When you accepted employment as a governess in Victorian England, you assumed your life would be set on an unchangeable path. After the death of her parents, Cassandra, a young woman with a talent for music, she assumes the role of governess to two young children, whose own mother died a few years previously. However all is not as it seems, and after an initial quiet few months, she is spotted by Thorpe Pembroath, the owner of the Estate, father of the children and her employer.
A dinner invitation very quickly proves to have more to it than initially meets the eye, and Cassandra is suddenly swept without warning into a world unlike anything she has ever seen or known before.
But for all of Cassandra’s fears and insecurities at what is shown to her, it is ultimately Thorpe, a dark, brooding and intelligent man, who can without warning show a ruthless cruel streak , whose life is turned on its head and for whom the weekend will mean his world is forever changed.
Cassandra is a Carnal Set Novel – a series which follows the erotic pleasures, perversions, romance, delights and delectations of a group of extremely select men and women in Victorian England.
I was given a copy of this book by the author, Lottie Winter, for an honest review and so I shall deliver.
The book starts off with Cassandra at her father’s funeral. Her only living relative is an Aunt, who promptly ships Cassandra off to become a Governess for Thorpe Pembroath’s Children. The kids are normally little brats, who run each Governess off, but they take a liking to Cassandra. When Thorpe realizes she is there to stay for a little while, he brings her in to meet him. At this point he’s quite an ass.
“I think I should meet this young woman. The timing is perfect, I have a little time to kill before my friends arrive, have her sent to my study and do it with a solemn face, there’s a good fellow, there is nothing like a slightly frightened young woman to get one in the mood for a fun few days”. Giles nodded and scurried away, not amused that he would have to go outside on such a cold day.
I sat down behind the large desk, it had been my father’s before me, as had the chair and it always brought an amused grin to my face when I thought of how un-approving the old man would have been at many of the antics that the chair, and in fact the desk had seen. The leather was now well polished and looked in very good condition, it would appear that the various bodily fluids which had been liberally spilled over the chair in the last few years had served only to enhance it! I chuckled quietly to myself as I mulled over perhaps bringing to the market a new polish for leather! I was brought out of my daydream by a sharp knock on my study door, followed swiftly by Giles, who was preceded just as quickly by the same young woman I had seen a short while ago wandering my gardens. I nodded to Giles, who quickly, well as quickly as the old man could muster, left the room slamming shut the large oak door with rather a lot of dramatic presence.
I said nothing, taking my time watching the dark haired young woman. I noted how she met my gaze, appearing full of confidence but as I watched a little longer, my eyes raking over her body, I was pleased to see how she held her hands together a little too tightly one finger nail picking at her thumb. She was trying too damn hard to appear a woman in control which meant she of course appeared to me to be a woman almost not in control! Long dark hair, with what looked, from what I could see spilling out of the tight bun she had pulled it into, a natural curl or wave gave way to a most pleasing face. If you were being highly critical and I always was, one could say her nose was a little on the squashed side and her eyes set just a little too far apart. Looking closer I could see a small scar on her bottom lip. As I watched her mouth, her full lips parted just a tiny amount so I could see her tongue running over her teeth, I knew this silence and realised my gaze; which ran from the top of her head, to the tips of her toes was unnerving her. This of course, was only serving to excite me, just a little. This weekend was going to be such fun and how could I deny myself this little starter, a tiny morsel of delight before I started on the banquet.
After he proceeds to put her in her place a bit, he invites her to a special dinner. Saying to her before she leaves the study:
“Until later Cassandra, and wear something which might show us something of what promises to be a half decent pair of bosoms.”
Now his whole plan with this dinner isn’t to be nice…it’s to shock her so much she runs crying to her room. She however isn’t as weak as he thought and boy does she surprise him!! The question is, does Thorpe appreciate this side of her or does it force his hand? I shall not divulge the secret!
My thoughts…I liked Cassandra. Her sweet innocence, yet she dared to accept things that should have shocked her! Thorpe I had a love/hate relationship with. He’s not alpha, he’s caveman but I’m pretty sure that dealt with the era the story takes place in. Lottie Winter didn’t make her leading man a knight in shining armor, she made him realistic which isn’t a bad thing. Just something different to shake us up a bit. There were moments however I seen a softer side of him, thanks to Cassandra, so I was able to forgive him for his ways as time went on.
That being said I loved Sybil and Poppy! Feisty ladies they were and funny too! I found myself wishing Cassandra would venture into their little…umm…circle. Did she? Tsk tsk, I can’t say!
I enjoyed some of the scenes, but I found myself wishing for more…participation?? But that’s just my preference. All in all this was a good read. 🙂 I would love to see a story about Sybil and Poppy!