cover image Duke, Actually

Duke, Actually

Jenny Holiday. Avon, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-295208-0

Holiday’s follow-up to A Princess for Christmas hits all the right notes as the heir to a dukedom discovers love during the holidays. Max von Hansburg, Baron of Lauden, is the man of honor for the upcoming Christmas wedding of his ex-fiancé and good friend, Princess Marie of Eldovia, to New Yorker Leo Ricci. It’s through that couple that he first met literature professor Dani Martinez, Leo’s best friend, to whom Max reaches out upon traveling to New York to meet another woman his parents want him to marry. His and Dani’s friendship blossoms during December in New York as he accompanies her to a university holiday party attended by her soon-to-be ex-husband and his girlfriend, helping her save face. Dani is drawn to Max, whose kindness and refreshing candor belies his public playboy image, and as the wedding approaches, she travels to Eldovia and spends time at his home where their relationship begins shifting away from being simply platonic. But Max’s parents are set on his arranged marriage and Dani has resolved to never again let a man control her life. Holiday cleverly draws parallels to Love, Actually throughout this witty, emotionally charged holiday tale. Readers will delight in the strong heroine seeking love on her own terms. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary. (Oct.)