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