Book Binge's Reviews > Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea

Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea by Sophia Nash
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Apr 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: reviews-by-judith

The Prince Regent whose presence gives this historical period its name, is a man who loves to party. He is a man who is far more into "playing" than he is into ruling and were it not for the presence and continued life of his ailing father, he would be king outright. Yet his inner circle knows his penchant for fine wine, beautiful women, and as much loud celebrating the public can tolerate. Well, folks, this series begins the tales of those inveterate players--bachelors all--who made up the inner circle of Prinny and whose loud, boisterous, drunken playing has now managed to offend aristocrat and commoner alike. Not only that, the hero of this novel has managed to lose his entire fortune after only possessing it and the title for a very short period of time. In order to reclaim some semblance of his people's loyalty, Prinny has decreed that ALL the dukes will marry--they will each choose a bride from a list the Prince will provide--and they will do it as soon as possible.

This initial offering in this series has some wonderful characters. The main characters are a man who has no interest in marrying yet must do so as a result of the fallout from the bachelor party--an evenings festivities that caused such damage that the groom never made it to the church. Now the Duke of Kress is sent to the lonely sea coast of Cornwall to repair his ancestral castle and take all the other partying dukes with him as well as the simpering misses who are hoping for a ducal title and that little band of gold (and the fortune to go with it). Who would have imagined that Kress would come upon a woman who is hanging on to almost nothing half way down a sea cliff, staring at her possible death on the rocks below, and whose presence at his home would cause all the rather strange circumstances that develop because of her being there? Yet that is the crux of this story and as in some of the finest historical novels, the dialogue and goings-on of the guests are the most entertaining aspect.

The heroine--the woman saved from certain death at the bottom of the cliff--wants to move on with her life. She knows that her greedy husband has left her to die if not actually managing to arrange her fall in the first place. She is attracted to the duke but understands that Prinny has commanded and so he must do. She was certainly not on Prinny's list of potential brides who were acceptable. Yet as is most often the case, little if anything goes according to plan, and we all know that human emotions and sexual attraction top the list of unpredictable aspects of human living. So it is here, and the circumstances that are constantly causing the duke and our heroine to face their feelings for one another are many and much resented by both.

I think you'll like this novel; you'll find yourself chuckling often and sometimes laughing outright. It is fun, entertaining reading and is the kind of historical romance that moves away from the ordinary sufficiently to capture even the jaded interest of those of us who read mountains of books. The heroine is the kind of woman who is willing to live according to the dictates of society--to a point. Yet she now knows that no man is going to be allowed to diminish her sense of herself as has her husband. I guess facing one's death as one hangs off a cliff can change the way a person is willing to live in the future. The hero is also a man who finally faces up to the necessities of his rank, yet there is still that sense of wanting life on his own terms. Thus, these two independent and strong-willed individuals has a tough time finding their way toward one another and when they do, they still have problems.

This novel is good reading from beginning to end. I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

This review was originally posted on Book Binge by Judith.
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