Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Art of Duke Hunting by Sophia Nash

Roman, seventeenth Duke of Norwich, has two rules by which he guides his life--never marry and end the dreaded Norwich curse as he is the final heir to the dukedom and to never to go sea as he is certain as this is how he is going to die.  When he wakes up on a ship in the middle of a storm after one disastrous bachelor party, he naturally flies into a panic.  Esme, Countess of Derby, sees a man who looks like he is about to fall overboard, she gathers her wits and rescues the man and she quickly sees the blind terror he is suffering and sets about trying to soothe him.  What they share is just for the moment but the resulting actions from the bachelor party force these to into an unwanted marriage.  However, Esme is the perfect balm to Roman's fear of never letting himself fall in love but she is holding a secret that could jeopardize their new found happiness and when yet another secret from Roman's past comes to light, it is with love and joy that Roman and Esme are able to finally find peace together.

I really enjoyed this book.  It is not overly serious, but just warm, light, silly and sexy fun!  I loved the instant attraction between Roman and Esme and how Esme insists that they call each other by their last names (to help protect her secret).  So Esme is known as 'March' and Roman is know as 'Montagu'.  It always brings a smile to my face when couple give each other nicknames that are just perfect for each other.  I also liked how Esme was not a great beauty and she was aware of this and was happy to just go about her life as a widow, never planning of falling in love with someone who could truly love her back.  She is warm, witty and enjoys her independence but ends up finding life as a duchess something she can bear.  Roman was also a very likeable character from his fear of ducks to his steadfast belief that he must break the family curse, even if it costs him his own happiness.  There were some wonderful secondary characters that will give you just enough glimpses to be anxious for their own stories!  There are no major flaws with this story other than the fact there are quite a few characters and it took be a bit to remember all the titles, last names and first names...I always get a bit confused when the author goes back an forth.  Overall though a truly delightful romance filled with humor, snappy wit and dialogue and a wonderful romance that blooms over time.  I can't wait for more in this delightfully fun series!  4 stars

I received an eARC from Avon via

Royal Entourage series
(This book can be read as a standalone as it happens about the same time as the first book but in the long run I believe this series of six books will be best enjoyed in order)
Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea (Royal Entourage, #1)

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