Regency England is the setting for my pal Fiona Louis' latest book, "The Reluctant Duke." The novel opens with Colin Lyre, the second son of the Duke of Lincoln, having a nigh on the town with his friends. Colin is quite happy as a second son, but within a year, his father and brother will be dead. Colin will be the reluctant heir to a vast fortune and property, but he is uncomfortable with his new position. This situation is further complicated when he saves the lovely Annabelle Collins from the too amorous advances of a young man. Colin is immediately smitten, but Annabelle, though well-born, is below his station. She is the daughter of an aristocratic clergyman but is not trained to be a duchess--nor does she want someone of such a high station. However, Colin and the lovely lady are thrown together throughout the debut season, and Colin presses his suit when he realizes he may lose his love to another man. Colin and Annabelle marry after they are caught in a compromising position, and their passion sets them aflame. However, their social differences threaten to mar their happiness, especially when Colin's dragon mother and evil widowed sister-in-law intrude on the newlyweds.
Ms. Louis does a wonderful job of capturing the Regency Era. She also captures the passion between Colin and Annabelle. The scenes can only be described as hot! Her characters also come alive. Annabelle gains the reader's sympathy as the sweet but inexperienced girl who wants only her husband's love but who is bullied by his family. Colin is gallant as Annabelle's champion. The reader wants to cheer when he punches her aggressor, but readers will waver in their empathy when he caves in to his Dowager Mother.
This book is an enjoyable read. You'll revel in the passion and period! Check it out at www.redrosepublishing.com.