by Karen Ranney

August 1996
ISBN: 0-8217-5377-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Katherine Sanderson was alone in the world with hardly a penny to her name when an accident led her to the Dowager Countess of Moncrief. She thought that fortune had finally smiled upon her when the Countess hired her as governess of her sonís illegitimate daughter. However, when she met the babyís father, Freddie Lattimore, the Earl of Moncrief, she was sure fortune must have decided to have a laugh at her expense after all.

Katherine and Freddie set sparks flying the first time they met and the heat between them only burned brighter the longer they were in each otherís company. Katherine knew it would only be a matter of time before she found herself in the Earlís bed, so she enterprisingly made him a deal Ė she would willingly be his mistress for a period of 30 days if he would sign a contract stating that she could care for his daughter, Julie, as long as it was necessary. Katherine figured this contract would take care of all of her problems since she had not only fallen in love with the baby but she also needed the employment since she did not have anywhere else to go. Unfortunately, instead of solving her dilemma, Katherine only created additional problems for herself when their physical attraction did not lessen by being intimate with Freddie and she was actually becoming to care for him. Sadly, Katherine knew that the Earl merely looked upon her as a warm and willing body, not someone whom he would consider having as his wife. Katherine decided that the only way to protect her heart was to leave Freddie but he has other thoughts on the subject and what Freddie wants, he usually keeps!

For about the first quarter of the novel, I found Freddie basically repulsive as a leading male character. Besides the fact that there is something decidedly unpleasant in the fact that he coerced Katherine, his employee, into bed (even though she was rather willing!), he treated his daughter terribly. Thankfully, Freddie did soon redeem himself but then Katherineís character took a turn for the worse. It seemed as though I was always disliking one of them for one reason or another throughout the entire novel! The only time Katherine and Freddie appeared to get along was when they were in bed and fortunately, they were there enough to keep me interested and the sex scenes are HOT! Nonetheless, the romance aspect of Above All Others was blaringly lacking and I could not find myself caring for either one of the main characters or whether or not they worked things out in the end.

Reviewed in July 2002 by Nicole.

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