Sunday, August 16, 2009

How To Dazzle A Duke-Claudia Dain

How To Dazzle A Duke
Claudia Dain
Berkley, Sep 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 978-0425229682

In 1802 London, logical Lady Penelope Prestwick has decided nothing less than a duke will do for her. She has even selected her future husband though Lord Edenham is ignorant of that fact. However, the perceptive Penelope needs a super mentor if she is to succeed on her quest; she asks the incredible matchmaker and former courtesan Sophia Dalby to assist her.

Penelope’s plan, based on Sophia’s insider tips to the workings of the minds of men whose quality is below the waist, is to persuade Lord Iveston to fake a courtship in order to make her duke jealous. Her scheme works perfectly except for one minor problem; Iveston has his own scheme and his kisses seem to be making his execution supersede hers.

This is an intriguing Regency romance starring an interesting heroine whose plot works faultlessly except for one small problem; she falls in love with a Marquess. The story line is slowed down a bit by a seemingly cast out of a Cecil B. DeMille epic. However fans of the courtesan saga (see THE COURTESAN’S SECRET, THE COURTESAN’S WAGER and THE COURTESAN’S DAUGHTER) will relish the amusing antics of many of the returnees in support roles as brainy Penelope learns the perils of the heart.

Harriet Klausner

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