Pleasing The Colonel is a delightful Regency romance. Amanda Downy is thrust into difficult circumstances softened by her quick thinking. She is a ‘lady’ who must take a position as governess for a widowed military man. She is not fond of military men; however she recognizes she has few choices allowed her regarding society’s strictures. She enjoys her position but is plagued by guilt regarding the manner in which she lied to achieve employment with the family, and children she has come to love.
After an accident where she is unknowingly introduced and rescued by her military widowed employer she unwittingly confesses her lie about her lack of experience. When she realizes her employer has discovered her dishonesty she fears the loss of her livelihood. However, the Colonel is a stern but forgiving man and makes sure she is disciplined and forgiven. She goes across the desk for a thorough punishment and is put on a temporary probation.
As the story progresses Amanda and the Colonel’s sister fight and later become friends, yet not without a few spankings from Charles.
The Colonel finds himself recognizing Amanda as a lady and treats her as such. He rebuffs the idea of marrying again preferring to concentrate on being a good father and brother. Still he fights his growing attraction finding the pain and loss of someone he loves easier to avoid if he denies his growing temptation. Amanda must make decisions knowing she is attracted to the Colonel and at the same time believing she may be better blocking her feelings and allowing the other suitor her allegiance and love.
We see the sensitivity and protectiveness the Colonel shows when defending Amanda from her nasty scheming relatives. He puts himself out to make sure Amanda is introduced to society properly, at times both preventing and encouraging the attentions of interested young men.
After a few incidents highlighting false impressions we see an indication of their growing conflict and love. They have a few decisions to make. Will they make the right decision to grow their love, or will they throw it all away on a misunderstanding?
Renee Rose is an excellent writer and every time I begin a book she has written I am guaranteed a story that is not gratuitous or one-dimensional. I feel like I am stepping into the room as an invisible participant being carried along for the ride as I turn the pages. The reader peels through the layers of character and plot, allowing the love story to unfold.
Renee has a knack for historical romance; she understands the nuances of behavior the time period allows. Pleasing the Colonel is a Regency romance that embodies the tensions regarding behavior and social status that permeated those times. In the story there is a build-up of sexual tension behind their developing feelings, lending credence to the moral values of the time period. She gives us witty dialogue and rivulets of emotion all while never losing sight of the universal appeal of a happily ever after.
The story is a Regency romance that starts off with a bang. You are drawn into Amanda Downy’s tale as soon as you open the pages of the book. It begins as Amanda’s carriage topples, accidentally landing her and her companions in a precarious position. Here we learn Amanda had taken time away from her relatively new post as a governess, to nurse her mother in illness. As she and her companion Bartlby await rescue, sharing a flask of brandy, we learn of the subsequent death of her father and how these circumstances change her family’s status within the society. She and her sister are forced to find work enabling them to survive. We are introduced to the Colonel, as Amanda remembers his late joining on the traveling carriage. His commanding presence has made an impression on Amanda from the moment he joins the party.
The Colonel’s natural leadership allows Amanda and companions to escape the accident unscathed. However she is drawn to the young man named Bartlby in friendship. Her tongue and manner are loosened considerably from the unfamiliar taste of brandy, allowing her to share the dishonest account of her governing experience through a false letter of recommendation. The letter secured the position she now held. As an explanation for her dishonesty, we are made to understand that as a ‘lady’ of the time, circumstances change her family’s status within the society. She and her sister are forced to find work enabling them to survive. Unfortunately the truth is told, and the foreshadowing of trouble for Amanda is set, since the Colonel is her employer.
The Colonel and Amanda have an attraction that is apparent through the protective thoughts of Colonel Charles as he rescues Amanda. Amanda’s desire to obey the colonel and please him shows how the sexual tension begins. This can be seen in this scene:
When Bartlby feels free to continue plying Amanda with brandy the Colonel suggests she may have had enough, encountering a rude rebuttal from Bartlby.
“No,” she shook her head as if to clear it. “I will trust the officer’s judgment,” she said slowly. “And I’ll ask you not to be rude on my behalf,” she said primly. The natural sweetness of her voice modulated with a slight rebuke.
Though it should not have had any effect on him what so ever, he found himself pleased that she had accepted his judgment over the secretaries.
As the story continues she has to face the consequence of her false letter and manage to get along with the Colonel’s difficult sister.
I enjoy that the children in the story are real and not just a convenient add-on in the romance to the story. Renee obviously knows children and how to make them realistic in a story. She also manages to make Amanda a person the Colonel looks to in connecting with his children. He relies on her ability to understand emotions and her intelligence in conveying expectations to him.
His understanding of her intelligence does not allow Amanda or anyone to ignore his expectations for proper behavior. The Colonel is matter-of-fact about his expectations regarding behavior and lying in his household. She is made aware quite literally that his punishments will be carried out regardless, of his discomfort at her pain, or the sexual tension natural to the situation.
I enjoyed the moments of humor highlighting their growing comfort in each other’s company. In their teasing banter we foresee her ability to connect and diffuse his stern demeanor, allowing his sense of humor to shine.
I loved this conversation:
“I hope my punishing you does not preclude you from ever looking me in the eye again,” he said without a hint of teasing. She jerked her head up to meet his eyes in surprise. “Perhaps just until I can sit again,” she countered wryly.
The historical novel without spanking is fine but many of us feel that any historical novel would be made better if spanking were added to the pages. It felt perfectly natural for the Colonel to discipline Amanda, and yet I was delighted that she was at once aware of ‘why’ she was over the desk and yet outraged that she was being spanked.
The scenes of spanking are well done and never brutal. They are part of the story, not the story. All of us who read fiction appreciate the difference.
It is nice that the sexual tension culminates in a manner consistent to the period. Marriage is the ultimate goal of the period and the climax of the erotic tension.
Pleasing the Colonel will delight you with all the twists and turns in plot. The direction is always toward the ultimate goal of that boy meets girl; boy gets girl resolution conquering all obstacles in the way.
I guarantee you will enjoy this Regency romance Novel!