After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren't always well-received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position.
Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he's desperate for competent childcare.
At wit's end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance--with each other. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons. But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children's parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?
This is a silly, lighthearted upstairs downstairs story about a nanny and her employer in New York's gilded age. Mille Longfellow is a nanny who loves children but can't keep them or herself out of trouble and keep a job. She is fun and mischievous and does not heed societal norms or rules such as children not being seen or heard. The children all love her, of course, but not so much their stuffy parents. She's just been let go again when she bumps into (literally) Mr Everett Mulberry whose three wards keep running nannys off. How he came to be their guardian is a bit dubious but it's necessary for the story.
Everett Mulberry is, in the beginning of the story, quite highly esteemed within elite society and very nearly engaged to a lady very much of the same social standing. That he would have hired the likes of Millie to nanny the children is not likely, and of course he loses the boorish idea that he is superior to servants and common folk, but when this happens it's very quick and thorough and doesn't seem to affect his standing in the community too greatly, other than some whispering behind his back. It would, and it would likely affect his business as well. It's fun to read about these sort of 'forbidden romances' but it would have to be handled very differently and for a man of his status, who has been born into this life, it would take him a little longer to fully come around I think.
It's a comical look at life both 'upstairs' and 'downstairs' in a wealthy household from a time gone by, but it's a bit forced, as if the author is trying a bit too hard to be witty, and to wrap up any and all loose ends in a neat and tidy bow. Oh, and there's a murder mystery that's thrown in there as well, almost as a third storyline that suddenly comes to the forefront 3/4 of the way through the book. I didn't find the end of that to be terribly satisfactory either.
The cover drew me in, and the write up on the back, but that's what I liked most about this book. I would not read another book by this author.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.