Prank wars, a country house murder and a passel of irrepressible children add zing to three very sweet romances.
★ My Last Duchess
Eloisa James pens a truly delightful prologue to her popular Wildes of Lindow Castle series in My Last Duchess, the love story of the family’s patriarch and matriarch. Hugo Wilde has eight children from two duchesses and is now in need of a third wife. There’s all those children, after all, ranging in age from 2 to 18. He had planned to make a sensible choice until he took one look at widow Lady Ophelia Astley. In keeping with Wilde family tradition, he falls in passionate love at first sight. But what does he have to offer her except the stultifying life of a duchess, not to mention those eight children? Their path to happiness is mostly smooth—who can resist a sexy, kind, besotted duke?—yet the journey is great fun all the same. The banter is witty, the secondary characters are exquisitely well drawn, and the glimpses of the children will cause readers who have read their stories to smile and entice those who have not.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Eloisa James reveals how she made instalove work.
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
Manda Collins smoothly blends romance and an English country-house whodunit in A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem. Newspaper owner Lady Katherine Bascomb pens an article critical of Scotland Yard’s investigation into the murders attributed to the “Commandments Killer,” causing Inspector Andrew Eversham to be pulled off the case. But he gets a second chance at stopping the villain when a similar killing occurs in a small village near the estate where the very curious and very stubborn Kate currently resides. Despite the class barrier between them, the pair realizes they have equally clever minds and an undeniable physical chemistry. The twists and turns of the plot will keep readers guessing, but Kate’s independent attitude and the interesting friends she gathers around her bring the story to vivid life.
The Cul-de-Sac War
Two neighboring houses, a big, slobbering dog without boundaries and one unwelcome attraction add up to a madcap romance in The Cul-de-Sac War by Melissa Ferguson. From the moment hunky, stubborn contractor Chip moves in next door to the home that free spirit Bree inherited from a relative, alarm bells go off. When Chip refuses to move a fence line, sparks fly and pranks ensue until they’re in a full-fledged war. But as these likable characters become better acquainted, they share serious thoughts about happiness, death, family and work. Love follows, but can they admit to it? This kisses-only inspirational romance is a sweet treat with a soft center.