cover image A Duke by Default: Reluctant Royals, Book 2

A Duke by Default: Reluctant Royals, Book 2

Alyssa Cole. Avon, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-268556-8

In Cole’s rollicking second Reluctant Royals contemporary (after A Princess in Theory), Portia Hobbs leaves New York for Scotland and a sword-making apprenticeship, determined to recreate herself and her life. However, “Project New Portia” takes a hit when she finds herself wrong-footed with her new boss, Tavis McKenzie, on the first day. Tavis doesn’t want an apprentice, especially not one whose freckles and curves set his mind to wandering lustfully. But Portia’s talents soon prove to be exactly what Tavis’s business needs, and when Tavis admits there’s more to her than sexy good looks, the smoldering tension between them explodes with a fiery kiss. As Portia slowly begins to see herself as more than a flighty screw-up, she sets in motion events that change Tavis’s future—and that may just push her out of his life for good. Cole includes just the right amount of sass, sex, and heart to satisfy romance readers. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary. (July)