I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I’m a huge Anglophile, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read Nannyland by Jane Elizabeth Hughes. I have enjoyed several versions of the “lord of the manor falls in love with the governess” in historical romance, and I was interested to see how this would scenario would play out in a contemporary novel.
Jordan Greene is not actually the nanny. Well, she is, but that’s a long story. Jordan fled NYC and her career in finance after being fired from her job. She settles in the gatekeeper’s cottage on an English estate, and prepares to write her tell-all book. She inadvertently becomes the nanny while helping to search for a more permanent nanny.
Jordan finds herself drawn to Lord Grey. Theirs is a whirlwind courtship; things move very fast, and I’m not talking about the physical connection.
The children are adorable. Each of them has a unique personality, and Jordan uses her expertise from her career to organize their schedules. The Grey family is related to Lady Jane Grey, the infamous girl who reigned for 9 days during the tumultuous years following the death of King Henry VIII. Jordan and Jane (yes, the daughter is named after the queen) uncover documents that cast doubt on the veracity of the historical narrative. The Grey family is very proud of their heritage, and this news is seen as damaging to the doomed queen’s reputation as a Protestant martyr.
Just as Jordan is starting to get accustomed to handling four aristocratic children and their blue-blood father, they all must begin preparing for a Grey family symposium/festival, which is sure to draw flocks of tourists to the region. Oh, and then there’s the matter of possible charges being filed against our Jordan- how will she ever manage?
Nannyland is a fun book. It’s very light, and it’s very enjoyable. It’s not particularly deep; that said, I was pleasantly surprised by how much thought and detail went into the subplot about discovering the truth about Lady Jane Grey. Hughes skimps a little on the details of the romance between Jordan and John (Lord Grey). Hughes prefers a fade-to-black approach to the romantic scenes between Jordan and John, and what makes this an interesting choice is that she is more graphic when describing the encounters between Jordan and her abusive ex-lover/boss. It was a little harder to believe the insta-connection between Jordan and John because of this approach.
I would recommend Nannyland if you’re looking for something fun and light to read. This is the sort of book that would translate well as a movie. Jordan is funny, the kids are precociously adorable, and the setting is great. I’m looking forward to reading more from Jane Elizabeth Hughes.