Four Dukes and a Devil by Cathy Maxwell, Tracy Anne Warren, Jeaniene Frost,Sophia Nash, Elaine Fox

Historical

Grand Central

ISBN: 9780446406932

Reviewed by Niki Lee

   

 

“The Irish Duke” by Cathy Maxwell

Susan Rogers is a lady looking for a way to keep independent of her dreary relations.  To make ends meet, she takes on young ladies during their first Season and leads them to happy marriages.  A recent selling point has been to point out that of all Dukes, the Irish ones are the last to be recognized.  No parent wants this, and since there are few Irish Dukes around, it makes for a good argument for retention of her services.

 

Until an Irish Duke arrives, irate and yet intrigued by Ms. Rogers’ plan.  Roan decides the only way to get the bride he came to London to find is to get Ms. Rogers on his side – by whatever means necessary.

 

“The Duke Who Came to Dinner” by Elaine Fox

The only contemporary in the bunch, the story takes places in Massachusetts, where Gray Gilliam has moved to get away from her life and decide what happens next.  What she wasn’t expecting was someone to steal her clothes as she skinny-dipped (something she would normally never do) and then have to pedal her way back the haunted house she is borrowing from friends.  Trying to overcome her shyness and tendencies, meeting Sam in a bar definitely ranks up there on a list of things Gray would not have expected.  And neither is the attraction she feels for him.

 

“Devil to Pay” by Jeaniene Frost

Featuring some characters from the Grave series, Ms. Frost introduces us to a reclusive vampire, content in her little hovel with nothing but books to keep her happy.  But when she stumbles on a man needing help, a man possessed by a very strong demon, she finds her heart waking up, even as they realize that they only way to save the man is death.

 

“Catch of the Century” by Sophia Nash

Victoria Givan is bound and determined to get her young charges to the monastery where they will all work on restoring it as a foundling’s home.  When they are left stranded and the Duke of Beaufort offers them aid, she can’t help but accept.  But as she gets to know John, and he realizes she is far more than she seems, Victoria knows it will all end badly, so she escapes.  With the help of her friends (characters from other Nash books), she may just find she deserves love at last.

 

“Charmed by Her Smile” by Tracy Anne Warren

It seemed a good plan to India Byron when she decided to ask a stranger to kiss her in an attempt at getting an ardent admirer away from her.  But that kiss makes them both want more, despite both having plans to move on with their lives.

 

Four Dukes and a Devil is an interesting concept, with its mix of historical, contemporary and paranormal.  This mix may not appeal to all, but it worked for me.  I wish they had been a bit more stand alone (in a few, you felt like you were missing pieces of the story since it referred to other series), but overall the held up well.  The quality of all of the stories seemed to fit well together, with none lagging behind in the others in enjoyment. 

 

If you like a mix in your romance grab bag, this collection would be the one for you.

     

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