The third installment of Dodd's Victorian-set Governess Brides series (Rules of Surrender, Rules of Engagement) sputters off to a slow start as a jilted husband and his runaway bride rehash old grudges. Hannah Setterington, head of the Distinguished Academy of Governesses, is lured to Lord Raeburn's Lancashire castle with promises of a position on the lord's staff only to find that Raeburn is really Dougald Pippard, the commoner she married when she was only 18 years old. Dougald has waited nine years to exact his revenge on Hannah, and he's more than pleased to engage her services as a companion for his dithering aunt Spring in the hope that Hannah will eventually bend to his will. Despite the obvious sexual tension between the couple, readers will find little relief from their mean-spirited bickering until their first sizzling sexual encounter. A subplot involving a murderer who's intent on disposing of the castle's newest lord provides some additional thrills, and Aunt Spring and her bubbly friends are a comic delight. Although Dodd has an ear for dialogue and a skillful hand, her fiction is a troubling mixture of romance and hostility. While her many fans are sure to enjoy this one, readers who prefer a less brutal courtship should pass.