Sunday, March 18, 2012

Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea (Royal Entourage, #1) by Sophia Nash

"Look, plans rarely work. Don't you know that by now? Life never goes according to any grand scheme. Don't count on anyone or anything, even me. You of all people should know that by now."

That was an understatement. Roxanne, Countess of Paxton, was literally left hanging on a cliff by her dear husband. Holding on for dear life, several hours after he left, she finally came to the horrible realization--He'd set her up for a fall and had left her to die. Unfortunately for him, but fortunate for her, the Duke of Kress just happened to rest his horse nearby where the incident happened and with the help of her dog, found the poor woman. While some people find themselves between a rock and a hard place, she literally found herself 'Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea.'

Alexander Barclay, the Duke of Kress, just came into his own. He inherited a Dukedom and small fortune and was looking forward to all the benefits the position and wealth had to offer. Just a week into his newly acquired position, and he found himself having a very bad day or rather "morning after". While celebrating with the rest of the Royal Entourage he'd toasted in the night and the Duke of Candover's impending marriage with the only liquor to be found in his newly inherited cellars--Absinthe. The results of the previous night's revelry (or rather debauchery) were plastered the next day in the papers:

"And, indeed, this columnist has it on the very best authority, partially one's own eyewitness account, that not only the august bridegroom, His Grace, The Duke of Candover, but also seven other dukes, one archbishop and the Prince Regent himself, were seen cavorting about all of London last eve on an outrageous regal rampage. Midnight duels, Swimming amok with the swans in the Serpentine, a stream o scantily clad females in tow, lawn bowling in unmentionables, horse races in utter darkness, wild uproarious boasting, and jesting, and wagering abounded. Indeed, this author took it upon himself to retrieve and return to White's Club their infamous betting book...In this fashion we have learned that the Duke of Kress lost the entire fortune he so recently acquired with the title."

As a result, Alexander is barred to his country estate and ordered to select a bride within the next month from a pre-approved list of eligible females of the ton. The last thing he needed was to come to the aid of a damsel, or rather countess, in distress. After rescuing her he should have left her behind., but he just didn't have it in him to turn away a woman whose entire world had been shattered by the betrayal of the man she'd married. Perhaps he wasn't the rake all of London thought him to be?

This was such a fun and lighthearted read. I just loved the way Alexander sort of became Roxanne's knight in shining armor. Roxanne was a bleeding heart who didn't have it in her to hate another nor have it in her for an out and out confrontation. The main thing she wanted to know once the initial fury and shock of the matter had passed, was why her husband would want her dead. Unlike some characters that you might find weak for not gaining some vengeance, I thoroughly liked her and could sympathize with her for seeing this situation as a way of getting out from underneath the thumb of any and all males.

Alexander really shouldn't have taken Roxanne in and allowed her to stay with him under the guise of a distant cousin several times removed (whatever that means lol). He was supposed to keep himself out of any unsavory gossip and be above reproach from the day after all went to hell in a hand basket. Taking in another man's wife, one not related to him, was really not his brightest idea.

The relationship between Alexander and Roxanne progressed at a slow and steady pace. I liked how they grew to mutually respect one another. It was fun how Alexander took a protective type role for Roxanne when it came to her husband, and Roxanne, likewise, took a protective stance with all the females from which Alexander was to choose a wife from. It had a subtle 'The Bachelor' undercurrent to the whole selection/elimination process without being overpowering.

Some of my favorite quotes/lines:
-    "I loved you even before I met you. I loved the idea of you." she said quietly. "And to think you existed all this time. And it only took that horrid moment when everything went wrong for the both of us for our paths to finally cross. I would fall off that cliff again and again for the promise of you."

-    "I detest informality. You may not call me Meme. But, I suppose, since we are in some thin fashion related, you may call me Antoinette."
     "I would be honored to do so." 
     The older lady harrumphed.
     It wasn't until the evening meal that Roxanne learned that the comtesse's true given name was Jacqueline.

-    "Love comes when it chooses. You don't get to say when and you don't get to say who...I guess the only choice you have is whether to say yes or no when it knocks on your heart."

I have to admit the ending had me rolling my eyes a bit, but I actually liked it even though it was a bit cheesy. Somehow it just kind of fit and made me laugh. Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one scored a STEAM rating - too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.


  1. I love a knight in shining armor..great review!

  2. I like how you describe it as "The Bachelor" undercurrent. I love it when a man gets all protective of his woman.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...