Never Kneel to a Knight (Fortune's Brides #5)
by Regina Scott
Matthew Bateman cannot forget the beauty who is miles out of his league. Once a boxer called the Beast of Birmingham, Matthew would like nothing better than to be worthy of Charlotte’s hand. As old enemies and new ones attempt to bring him low, can Matthew prove to Charlotte that their love is meant to be?
This sweet, clean Regency romance is the sequel to Never Vie for a Viscount. Fortune’s Brides: Only a matchmaking cat can hunt true love.
Here’s a little taste:
Charlotte inclined her head. “That’s settled, then. What about you?”
He frowned. “Me? I’m fine.”
She was watching him. “You’ve been told what will be expected of you at the levee, then?”
By no less than three lords, all of whom had seemed certain he’d embarrass himself even with their wise counsel. He shrugged. “More or less.”
She puffed out a sigh. “Come now, Beast. You must know there are expectations for your behavior.”
He could feel his frown deepening. “Like what?”
“Like introductions, for one. How do you bow to the prince?”
He rose and inclined his head.
She stood and put her hand on his shoulder. “Deeper. He is the sovereign.”
“And I’m a knight,” Matthew reminded her. “Or I will be soon. Don’t I deserve some dignity? If you’re supposed to keel over for a kingly sort, do you at least kneel to a knight?”
“Never,” she said. “Your obeisance is tempered by the elevation of the person you are greeting. Knights, even the hereditary ones, are at the very bottom.”
“No, that’s reserved for us common folk,” he said.
Either the tone or the look on his face must have said more than he’d intended, for her eyes dipped down at the corners, and she removed her hand from his shoulder. “Now, then, you and your sisters may need to brush up on Society’s expectations, but you know many things I’ve never been taught.”
“Like what?” he asked, struggling to see her as anything less than perfect.
“Like boxing,” she said with certainty.
Matthew snorted. “Fat lot Society needs to know about that.”
“Some know far more than they should,” she informed him primly. “But my point was that you are an expert in that area. For example, how would you go about besting me?”
His brows shot up. “What? You think I fight women?”
She laughed, a warm sound that made him want to move closer, as if he’d stepped through the door of his own home for the first time in a long time. “No, of course not. But you must have a strategy. Appearing before the prince is no different. You have to know what you hope to achieve.”
Matthew stuck out his lower lip. “All right. But when I fight, I mostly think about staying alive, avoiding injury.”
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