Four Dukes and a Devil

Four Dukes and a Devil contains five wonderful romance stories from New York Times Bestselling Authors. I was thrilled to have the chance to review this book since it has been on my “must read” list.
The book opens with The Irish Duke by Cathy Maxwell. This delightful historical is about Miss Susan Rogers, spinster at age 26, who tutors young women on finding the best husband during their Season. She warns them all against the “Irish Duke” who in Order of Precedence will come last in line…when it comes to Dukes- he will still come before the other nobles of lower rank, she just neglects to tell her employers that, never thinking that an Irish Duke would actually appear at any of the events of the Season.
Too bad one does and he’s quite upset about being made to seem unsuitable to the women but it soon doesn’t matter because the only woman he wants is Susan.
An authentic historical romance that I loved, it took me back to my romance roots and made me remember the books I grew up reading. Stubborn woman meets stubborn man and they fall in love yet they are too stubborn to give in.
The second story is a nice contemporary romance with a slight twist which may or may not be construed as having paranormal elements. The Duke Who Came to Dinner by Elaine Fox is about Gray, who has gone to the east coast to summer and hopes to break out of her boring shell, which she does right away when an incident with a naughty pooch leaves her bicycling through town in nothing but her panties praying that no one spotted her. But he did. Sam becomes fascinated with the naked woman he spotted bicycling past his house early in the morning who he meets later that night at a local bar. This story was funny, touching, and a little quirky.
The third story is Jeaniene Frost’s Devil to Pay, the whole reason I really wanted this book in the first place. Set in the world of her Night Huntress series, Devil to Pay is about vampire Elise and the possessed human, Blake, she meets and falls in love with. Bones and Cat make a quick appearance but soon leave and let these characters take center stage. A wonderful look at other characters in the Night Huntress world. I hope to see them make appearances in some of the novels. Elise rediscovers love and Blake finds out there’s more to him and his life than the demon inside him.
The fourth story is hands down my favorite, which surprises me because I was sure Jeaniene Frost’s would be my favorite because of the paranormal elements. However Sophia Nash’s Catch of the Century is another fine example of a historical romance with a rags to riches twist that I always loved to read while growing up. What poor girl doesn’t dream of being swept off her feet by a handsome man who is also incredibly wealthy? Catch of the Century is one the best rags to riches historical I’ve read in a long time with such wonderfully vivid characters and such an engaging story line.
In Catch of the Century a Duke picks up a stranded schoolmistress and her charges along the side of the road and offers to take them to their destination not realizing it’s over 60 miles away. The characters are immediately drawn to each other though properly fight it as their stations demand. The long carriage ride is an interesting one with mishaps all along the journey that keep the two together, fate seems to want them together but so they. A delightful read that makes me want to grab more of Sophia Nash’s books.
The final story Charmed by Her Smile is another historical set in Regency England in which a bewitching and unorthodox young woman accosts a Duke at a wedding (who she doesn’t know is a Duke) and begs him to kiss her to keep an unwanted pursuer away. Later she is again being pursued by the same stupid man this time at a family gathering and wishes the handsome stranger was there to save her again…when suddenly he is. Turns out that the stranger is the Duke of Weybridge a handsome and charming devil that no woman can seem to tame. But now he’s intrigued by young India Byron. A fun and flirty story that is enjoyable though predictable (but aren’t they all, I mean that is the whole premise behind romance novels, we get the happily ever after endings).
If you love the romance genre this is an excellent collection of what the genre has to offer; historicals, a sweet contemporary and one paranormal. These stories personify what the romance world is all about with stories from some of the best authors in the business. This collection introduced me to a few authors I have not read before and made me really want to read more of what they have to offer.
This one’s a keeper and a highly recommended read.

Book Blurb for Four Dukes and a Devil

Fall in love with the unpredictable and irresistible dukes (and one dog named Duke) in this collection of stories by bestselling authors Cathy Maxwell, Elaine Fox, Jeaniene Frost, Sophia Nash, and Tracy Anne Warren, for tales of noble danger and devilish desire.

Delicate young ladies must be protected from him.

First he steals her clothes, then he steals her heart.

Most would be terrified of this powerful vampire—but not him.

He's "the catch of the century" . . . but she's the one he can't have.

A young miss demands a kiss. But he won't rest once she's touched her lips to his.

With four dukes and one devil, there's no limit to love.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2009 4.50