Never Blow a Kiss
Grade : C

Never Blow a Kiss is a contemporary romance in historical clothing. If you hate this kind of thing, that’s enough to warn you off of the book before parting its covers. But underneath those covers is a pretty amusing story. It’s just not a very historical historical romance.

Emily Leverton was not meant to be a governess, but to keep her mission intact, she’s willing to pose as one. Emily is not graceful, ladylike or gently-born. Her name isn’t even Emily Leverton – it’s Esther Lewis, and Esther’s past is something she’d like to keep buried. What she is good at is teaching spycraft, which is why she’s been recruited by a network of governesses who secretly spy on the ton for for the mysterious Dove. But Emily (I’m calling her that as that’s the name the author uses) won’t be able to do that for very long, since someone’s threatening her over her long-buried past.

Enter Zacharia – Zach - Denholm, a butcher’s son and former soldier who now works for the recently formed Metropolitan Police while dealing with the ton at night as a newly-wealthy railroad magnate. Emily, heaven help him, has intruded upon his latest murder case, but he also wants her for his own. Her sauciness immediately intrigues him.

Emily and Zach are forced to team up to suss out the threat coming for Emily’s neck. Now if they could only keep their hands off of one another…

This is Lindsay Lovise’s first novel, and every first novel has its own humps to overcome – chiefly that this is one heck of a wallpapery historical, complete with Emily asking Zach if hair is his “fetish” during their love scene. Never Blow a Kiss feels a little like a modern romantic suspense story with a couple of petticoats and coaches here and there. Also would someone in 1838 England know what a noodle is? Because Noodles is Zach’s nickname for Emily, and well...

The book does have some virtues, however, which are Lovise’s snappy writing and her enjoyable characters. There’s also some fun suspense to be had with the central mystery, and some decent supporting characters. The mystery percolates along with a decent amount of steam and a sense of humor. It’s a moderately gripping, ahistorical tale with a tough woman and a supportive, dazzled, equally tough man at its center.

Your enjoyment of the book will depend upon your tolerance level for wallpaper historicals. If you can get past the historical mistakes, Never Blow a Kiss is fun and fast-paced but wildly imperfect.

Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes
Grade : C

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : January 29, 2024

Publication Date: 01/2024

Recent Comments …

  1. “What follows next is the Forced Seduction scene. Sigh! I had heard these were popular in romance novels written in…

Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at, follow her on Twitter at or contribute to her Patreon at or her Ko-Fi at
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