A Duke’s Pleasure
Tracy Ann Warren
Avon, Jan 12 2010, $7.99
In 1789 Nottinghamshire, England, eleven year old ducal heir Edward Byron meets the Earl of Edgewater. Immediately afterward his father and the earl introduce a stunned Edward to his fiancée newborn Claire as the two dads made a deal.
In 1811 Claire receives a letter from Edward, now the duke that he is coming to marry her. She has seen him three times in her twenty-two years of life: as a newborn, as a little girl and when she was sixteen. She fell in love with him as a teen, but he sees her as a duty. Claire needs Edward to jilt her so she sets in motion a plan to achieve her goal; instead he kisses her and Claire knows she is in trouble.
At Clybourne House, Edward’s sister Mallory greets Claire with enthusiasm. At dinner she meets his twin brothers and another single sibling Drake the genius. Edward receives a note and leaves abruptly. He goes to the prison where he finds traitor Lord Everett dead with a knife in his chest and no witnesses. Meanwhile Claire continues to try to get her fiancé to dump her, but she fails even when she becomes notorious as Claire the Dare doing the outrageous while he investigates who in the Ton is spying for the French.
The lead couple has a fascinating history though they met only three times before while his sister Mallory is a terrific support character though what appears to be a setup for a sequel has been overdone. Adding to the overall fun is a locked door murder mystery inside a prison. Although Edward is too patient with Claire for someone used to being obeyed and a major coincidence is the key to resolving the plot readers will enjoy this strong investigative Regency romance.