Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Review - - All's Fair in Love and War

All's Fair in Love and War: A Novel
by Virginia Heath
Miss Prentice's Protegees - Book 1
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 28, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

In the
first installment of a Regency romp of a series, a governess who believes in cultivating joy in her charges clashes with the children’s uncle who hired her, only to find herself falling in love.

When Harry Kincaid’s flighty older sister decides to join her husband on an Egyptian expedition, Harry, a former naval captain, is left in the lurch, minding her three unruly children and giant, mad dog. But Harry has a busy career at the Admiralty that requires all his attention, and he has no clue how to manage the little rascals or when his sister is coming back. In desperation, he goes to Miss Prentice’s School for Young Ladies prepared to pay whatever it takes to hire an emergency governess quick sharp to ensure everything in his formerly ordered house is run shipshape again.

Thanks to her miserable, strict upbringing, fledgling governess Georgie Rowe does not subscribe to the ethos that children should be seen and not heard. She believes childhood should be everything hers wasn’t—filled with laughter, adventure, and discovery. Thankfully, the three Pendleton children she has been tasked with looking after are already delightfully bohemian and instantly embrace her unconventional educational approach. Their staid, stickler-for-the-rules uncle, however, is another matter entirely.

Georgie and Harry continue to butt heads over their differences, but with time it seems that in this case, their attraction is undeniable—and all is indeed fair in love and war.

PJ's Thoughts:

I was thoroughly charmed by this first book in Virginia Heath's new historical romcom series. I love a slow-burn, adversaries-to-lovers, opposites-attract story. Throw in witty banter, high energy kids, a goofy lummox of a dog, and a couple perfectly matched - even if they are the last ones to figure that out - and I was more than eager to hitch a ride.

I love the balance of humor and emotion in Heath's books, facets that are on full display in this one. The characters are well developed, with complex layers, even the children. I enjoyed how the children are used to slowly unveil those layers, helping Harry and Georgie both begin to see that there is more to one another than first impressions may have indicated. I found myself laughing out loud many times during the story while also appreciating the depth of feelings that float to the surface, especially as the time nears for life-changing decisions to be made...and Harry makes a right mess of it.

As for the grand gesture? Well that elicited both laughter and tears (happy ones), a fitting conclusion for this couple, their extended family, and Georgie's best friend, who I hope we'll be seeing much more of in the next book of this series.


  1. Sounds good and I always enjoy Ms Heath's books.

  2. Thanks for the review, PJ! I'm looking forward to reading this!

  3. I love the sound of this book. It has a bit of a Sound Of Music vibe. I am all for teaching by doing, exploring, and it sounds like these are George's methods. Dogs are always welcomed.
    Patricia Barraclough