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Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea

(Royal Entourage #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,277 ratings  ·  138 reviews
Six Regency heroes—One royal hangover

An infamous night has been lost to memory. The scandalous Dukes of the Royal Entourage must make amends. The first step is a heroic rescue.

One of England’s most disreputable peers, Alexander Barclay, Duke of Kress, has stumbled upon a perfect opportunity for redemption. Having been exiled to Cornwall by the Prince Regent himself, Barcla
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Avon
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  1,277 ratings  ·  138 reviews

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Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
"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 fo
Jun 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book is prefaced with an impressive list of acknowledgements, but it's not clear how these informants, editors, publishers, friends, et al. contributed to what reads like a first attempt at self-publishing.

The prologue describes the aftermath of a drunken debauch by 'Prinny', star of stage, screen and hundreds of Regency romances, and his gang of ducal sycophants. Sadly the reader is left as confused about the debauch as its participants. Worried that his latest excess will spark an uprisin
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Alexander Barclay, Duke of Kress, is on his way to his country estate to marry an heiress quickly to help squelch the public outrage over a very sordid bachelor party. Unfortunately, none of the men involved in the bachelor party can really remember what happened and as Alex provided the drinks for the party, well, he is first up to feel the wrath of the Prince Regent (who was also at the party and now needs to repair his reputation). As he is gazing at the cliffs a movement catches his eye and ...more
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
The story starts off in what felt like a tribute to the movie The Hangover, only set in historical romance England among royalty. It really cracked me up. Instead of waking up in a trashed suite in Vegas after a night of roofies and drinking… they wind up in the Prince Regent’s suite after a long night of swilling Absinthe. This book explores what happened to Alexander Barclay the Duke of Kress, and his consequences after the bachelor party. This looks to be a series and the next book will follo ...more
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
i confess i love to read dedications, it is one of my reading quirks.
and with a dedication like this, how can one not want to read the book?

To nobody but you.
Dec 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sophia-nash
Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea by Sophia Nash

The Royal Entourage series: Six Regency heroes — One royal hangover! The morning after the most scandalous bachelor party of the century, the dukes of the royal entourage must face all of London’s fury . . . when not one of them can remember a thing. The very beginning of this book the "Royal Entourage" of Dukes, including the Prince Regent, while celebrating the upcoming wedding of the Duke of Candover get into some major mischief the night
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historical/Regency Romance Lovers
Recommended to Julie by: One Wicked Romance a Week Group
An unexpected "knight in shining armor", Alexander Barclay, the Duke of Kress rescues Roxanne Vanderhaven, Countess of Paxton, while clinging to a cliff-side edge. Alexander who is a new member to the Prince Regent's "Royal Entourage" has been exiled to the country and ordered to choose a wife within the month by the Prince Regent himself. The blame to this harsh sentence can be assigned to the devil-drink, Absinthe, (unfortunately supplied by the Duke of Kress) causing a notorious night of deb ...more
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fun, fanciful read that begins the series of novels featuring members of the Prince Regent's inner circle of dukes--bachelors all--with whom he cavorts. Prinny likes to play, but in this case, he and his entourage have managed to scandalize both aristocrat and commoner. In a bid to reclaim some of his people's loyalty, Prinny decrees that all the dukes must marry and do it fast, and the brides are to be chosen from an approved list given to them. All the dukes and the prospective brides gather ...more
Feb 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This was okay. I'd thought about DNF-ing it, but, when I picked up to skim through the rest (as I do with most DNF books), I found myself reading it instead. A lot of it was amusing, but, as can happen in humorous books, some of it seemed forced. And I thought a lot of the character building suffered as a result of the humor.

There are a LOT of characters, but I did eventually get them pretty figured out. I don't think I'll read any more in the series, but it's been set up well. (I might've read
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I went into this book a bit leery as the blurb made this out to be a farcical romp. I was sooo glad that it wasn't completely. While some of the fringe characters, i.e Prince George or Prinny, were a bit heavy handedly caricature, the main characters had more depth and emotion than I had expected which was a very pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed the banter between all the main characters and while it did veer a bit into the nonsensical, it wasn't enough to draw me out of the story.

I won't rei
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Rating: A-

This was surprisingly funny for a historical romance. I don't usually expect much humor when reading historicals unless it's the sarcastic, self-deprecating humor usually imparted by the long suffering hero. This time around it's both the hero and heroine who try to out-do each other with their sharp wit. Their bantering reminded me of David (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybill Shepard) from the show Moonlighting.

After being sent to the wilds of Cornwall to redeem himself by finding a sui
Mina De Caro (Mina's Bookshelf)
A “love affair with a book” for me starts with a click, just like between people: it clicks right away or it doesn’t. In the case of Between the Duke and the Blue Sea, it simply didn’t. And it’s so unfortunate, because I believe this novel had a great potential. To give you an idea of the way I felt about this book, imagine to be sitting in front of a beautiful fireplace blazing with fire, but no warmth whatsoever coming out of it. Such a pity…the author introduced such great elements of suspens ...more
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: romantic-reads
Well, I was going to give this four stars until the (view spoiler). Actually, that sounds suspiciously similar to my complaint for the next ...more
Jodi Lamm
Nov 06, 2014 marked it as abandoned
I'm taking a class on the romance genre and this is my homework. This is not a genre I typically read (hence the class), so I'm going into this thing relatively green.

Well, I'm going to give up on this one, especially since my reason for reading it has come and gone. Rather than do a typical review, I'll just list the three main reasons I couldn't bring myself to finish the book.

1. The story outside the romance was too thinly dispersed for me. It seemed to surface every fifty-plus pages or so,
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Alexander Barclay, the ninth Duke of Kress, has no recollection of what went on last night. After waking up with a splitting headache and coming to the conclusion that all the other Dukes he partied with the night before are in the same predicament that he is, he knows that nothing good must have happened the night before. When their night of debauchery is described in full detail in the paper, he comes to learn that not only has he lost his fortune in a bet that he doesn't even remember, but he ...more
Virginia Campbell
I adore the writing of Sophia Nash, and I am so excited that she has created a new series, "The Royal Entourage"! "Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea" features a half-French and totally charming hero, Alex Barclay. When he rescues lovely and lively Roxanne Vanderhaven from a murder attempt by her own husband, his own life is turned topsy-turvy in a most delightful manner. Banished to the country by the Prince Regent after a fateful night of debauchery, Alex is ordered to restore his own fami ...more
Jun 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Ms. Nash’s new series The Royal Entourage starts off with a premise that six bachelor dukes of the royal entourage spent one night celebrating the upcoming nuptials of one of them, got so wasted that none could remember the scandal they created for not just themselves, but for their Prince Regent as well. Well, said Prince Regent has just about had enough of their debauchery [and never you mind that he himself was present at the time] and to punish one wouldn’t do, so he decides he would punish ...more
Kathy Martin
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a refreshing and entertaining story filled with interesting characters and wonderful dialog. Alex Barclay, the new Duke of Kress, is in disgrace and is sent to his crumbling castle to restore it and find a rich, titled and scandal-free bride. On his way home, he rescues Roxanne Vanderhaven from a cliff. Her husband had assisted in her fall and now Roxanne is presumed dead. Alex reluctantly takes her home with him. She isn't exactly scandal-free!

Roxanne is determined to take revenge on h
May 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
I think maybe it will backfire if someone tries too hard to never do something... Such as include as many cliched phrases as possible. This certainly seemed the case for me while reading this. The beginning left me cold, and the end had me proverbially rolling my eyes. The premise had a cliched gothic novel twist, how the two met. It didn't get better. This wasn't awful, they could have been great, if given the chance. Broadcasting what is about to occur on at least three occasions is an unforgi ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it
To me this book was chaotic and confusing from beginning to end. No one ever finished their sentences or someone was interrupting someone else. There were way to many characters crowding the scenes and entering out of nowhere without any information of who they are. Nothing made much sense. And the ending was a way too neat. The one thing that is a positive throughout the book is the humor (why I gave the book 3 stars). I laughed a lot and I enjoyed the banter between Alex and Roxanne. We will s ...more
Sandy Harroun
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved this book! The quirky charachters, witty dialog, just all around fantastic book!
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: regency
Took me a long time to get through this. Didn't enjoy all of it, bits I didn't like at all.
No pizzazz!

N.W. Moors
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
After a night of debauchery fueled by absinthe, the Royal Entourage is in trouble with the public and with the Prince Regent (even though he participated with them). Prinny is determined to punished, and since Alex, Duke of Kress, brought the drinks, he's the first one banished to Cornwall where he must find a wife. Arriving there, he finds Roxanne Vanderhaven, Countess of Paxton, hanging from a cliff (a la Thomas Hardy) and rescues her. Roxanne's husband left her there and assumes she fell to h ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was terrible.

So many plot holes. Times when things weren't explained clearly, leaving me confused and rereading. And modern day sayings! I mean, Roxanne says "Hey..." At one point. Ummm. No.

Alex's character would have been more interesting had he not played the "I don't care about anything card" for so long. Roxanne at least had an interesting story, but clearly her husband was a dick, and his death seems so convenient. No justice was given for her.

Plus we don't know if Prinny was okay with
Apr 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Improbable, implausible and annoyingly silly. Heroine is a saint, the hero is an idiot and too many characters are thrown into the mix who really serve no purpose but to pad the pages. Too much 20th-century language and really - how hard is it to research titles and honorifics in the 19th century to realize the "Prinny" was never addressed as "Your Majesty" until he became King George IV - at which point he was no longer "Prinny" A crash course in reading Mary Balogh and Georgette Heyer is requi ...more
Kindle Reads
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea (Royal Entourage, #1) by Sophia Nash Gotta love a book that literally starts with a cliffhanger. Truly appreciate Nash's integration of humor with a bit of ridiculous era stereotyping. Delicious romance, delightful banter, and what a fun premise for a series. Very enjoyable read. ...more
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-february, 2012
Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea is the first book I’ve read by Sophia Nash and is it also the first book in her new historical romance Royal Entourage series.

The story begins with the heroine, Roxanne Vanderhaven, having fallen off of a cliff and hanging on for dear life, while her husband leaves to seek help....supposedly. But, as long minutes turn into torturous hours she realizes that her husband is not coming back for her; that he has left her to her fate....almost certain death. Just
Lance D. Reich
Jul 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Silly, and not in a good way

Ridiculous. It's like the characters were parodies of themselves. There was no plausibility, but tons of romance novel cliches. I can't believe I blew an evening on this.
Kathleen Crowell
not as much fun as the first one I read. Glad I didn't read this one first or I wouldn't have read the one I did. I have to admit it got so sappy towards the end that I couldn't finish the last chapter or two. ...more
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Sophia Nash’s novels have won almost two dozen national awards including the prestigious RITA Award and two spots on the American Library Association's “Top Ten Romances of the Year.” Sophia was born in Switzerland, raised in France and the United States, but says her heart resides in Regency England. Her ancestor, an infamous French admiral who traded epic cannon fire with the British Royal Navy, ...more

Other books in the series

Royal Entourage (4 books)
  • The Art of Duke Hunting (Royal Entourage, #2)
  • The Duke Diaries (Royal Entourage, #3)
  • The Once and Future Duchess (Royal Entourage, #4)

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“No, you must let me say it. It's not a simple thing, you see. 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.” 3 likes
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