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Regency fans, you'll love Emily Windsor's The Governess Chronicles #regency #romanceseries



Title: A Governess Should Never… Tempt a Prizefighter

Author: Emily Windsor

Genre: Regency Romance

Publisher: Senara Press


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...


Excerpt:


Hawkins Boxing Academy. Outskirts of Piccadilly. May 1816.


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


Oh botheration.


And Matilda fidgeted in the unyielding chair.


The interview had been progressing quite satisfactorily until now. They’d greeted one another in a cordial manner, lamented the bitter spring weather and Mr Hawkins, her prospective employer and owner of this famed Boxing Academy, had shown her to his somewhat masculine study.


Chestnut panelling smothered the walls from floor to ceiling, a few drawings of sturdy ruffians in pugilistic stance embellishing its manliness. A battered chaise of dun leather sat in the corner whilst the desk gleamed with fresh wax.


Matilda’s lips parted to answer, but for once words failed her, so instead she contemplated a bird fluffing its wings upon the windowsill outside and ardently wished she could swap places.


Although perhaps not with a scrawny sparrow but rather a brightly coloured Bird of Paradise. To be far away on the tropical Molucca Islands and not shivering in this rugged study, being interviewed by a man who’d once been a prizefighter.


Males of the species could be so savage.


His cough prompted for attention and she returned her gaze to Mr Hawkins.


“It appears,” he said, flicking her application letter and hoisting an eyebrow, “that you have no previous experience.”


Matilda crossed her arms.


How hard could it be? Although Mr Hawkins may be factually correct, she had thrice read Private Education: A Practical Plan for the Studies of Young Ladies.


The somewhat crisp author, a Miss Elizabeth Appleton, had been hired by the 9th Earl of Leven no less, so she must have known what she was writing about.


Mr Hawkins set to scrutinising her application letter once more…and Matilda set to scrutinising Mr Hawkins.


Dark hair the colour of chocolate, ruthlessly trimmed and without curl; a light linear scar to his right eyebrow; a firm chin which could never hide its burgeoning stubble; sultry olive-toned skin; and a classical nose that looked to have been forcibly inclined to the left.


A decidedly handsome man, the crooked appendage adding a certain je ne sais quoi.


Then there were those…muscles.


Even clothed, they were noticeable – which was curious because as a rule, Matilda would not notice at all. Muscle and brawn, in her humble opinion, were uninspiring, belonging to men of paltry intellect.


Yet these were inspiring. Never had she studied real ones before, and she longed to prod and measure. Purely for anatomical endeavour, of course. How would they feel when–



Double botheration…


She’d been caught inspecting that broad chest encased by a pale-gold waistcoat with pleasing feather motifs, its oval collar and glimpse of brass buttons drawing one’s eye. Whatever his former vocation and current profession, Mr Hawkins dressed with exquisite distinction: a midnight-blue coat stretched along extensive shoulders, and tight pantaloons sculpted a callipygian figure.


A widower, she’d read as a part of her preparations for this interview, with some three decades to his name, Mr Seth Hawkins had apparently set the prizefighting world alight before opening his Academy.


He thrust the letter aside, clasped his substantial hands and sighed deeply. “Do you have any experience whatsoever?”


Well, no. Hence her rare silence.


In that now shunned application letter, she’d penned with keen verbosity her knowledge of geography, history, astronomy and so forth, hoping to bamboozle the man with protracted explanation and incomprehensible words – she was good at that.


Perchance she ought to fib about her past experience: state she’d educated a younger brother who’d gone on to discover a cure for boils, or imply her references had gone astray on her return voyage from India, having educated a Maharaja’s daughter.


Matilda sighed and slid her spectacles up the bridge of her nose.


A close confidante, Miss Evelyn Pearce, had told some blistering fibs recently in order to escape dire circumstance, which had resulted in her being abducted by the richest duke of all England.


So perhaps being circumspect with the truth did have its benefits.


Sparkling hazel eyes gazed at her in query across the desk, his fingers shifting to splay upon the leather inlay.


Robust knuckles and calloused skin.


Matilda shivered.


However, those broad knuckles did not belong to a rich duke.



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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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Title: A Governess Should Never… Deny a Duke

Author: Emily Windsor

Genre: Regency Romance

Publisher: Senara Press


Book Blurb:


“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…


Excerpt:


No. 8 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London. August 1816.


“So tell me, Miss…Beaujeu, why should I employ you as governess?”


Oh, sacré bleu.


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 four-year-old 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 assured. “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…étrange.


Which was why Isabelle had conducted her own inquiries as to this duke’s suitability.


Governesses were by profession isolated creatures but many corresponded with one another – a network of rumour and warnings. So Isabelle had consulted the estimable Miss Culpepper, a fellow governess she’d first met when walking her charge in St James Park.


In her fifth decade, the admirable Miss Culpepper had been employed by the great and not so good of the Ton and hence knew everything about everyone – and doubtless those she didn’t know could not afford a governess.


Ten days past, Isabelle had written a missive requesting any reports on her prospective master – this Duke of Aberdare.


Did he grope the maids? Was he a drunkard? Did he share a bed with his horse?


A reply had arrived yestermorn…


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Title: A Gentleman Will Never… Forget a Lady

Author: Emily Windsor

Genre: Regency Romance

Publisher: Senara Press


Book Blurb:


Get swept away to romantic and rugged Wales in this joyful and poignant Christmas tale… Having lost her beloved to a storm at sea, Lady Gwen Evans is planning a life of travel to foreign lands, writing books on her adventures.

But will the arrival of a dark, scarred stranger one December's eve disrupt all her plans...


Excerpt:


The Evans’ Family Estate. North-west Wales. 2nd December 1816.


“So, tell me, Miss Millichip, why should I employ you as travel companion?”


“Hah!”


“Hah?” Gwen queried with rather less stridency.


The lady rapped her ferocious-looking walking cane upon the floor, causing Gwen to swallow and lean back in her father’s study chair.


“It ought to be self-evident, Lady Gwen. I shall keep you safe.”


“S-safe? From what exactly?”


“Inappropriate adventures, of course.” Miss Millichip tutted and rammed her cane once more, no doubt gouging a pit in the new parquet. “Not to speak of marauding camels, over-spiced foreign fare, over-exuberant local customs and over-amorous continental males.”


Gwen inwardly sighed as marauding camels apart, she rather wished to experience all of those inappropriate adventures.


The interview progressed in much the same manner – the lady promising to impede Gwen’s gaze from straying upon unseemly Roman statuary, prevent exposure of one’s ankle when mounting a mule, thwart propositions from Italian gentlemen, and ensure effective English language communication by speaking loudly and clearly.


Clearing her throat, Gwen clasped her hands. “Well, thank you for your time, Miss Millichip. Your references are excellent so I shall peruse them forthwith and let you know my decision before Christmas.”


Stitches strained as the lady yanked on her gloves, rose to her stout boots and glared across the desk. “Young chits such as yourself can too easily become lost in the sands of Egypt or the ruins of Rome so I urge you not to dally. I shall be staying in Caernarfon no longer than Tuesday. Good day.”


Young chit?


“Miss Millichip, I’ve thirty-one years to my nam…” But a billowing brown cape met Gwen’s frown as the lady plotted course for the door, glowered at the awaiting footman who hastily shoved it wide and then voyaged out like a ship in full sail.


Gwen let out a puff, dipped her quill within the ink pot and put nib to paper, scratching a line through Miss Millichip’s name. Becoming lost in the ruins of Rome was in fact number six on her rather unladylike list entitled Deeds and Intrigues to be Sought and Gained whilst Rambling Around the Continents and their Environs.


Or D.I.S.G.R.A.C.E. for short.


Other adventures to be sought were to wander the pyramids on a donkey, sail the Danube with loosened hair, pick ripe oranges in Italy and perhaps embark upon a torrid affair with an Austrian archduke. She bit her lip as mayhap that last adventure would be beyond the capability of her nature but…


Gathering her shawl, she signalled the footman to depart, then rose from the study chair and wandered to the window.


Rain.


It had not ceased since Wednesday past and although one became accustomed to the inclement weather here in Wales, today it dampened her mood, the low-slung cloud causing the hour to feel as if it were three of the afternoon rather than mid-morn.


Her father’s study overlooked the apple orchard, bare branches contorted and weeping with moss, teardrops of water glistening.


She could almost hear the laughter of distant childhood, Tristan, Rhys and herself clambering there for rosy apples in that lazy summer before school had separated them all.


The Evans’ estate, which had been in her family for ten generations, neighboured that of the Llanedwyn earls where Tristan and Rhys had grown up, though neighboured was a loose term, the land between their houses amounting to some fifty acres, the Cythraul Woods and a good half-hour’s coach ride. As a child, she’d oft played with the twin brothers who’d lived there – Rhys, now the Earl of Llanedwyn and moreover the Duke of Aberdare to boot, and his younger-by-moments twin, Lord Tristan… Deceased.


She blinked and placed a palm to the chill windowpane.


A rook took scant refuge on a gnarled branch, hunched like an old man in mourning.


The wild sea had always staked a claim upon Tristan’s affections yet she’d not minded, been content to share.


Until that stormy July eve sixteen months ago when it had claimed him forever…


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1 comentario


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
10 ene 2023

Thank you, Emily, for sharing your book series with us!

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