- N. N. Light
New Release | A Governess Should Never… Deny a Duke by Emily Windsor #regency #historicalromance
Title A Governess Should Never… Deny a Duke
Author Emily Windsor
Genre Regency Romance
Publisher Senara Press
“So tell me, Miss Beaujeu, why should I employ you as governess?”
A question to rouse fear within the breast of any prospective governess but for Isabelle, a lady with impeccable references and tightly pinned hair, it barely raises a brow.
But this rugged Welsh duke of an employer is unlike any other: dubbed Mean, Moody & Mysterious in gossip columns, he’s known to scowl a path through London society. And why have three governesses fled his employ within the last twelve months?
"I appoint you as governess. When can you start?"
Rhys Cadogan, the Duke of Aberdare, never procrastinates. And besides, with a house party to be hosted at his coastal estate, the sole purpose of which is to find him a wife, he’s in somewhat of a rush.
But this drab-gowned paragon of a governess is unlike any other: lauded in her references, she exudes composure and intelligence, a perfect fit for his troubled niece. So why do Miss Beaujeu’s eyes also flash with a wild silvered gleam?
The Prudent Governess and the Passionate Duke.
One should never judge a duke by his Mean, Moody & Mysterious reputation or a governess by her tightly pinned hair, for beneath both tamed façades lay wildness and shared passions – not to be denied.
With forbidden kisses on stormy nights, a house full of prospective brides, a scandalous rake of an heir, dragon folklore and cinnamon biscuits, the vocation of governess has never been so thrilling…
A witty, romantic and heart-warming stand-alone Regency romance.
This tale contains sensual scenes.
The Governess Chronicles
1 - A Governess Should Never... Tempt a Prizefighter
2 - A Governess Should Never... Deny a Duke
“So tell me, Miss…Beaujeu, why should I employ you as governess?”
And Isabelle twitched her skirts on this duke’s comfortable but frayed leather chair. Was it not obvious?
A certain Vicomte de Brive-la-Gaillarde had once remarked that she waltzed like a sunbeam upon the waves of the ocean.
A Monsieur Turenne had pronounced her lightness upon the pianoforte akin to an angel’s flutter of wings in blessed heaven.
And King Louis XVI had tapped her infant self beneath the chin and pronounced her “une belle fille exquise”.
Before his head had been removed from his shoulders by Madame Guillotine, of course.
However, none of that was relevant in this moment, the past together with its anguish confined to memories, so she straightened her spine and coolly stared across the cluttered desk to her inquisitor – or prospective employer, if one must.
“I am able to impart a comprehensive education,” she stated. “Mathematics, languages, history and so forth but also a broad range of accomplishments necessary for any lady – needlework, music and etiquette.”
He steepled his fingers, a silver signet ring encircling the smallest. “My cousin has some misgivings as to your youthful age and…” Her interrogator cleared his throat, brow furrowing. “Your French upbringing.”
Forcing her eyebrows to hold horizontal, Isabelle inwardly growled: more often than not, there were noblemen, mothers or, as in this household, a cousin who harboured such misgivings. In order to counter them, she dulled her hair with wax to appear older, wore drab-brown wool which caused her skin to sallow, submerged her temper beneath layers of English decorum and had long ago eradicated her accent through hours of precise mimicry.
“England has been my home since I was but a child, Your Grace. Certainly, I grew up with French émigrés, but I have been a governess for a decade since I was seventeen. My speciality is preparing young ladies for their debut Season. You have my references, I believe.”
“Hmm,” came the enigmatic reply, and his dark head bent to the desk, blunt fingers sifting through the sheaves laid out before him.
The bracket clock ticked and his leather chair creaked.
Isabelle sat still as marble.
Over the years, she had learned not to be intimidated at interviews, especially by peers of the realm. If they thought you atremble, they lowered the wage, treated you as nursemaid or pinched your derrière.
Or all three, if they were so inclined.
Whilst he was absorbed in her references, she glanced at her surroundings: a nobleman’s study often imparted much about its owner.
Despite the rich scent of beeswax, it bore an air of…sombreness and neglect.
The shutters were wide yet the dense light of a late August morn scarcely lit the interior, necessitating a lantern on the desk. Above the wainscot panelling to the left, a painting of a wild seascape caught one’s attention, specifically as there appeared to be a crimson dragon breathing fire from the gloomy sky.
Leather books were scattered upon dusty shelves – as though the maids were banned from this male domain – while reams of paper were bundled together with brown string and stuffed in corners.
English noblemen could be rather…étranger……..
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Emily grew up in the north of England on a diet of historical romance and strong tea.
Unfortunately, you couldn’t study Regency slang, so she did the next best thing and gained a degree in Classics and History instead. This ‘led’ to an eight-year stint in engineering.
Having left city life, she now lives in a dilapidated farmhouse where her days are spent writing, fixing the leaky roof, battling the endless vegetation and finding pictures of well-tied cravats.
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