Title: The Boxing Baroness
Publisher: 25th October 2022 by Kensington Books
Pages: 288 pages
Genre: historical romance
My Rating: 3 cups
Inspired by the real-life Boxing Baroness, acclaimed author Minerva Spencer sparkles with this brilliantly imagined story of her romance with an infuriating duke in the first of a witty, Regency-set, feminist series exploring the role of women in a rigidly patriarchal society. A new generation of readers and Bridgerton fans will delight in the rapier sharp wit, sexual fireworks, and thought-provoking entertainment of The Boxing Baroness.
Magnetic and educated, Marianne Simpson has the manner of a lady and the looks of a lover, not a fighter. Neither of which explains her occupation as a boxer in her uncle’s circus, Farnham’s Fantastical Female Fayre. Nonetheless, when St. John Powell, the exquisitely handsome Duke of Staunton, begins turning up at her shows, she finds herself dangerously distracted by the powerful peer’s mysterious presence. With her safety at stake, Marianne’s days in the ring are numbered. But how long can she fight her attraction to the man the ton calls Lord Flawless?
St. John Powell doesn’t just want Marianne Simpson, he needs her … to rescue his brother, who is being held for ransom by a treasonous English baron—the man all of Britain knows as the Rake of Rakes.
No matter how little Marianne wants to see her duplicitous ex-lover, the man responsible for the humiliating nickname the Boxing Baroness, St. John must convince her. Even if it means climbing into the ring with the beautiful boxer and taking everything she’s got . . .
The Boxing Baroness sounded an interesting book as it appeared to contain many unique and interesting elements involving the historical romance genre. There is an all female circus with a female athlete/boxer (Boxing Baroness because she was married to a Baron for a while). Whilst the writing was solid, the plot required a rather large leap of faith (and that was not involving the boxing element as one might first suspect).
“I know that you sent me to school hoping that I could find respectable work, but if nobody would hire me as a governess before I started boxing, they’re hardly likely to do so now that I’m the Boxing Baroness, are they?”
This book was one of those quick flick reads that gave flashbacks to the ol’ Mills & Boon bodice ripping tales. As mentioned, the plot is rather crazy even though it appeared straightforward. I ventured into the read thinking the boxing aspect would be the element ‘outside the box’. Not so. It was secret identities - both strange and surreal - of characters including Napoleon Bonaparte and the exiled King of Sweden that left me perplexed. There is no doubt that the writer is talented with a good cast of characters and whipping dialogue inclusive of many steamy romantic moments.
“Perhaps being raised in a circus, by Barnabas, was more of a blessing than I thought.”
I commended Minerva for writing a unique historical romance. There is a large portion of the story that is factual and will have you racing to Google to learn more. This book though will not be to everyone's tastes due to its less than conventional storyline and stepping outside the usual genre. Still, sampling this author may prove entertaining and worth your while.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.