him at the end of the novel, which is problematic when you're reading a romance novel.The heroine was okay. She wasn't my favorite of Dodd's heroines, but she wasn't the worst of them either. She was...just okay, really. But the hero so awful, it was impossible to care too much about the heroine. She recognizes he's abusive and horrible, but she wants to have sex with him, so it's okay. Furthermore, the heroine's impact on the hero (and her way to be "empowered" in her relationship with him) was boiled down entirely to their antics in the bedroom. Ugh. Just writing that made me shudder with revulsion.I didn't get a sense of any genuine affection between the main characters. She feels he's abusive and cruel...but she still really, really wants to have sex with him. He blames her for their relationship ending and for the fact people think he murdered his wife...but, golly, he really wants to have sex with her. There really isn't ANY character development beyond that. At some point, he...kinda...sorta...thinks wasn't all her fault...I guess. Maybe? And she...I guess...shouldn't have left? Maybe?If you like books with great character development, this is really not the one for you. In fact, the hero was SO offensive to me that scenes that should have been steamy were just uncomfortable to me. I just wanted the heroine to run away.The supporting characters - the elderly aunts - REALLY outshined the main characters in this novel. That was probably what got me through the book, to be honest. They were amusing and witty and just a lot of fun. But if you're reading a romance novel to read about some elderly women sewing a tapestry...well, again, there's a huge problem. Two stars JUST because I liked the aunts. Otherwise, this is a one star book.


An OK read. Not one of Dodd's better books. I'm glad it was a library book.

Marie Keagy

I really liked the first 2 in this series but I didn't care for this one. I liked the beginning and the end and the mystery portion but for some reason I didn't care for the interaction between the main couple. I liked them separately but not together.


pretty good. i can undrstand why the character ran away from her husband if he really wasn't willinly to listen to her. the guy reminded me of the guy from the first novel. i kind of hate that her friends ganged up on her at the end, asking for explaination. but other than that, it was pretty good novel.


Almost always give this author 5 stars!


Started dark but ended up in a much lighter place. The unveiling brought tears to my eyes. Lovely work from Ms. Dodd.


Hannah Setterington notices men following her. She believes they are agents of her husband she ran away from 9 years ago. Hannah sells her business, a school for governesses, and takes a job as a ladies companion. Since the job is in the wilds of Lancashire, she believes she will be safe. However, when she arrives she learns her employer is her husband and he is not about to let her disappear again. Since he feels she needs to pay for her abandonment as the abandonment was the start of a rumor that he had killed her, he lets the household believe she is merely a hired companion for her elderly aunt and her friends. The Aunt and her 3 friends are fairly uncontrollable and they soon have Hannah and her husband busy.


Uma mulher fugindo do seu passado e um homem em busca de vingança. Uma história encantadora onde o mistério, a vingança, a raiva e a solidão são preenchidas com paixão, amor e descobertas e para completar um assassino a espreita. Personagens secundários dão consistência a este romance.


Hmm, talk about brooding, arrogant, self-righteous and self-important men.... who then prove to be not quite all that. Great heroine, fun read for a rainy Sunday.

Huma Rashid

An unsympathetic, cold hero, and a weak, lackluster heroine. The murder mystery was kind of predictable, and the aunts started out really cute (I would have given it 2 stars just for them) but then got ... eh. There's virtually no character development. The hero is enraged that the heroine left him 9 years ago and is now all independent and won't fall into the subservient wife role ... but it's okay because he wants to bone her. The heroine is enraged that the hero is such a manipulative bastard ... but it's okay because she wants to bone him. Sigh.I wouldn't bother with this one.


It took me some time to finish this book. I read various inbetween and then returned and finished this one. I was quite disappointed actually... The heroes were so...unbelievably stupid. Their actions, their attitude. Ok, her marriage wasn't what she hoped for. But it was good. Her husband didn't treat her bad. Not so to just run away from him. And Dougald... He was just as ignorant and arrogant as she remembered him to be. I couldnt believe he did not understand his errors. I couldn't believe he was so stubborn and such a shovinist. Yeah, at the end they talked it through, but that did not help the rest of the story.And their relationship... Wait, what relationship? All that united them seemed to be the bed (or other appropriate surface). Where did love come from??? I did not see as much as one reason for Hannah to love Dougald. And that sexual addiction seemed just wrong and humiliating.Oh, and then this "suspense" part. I was so disappointed how it all turned out at the end! I was expecting something thrilling, some secret documents, something dark and intriguing. And it turned out to be...just twisted.


What a great story! I laughed and cried many times! Such wonderful writing and really engaging characters!! I love this authors work!!I am currently on a Regency kick and this one was terrific!!


An enjoyable read but not my favorite of the series.

Amarilli Settantatre

da www.sognipensieriparole.comIl terzo romanzo di questa serie, REGOLE D’AMORE, è forse quello meno coinvolgente. Non si può non provare una certa antipatia per Lord Raeburn, uno che almeno inizialmente non vuole che sua moglie pensi di avere il diritto di sapere dei suoi affari o di dividere le sue preoccupazioni (!), e quanto meno poca empatia con Hannah, la moglie che lo ha lasciato e dimenticato per nove anni. In parole povere: era sposata con un tizio giovane, ricco, con cui faceva gran sesso coinvolgente, ed è scappata perché si annoiava e lui non le apriva il negozio???Anche qui poi oltre alla storia d’amore c’è un misterioso assassino da scoprire, ma la trama è un po’ illogica e frettolosa.

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