cover image A Royal Pain

A Royal Pain

Megan Mulry. Sourcebooks Landmark, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4022-6997-4

Mulry debuts with a delightful love story between Bronte Talbott and her modern-day duke. Bronte loves everything pop culture, including—perhaps especially—“royal gazing,” mostly because it annoys her intellectual father. After a disastrous relationship with “Mr. Texas,” for whom Bronte moved from her beloved New York to Chicago, advertising exec Bronte meets Max Heyworth, a “lovely young gentleman from England” and doctorial student in economics at the University of Chicago. It’s not long into their whirlwind romance before Max wants to marry Bronte. Only two problems stand in their way: Bronte doesn’t know that Max, who lives like a pauper, is actually the 19th duke of Northrop, and Bronte has some serious issues to work through, not the least of which being, once she does find out, deciding whether she even wants the life of a duchess. This delectable story, a little reminiscent of the movie The Prince and Me, is all about second chances and every girl’s secret fantasy of marrying the perfect guy. Mulry creates a completely fleshed-out character in Bronte, with her insecurity issues and her envious good luck. She and the other characters make this charming book worth reading again and again. Agent: Allison Hunter, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)