cover image The Dueling Duchess

The Dueling Duchess

Minerva Spencer. Kensington, $16.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-4967-3811-0

Spencer’s alluring second Wicked Women of Whitechapel novel (after The Boxing Baroness) stars Cecile Tremblay, one of four owners of Regency England’s first all-women circus, Farnham’s Fantastical Female Fayre, who also performs as a crack shot in one of the circus’s most popular acts. When Cecile’s former lover Guy Darlington shows up at her circus pleading for a job as Cecile’s assistant/drudge after losing his fiancée and his dukedom to his long-lost cousin, Cecile reluctantly takes him on. She has not forgotten how Guy previously insulted her with an offer to install her as his mistress while he went on to wed a more suitable woman. As the pair spend more time together, however, Cecile sees that he truly regrets his previous behavior and he confesses he’s never stopped loving her. But can guarded Cecile tear down her walls and open up about her mysterious past enough to return his feelings? The unusual backdrop of the circus continues to set this series apart, and the resilient female supporting cast add both charm and humor to the sensuous romance. Readers won’t want to put this down. (May)