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A Governess Should Never… Tempt a Prizefighter by Emily Windsor is a Historical Fiction/Romance Event pick #historicalromance #mustread #giveaway

Title: A Governess Should Never… Tempt a Prizefighter


Author: Emily Windsor


Genre: Regency Romance


Book Blurb:


"So tell me, Miss Griffin, why should I employ you as governess?"


A question to rouse fear within the breast of any prospective governess but for Matilda, a lady without references, appropriate brown clothing or any experience with children whatsoever, doubly so.


But alone in the world except for a brutish guardian and a malodorous betrothed, Matilda must seek her own future, even if that means employment in the household of a rugged ex-prizefighter with sizeable muscles and doubtless minuscule intellect.


"Please continue to enlighten me, Miss Griffin."


Mr Seth Hawkins, owner of famed Boxing Academy, has reached the point of desperation in his search for a governess.


Yet with no other suitable candidates, could this yellow-clad, bespectacled female who seemed to think him a witless dolt with calloused knuckles and no books, teach his daughter the ways of a lady?


The Lady and the Prizefighter.


One should never judge a man by his well-defined muscles or a lady by her yellow-silk slippers, for beneath both façades lay shared dreams, yearning hearts and a taste for adventure.


With scandalous kisses in midnight carriages, tavern jaunts, whifflers, nobblers and dressing as a nefarious footpad on the prowl, the vocation of governess has never been so exciting...


A fun, heart-warming stand-alone Regency romance.


This tale contains sensual scenes.





Matilda paced, poked the fire, peered out the window and then paced some more whilst awaiting her employer, Mr. Hawkins.


Never having been one for a protracted toilette, she’d washed with the pitcher of water left by the maid, donned the brighter of her four yellow gowns – after all, it was to be dinner – and then…twiddled her thumbs to knots in this stylish drawing room.


Customarily, if worries assailed or nerves seized, she’d read a novel for distraction or a poem to still her thoughts, and although, as requested, Mr. Hawkins had supplied the necessary volumes for the schoolroom, she’d found nothing further.


Plays? Sonnets? The latest scurrilous romance novel? The back of a Fortnum and Mason biscuit tin?


She’d perused the shelves – not one book.


Examined the mantelpiece and behind the tray of decanters – devoid.


Poked around the plant pots – barren.


Huffing, she tapped a lip and gazed into the gilt mirror that hung over the fireplace, the drawing in of dusk obscuring the reflected corners of the room not lit by the elegant sconces.


Without fictional fancy to settle her mind, she’d end up mad as a March hare, be found burbling insanity around Green Park in solely her petticoats.


The window seat caught her eye in the mirror, surely a prime place to read and hence discard a novel, so she glanced at the clock. Still time, and she hurried over, yanking the cushion aloft.


But nothing, and her shoulders slumped.


“You appear…dismayed, Miss Griffin.”


Matilda spun, Pomona-green cushion in hand.


Propped against the doorframe was Mr. Hawkins, head tilted, that scarred eyebrow raised in query.


Composing her features to pious and patient as Miss Appleton, the authoress of her governess tome, Private Education: A Practical Plan for the Studies of Young Ladies, had sourly decreed, Matilda smiled in innocence.


“No, no, I am quite content, Mr. Hawkins, thank you, just…plumping.” She pulverised the cushion for good measure, as she’d seen maids do, then carefully placed it on the seat at a fashionable angle. “Your daughter and I had an exceedingly productive day. Chloe is a delightful girl.” And to further divert attention, Matilda deployed her deepest curtsey – one more advocated for noblemen than pugilists.


Straightening from his lounged position by the door, Mr. Hawkins sketched an equally profound bow and entered the room.


Matilda’s nerves heightened.


Although the door was open, with the maid dawdling in the hall, Matilda had never, not once, been so alone with a man – other than the brief encounter with her malodorous betrothed, but that did not count.


This was a…real man.


All rippling physique and glossy walnut hair, immense hands straightening a perfect cascade cravat with ruby stick pin.


A leaf-green waistcoat highlighted the flickers in his eyes, the material clinging indecently, its collar narrow with two rows of silk-covered buttons climbing his chest like an inviting ladder. Lower, his whipcord thighs – powerful and strident – were encased in a black silk which complemented his jacket.


Matilda’s gaze dipped to the rug as she recollected a book concerning male plumage: how any subsequent delight felt within a female of the species was an instinctive response and nothing at all to do with one’s own inclinations – the book had in fact been concerned with the mating habits of pelicans but surely explained the tendrils of pleasure which now coursed.


Attraction was a mere primitive and animalistic reaction to a male in prime fettle.


“And you are not concerned by my daughter’s pastime?” he enquired, crossing those burly arms.


Matilda straightened her spine. “I daresay it is…out of the ordinary, but Chloe’s manner is respectful, honest and fun. I see no harm, and it appears to give her an unusual agility and poised balance for even the most arduous of curtseys.”


Mr. Hawkins’ lips twitched as he prowled with lupine grace – and yes, that was the only word to describe the manner in which he walked – to the side table. “Sherry?”


“Yes, if I may, but… As Chloe’s governess, should I not dine with her in the schoolroom?”


He prowled once more, but this time in her direction, and she strove to recall more of those pelican specifics.


“Chloe dines here with me. Always has.”


“Oh.” How unusual. “She failed to mention that.”


The sherry glass was proffered. Their fingers brushed.




Of course, an arousing cologne of leather and musk was not generally associated with that genus of water bird either, although the glands of a deer were used to create musk, so perchance it was also a mating attractant and hence the explanation for her olfactory pleasure.


He cocked his head. “Did you not dine with your parents?”


“Not until I was fifteen and had something worthwhile to communicate. I dined in the nursery till then.” Put into words, that sounded appalling. She’d adored her parents but until her mind had been that of a fully functioning adult, she had remained unseen and unheard at mealtimes.


“With your governess?”


“She only came for five hours a day. Then it was solely me and my books.” If she had to discern his expression, it was pity. “I was quite content,” she assured. “Within those pages, I could visit a forest or volcano, watch a play of tragedy or friendship, debate philosophy with myself, or feel sadness and…and love.”


The hue of Mr. Hawkins’ eyes shifted to that of sedimentary rock and swirling kelp pools, and she swallowed. He had stood somewhat closer than proper to pass the sherry and her skin had prickled with an agreeable awareness.


She reminded herself that this type of human behaviour was commonplace beyond the Ton world, that maids and footmen did dine together, and persons of both genders sat elbow-to-elbow in stagecoaches – all without coming over slightly peculiar.


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What makes your featured book a must-read?


“A story so beautiful and joyful, that I just want to read it over again... wonderfully written, with characters to love, root for, and sigh over.” ★★★★★ & A Best of 2020 - Roses are Blue, Romantic Fiction Reviews.


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $40 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.


Runs March 21 – April 2, 2024.


Winner will be drawn on April 3, 2024.


Author Biography:


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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1 Comment

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N. N. Light
Mar 27

Thank you, Emily, for sharing your book in our Historical Fiction/Romance Bookish Event!

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