The Art of Duke Hunting from the Royal Entourage series by Sophia Nash
Roman Montagu has been haunted for years by his brother’s drowning, and by the family curse. 200 years ago, the first duke had offered marriage (along with some recently killed ducks as a wedding gift) to a young lady who promptly refused him. Offended, he accused her of witchcraft, and each of the next sixteen dukes died in a fowl manner (usually duck-related). Roman avoids water and lives a high life as part of Prinny’s Royal Entourage, where the wild drunken parties lead to all kinds of trouble.
This time, the trouble is that Roman Montagu has just woken up, completely terrified, and tied to the rail of a ship named The Drake during a terrible storm. A fellow passenger, Esme March, the Countess of Derby, saves his life on the deck and locks him in her stateroom to keep him from going overboard. The heat they create during the tension and passion of the storm seems like a dream by the time the sea is clear and the damaged ship is limping to the nearest harbor, but both Roman and Esme are intrigued by their encounter. After several days spent stranded in an isolated town, they make their way back to London, each back to his or her own social circle. No one needs to know their ship-board secret…until the Prince Regent commands them to marry!
Sophia Nash is witty and wonderful, drawing her characters with the insight that makes reading their story a treat. Reading a romance novel isn’t about whether or not the main characters will live happily ever after, but how it will be accomplished. Roman and Esme both have complicated pasts, but their future is destined to be together.
Pick up this historical romance set in the Regency England, where Prinny himself makes a cameo appearance to twist the plot. The Art of Duke Hunting is a highly recommended and very enjoyable sensual historical romance.
The first book in Sophia Nash’s Royal Entourage series — Between the duke and the deep blue sea looks wonderful as well. I look forward to reading the future books in this series to see how Roman’s friends each find their own lives changing….