Distracting the Duchess by Emily Bryan



ISBN: 978-0-8439-5870-6

Reviewed by Niki Lee



A spy and a painter of nudes are an unlikely combo, but that is how DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS begins.

When Trevelyn Deveridge steps into the studio of Lady Artemisia, widowed Duchess of Southwyke, itís a case of mistaken identity.  She thinks he is the new model for one of her paintings, and he does nothing to disillusion her, hoping he can still get the information he seeks.  Of course, he wasnít expecting to do it in the nude.

Artemisia is a skilled painter, working on a series of paintings depicting the gods - in the buff.  But her professional detachment deserts her when she sees the beautifully formed Trevelyn.

She finds herself wanting to know more about him, but little things donít add up.  When she finds out heís been keeping secrets, she has to decide if the wonderful feelings he brings out in her are worth the cost of not being able to trust him.

I admit that the premise of Distracting the Duchess is one I had not come across before Ė a widowed, titled painter, raised in British India, and a well-born spy, meet and fall in love.  I had fun seeing how the two came together.  The first half is mostly about falling for each other despite themselves, and the second half is more focused on the mission Trev is on and their attempts to figure it out in time.

I liked Trevelyn quite a bit.  He was fun, sexy, mysterious even as his secrets are revealed.  And the recurring theme about India was well handled, not overdone as I have seen in other books.  Art, sex and mystery Ė what else could you want?


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