cover image The Trouble with Dukes

The Trouble with Dukes

Grace Burrowes. Forever, $7.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-1-4555-6996-0

This droll, delightful Regency-era romance kicks off the Windham Brides, spun off of Burrowes’s Windham Sister series (Lady Eve’s Christmas Portrait, etc.). Hamish MacHugh, a Scotsman who’s just become a duke, feels like a fish out of water in London, and he’s dismayed that the socialites have picked up his wartime nickname, the Duke of Murder. Only bespectacled Miss Megan Windham understands his brand of wit—their banter as she teaches him proper etiquette is great fun—and inspires his lust. The feeling is mutual, but Megan isn’t free to encourage Hamish’s pursuit, as villainous Sir Fletcher Pilkington is using proof of Megan’s youthful indiscretions to blackmail her into matrimony. Burrowes never loses sight of the central couple, even with plenty of meddling added by the strong personalities in Megan’s extended family, which includes a duke and duchess, her parents, and various cousins and siblings. Unfortunately, the book’s light tone often gets lost in the final third, when Sir Fletcher steps up his nefarious efforts. (Dec.)