Help A Bitch Out - SOLVED!

HaBO: He’s Inventing a New Engine

You did it! We figured this one out! It is a truth universally acknowledged (by me for certain) that the Bitchery pretty much knows everything, and really, it's true. Scroll down to see the solution for this HaBO - and many thanks!

No! Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. This is a HaBO! For May, we’re trying something a bit different and that’s to run one HaBO bright and early in the morning, and then one later in the afternoon depending on what content we have lined up on Tuesdays.

This HaBO is from Lenny, who is looking for a historical romance:

Here is the book I’m looking for and can’t remember the title or find searching google.

The main character is planning to be a governess but after traveling and arriving to London, the agency drops her because they find out she’s an orphan or something else they don’t approve of so they’re unwilling to hire her out to any families. Before she gets kicked out, she somehow hears about a widow whose children keep chasing away governesses and he needs a new one but I think the agency won’t send a new one because of the terrible kids.

This woman goes and knocks on the door of the widow and finds out the kids had escaped and no one knows where they are. She ends up finding them in Hyde Park (maybe) and she brings them home. The widow decides to hire her but he’s also attracted to her but he refuses to get involved with someone he employs. Of course eventually they end up together and he marries her and the kids fall in love with her and the dad learns how to connect with his kids. Also at some point, the agency finds out she went to work for them (the head of the agency maybe sees her in the park with the kids) and they accuse her of impersonating one of their governesses and they want to arrest her but I think the widow stops them.

The only really specific detail that might distinguish this book from others is that the widow, although he’s a duke or something, he has a profession/hobby. He’s like an inventor or something and he’s working on a new train engine (maybe a steam engine) to help improve long distance travel. At one point in the book, the governess is visiting his factory/warehouse and I think there is an explosion and he shields her from getting hurt. He may have sustained some injury that wasn’t too serious but I can’t remember for sure.

Lots of detail here to solve this one!


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  1. 1
    Julia aka mizzelle says:

    Lenora Bell – what a difference a duke makes

  2. 2
    FashionablyEvil says:

    Well, the ending definitely sounds like a Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night) but the rest of it doesn’t quite match.

    (The whole thing actually sounds like a pastiche of about half a dozen historicals I’ve read!)

  3. 3
    Ellie says:

    Yes, definitely What a Difference a Duke Makes!

  4. 4
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    Posted at 5:00 AM; solved (presumably) at 5:09 AM. Is that a HABO record?

  5. 5
    Amanda says:

    @DiscoDollyDeb: Nope! I believe the fastest was within 3-5 minutes. I used to have it bookmarked.

  6. 6
    Yota Armai says:

    Although it’s not the HABO this description definitely gave me strong vibes of Tessa Dare’s The Governess Game. So if this trope is your catnip, I can totally rec the Tessa Dare book.

  7. 7
    Cara says:

    This it totally What a Difference a Duke makes by Lenora Bell!!

  8. 8

    I had the same thoughts as two other commenters — that the overall premise sounds like Tessa Dare’s The Governess Game and the accident near the end sounds like Lisa Kleypas’s Secrets of a Summer Night — both of which I recommend.

  9. 9
    LJO says:

    I was thinking of the Laura Lee Ghurkee book that came out at about the same time. I think that I remember that What a Difference a Duke Makes was a Mary Poppins inspiration.

  10. 10
    Lenny says:

    Thanks everyone! After reading the first page I recognized the governess agency lady’s name. It’s definitely What a Difference a Duke Makes!

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