I COULD BE GOOD TO YOU by Charlotte Keppel


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A floppy 18th-century romance of very little brain. Kate Lawson, impoverished orphan of genteel background, has managed to place herself as a governess in a household headed by a handsome unmarried man, Captain Max Oakland. The Captain is the uncle of ten-year-old Amy, an unholy terror who has sent a string of governesses packing and who is too much for adoring father Ernest and stepma Julie--a hot-potato of over-perfumed, sizzling beauty. (Julie is supposedly a French ÉmigrÉ, but Kate detects a Cockney tinge in her French-accented tirades.) The Oakland house is noisy. Amy screams; Julie shrieks down curses from her slovenly bedroom while deep in her cups; Max and Ernest bellow. While Kate wins over motherless Amy, much of the conversation consists of rapidly infatuated Max asking Kate if she's going to stay and Kate changing her mind with every new nasty turn of events. Getting rid of Julie is on everyone's mind, of course, but it's poor Ernest who gets the poisoned mushrooms (thoughtfully cooked by Julie). One more murder, a brothel excursion to rescue one of Julie's victims, and some trickery by clever Amy--and Julie is finally, literally, toppled. Simple-minded but harmless.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's