“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.
Yet, 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 miniscule 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 yearning hearts, shared dreams and a taste for adventure.
With tavern excursions, scandalous kisses in midnight carriages, whifflers, nobblers and dressing as a nefarious footpad on the prowl, the vocation of governess has never been so exciting…
Matilda Griffin’s parents have died, leaving her under the guardianship of her cousin, the new Viscount Astwood, who wasted no time in losing Matilda’s dowry. Now with substantial gambling debts, Astwood plans to marry Matilda off to an aging and disgusting libertine. Matilda decides that a life as a servant is preferable to marrying such a man, and elects to become a governess. But first, she’ll have to hide from her cousin until her upcoming twenty-first birthday, when she’ll legally no longer be under his rule. There are not a lot of job openings for an inexperienced young lady, and Matilda finds herself at Hawkins’ Boxing Academy.
Seth Hawkins is a former prizefighter, a widower, and a father. He married very young, and his daughter, Chloe, is now at an age where she needs a governess. As Seth interviews Matilda, she is tongue tied, and about to be written off as a candidate, when she blurts out that she has to hide. Seth is a very tender hearted man beneath his muscular physique, and is touched by Matilda’s story. He agrees to give her a thirty day trial, where they’ll see how things work out.
Chloe and Matilda instantly hit it off, as Matilda fumbles her way into teaching ladylike behavior. Chloe, in turn, teaches Matilda some ways of defending herself, which she is learning from her father. Unlike a typical society household, Seth dines with his daughter, and now Matilda joins them, bringing them all closer together. Soon, Seth is taking Matilda out to enjoy things she was never allowed to experience before, even a prizefight. Matilda is somewhat surprised to find herself admiring Seth’s outstanding body and muscles, something else she’s never felt before. As for Seth, he’s enchanted by his daughter’s governess – her intelligence, her quirkiness, and her joy with life. Since she is an employee, he’s determined to act the gentleman, and keep his distance. Until she requests a kiss, until she asks that he temporarily relieve her of her duties until they’ve finished kissing. Seth cannot resist.
A GOVERNESS SHOULD NEVER TEMPT A PRIZEFIGHTER is beautifully and wonderfully written, with characters to love, root for, and sigh over. For a former fighter from very humble roots, Seth is just a marshmallow inside. He is warm, generous, kind, and an outstanding father. Years ago, when his wife betrayed him, he didn’t become hard and bitter, he chose to focus on loving his daughter and building a successful business so she could have a better life. His home is run very informally, and is a place of contentment and happiness. His daughter, Chloe, reflects his giving nature in her own generous personality, wanting her father to find happiness, and welcoming Matilda into their household. Matilda has never known such a home, or such loving people, and takes to it like a duck to water. The blooming love between Seth and Matilda is only marred when Astwood learns of her whereabouts, and takes desperate and deadly steps to bring her back under his authority.
As I write this, I’m still wallowing in the sweet book hangover from reading a story so beautiful and joyful, that I just want to read it over again. I love Seth and Matilda. I love Chloe. I can’t help myself, I even love their housekeeper, who is a true gem. A GOVERNESS SHOULD NEVER TEMPT A PRIZEFIGHTER goes on my keeper shelf, and on my favorites list for this year. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy wonderful characters, a sigh-worthy hero, and genuine heartfelt romance. ~Rose