After Dark with the Duke

Julie Anne Long. Avon, $8.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-304509-5
Rumors and respectability are at the forefront of Long’s exceptional fourth Palace of Rogues Regency romance (after I’m Only Wicked with You). Disgraced opera singer Mariana Wylde flees her London home after she’s threatened by a mob accusing her of using her feminine wiles to incite a duel. She finds refuge at the Grand Palace on the Thames, a boarding house run by Delilah Hardy and Angelique Durand where war hero James Duncan Blackmore, the Duke of Valkirk, also resides. The image-conscious duke initially rebuffs and ridicules Mariana, until Delilah and Angelique step in. As penance for his poor behavior, James offers to teach Mariana Italian, and their enjoyable tutoring sessions soon lead to frank discussions and intense attraction. But as Mariana considers an offer to sing in a new opera in Paris and James contemplates remarrying after the death of his wife five years before, it seems the differences in their social stations may be insurmountable. Long’s intelligent, complex protagonists and their credible hidden depths feel remarkably real, while the slow-burning evolution of their romance and genuine impediments to their love will keep readers hooked. Add in witty dialogue and sharp commentary on class restrictions, and the result is a standout historical romance. Agent: Steve Axelrod, the Axelrod Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/09/2021
Release date: 11/01/2021
Genre: Romance/Erotica
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-304415-9
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