cover image You’re the Duke I Want

You’re the Duke I Want

Lenora Bell. Avon, $9.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-331688-1

Bell (the Wallflowers vs. Rogues series) launches the Thunderbolt Club series with this rollicking Regency retelling of Grease. Here, Sandy becomes Sandrine Oliver, “the inviting, joyful, inquisitive heart” of seaside village Squalton-on-Sea, despite her sheltered upbringing and overprotective mother. A passionate member of the town’s historical society, she hopes to preserve the abandoned manor owned by the indifferent Duke of Rydell. Summer lovin’ comes in the form of new-to-town Danny Smith—who, unbeknownst to Sandrine, is really notorious rake Lord Dane Walker, the Duke’s brother. The pair are instantly smitten, but Dane feels unworthy of Sandrine’s affection. After his brother dies and he reluctantly inherits the dukedom, Dane returns to London, leaving Sandrine heartbroken and still in the dark. They’re reunited when she heads to the capital herself to confront the new duke about the state of the manor—but Dane cruelly spurns her. With help from newfound friends (risqué socialites who distinguish themselves with pink sashes over their gowns), Sandrine transforms from country mouse to glamorous temptress hoping to show Dane just what he’s missing. The transposition of the classic musical to Regency England works surprisingly well, with perhaps the cutest change being that, instead of cars, the characters brag about their carriages. This is good fun. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, CAA. (Dec.)