A mutual topic can be found in every storyline of the novellas that have been created by four notable authors. The French have been defeated at Waterloo, and the British are ready for some merrymaking. Parties are taking place, and several big gatherings will occur at Vauxhall Gardens. What will happen to eight individuals attending various entertainments will change their lives forever, and I was thoroughly enraptured by how cleverly the authors entwined common threads into each of their stories. There are also fascinating romances which are given a second chance at love or an unexpected beginning. All the authors have previously written outstanding romance books about the Regency period, and these fun novellas are totally gratifying. THE DUKES OF VAUXHALL has enchanting characters, original circumstances, and compelling emotional issues in every captivating story.
“Taken by the Duke” by Shana Galen
After recently becoming a viscount, Henry Selkirk gets chosen to organize a huge ball that will celebrate the British victory over the French at Waterloo plus observe the Prince Regent’s birthday. As he tours Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, the site of the festivities, he is taken by a group of ruffians whose leader is called the Duke. While held hostage, Henry meets Kate Dunn, a childhood friend with whom he was once very close. But she has grown into a woman with many secrets, and their lives depend on what choices each ends up making.
The interaction between Henry and Kate is often very interesting, as these two gradually discover whether they can ever trust the other or if they will only get hurt. I thought the current events in their lives led to plenty of surprising scenes, where emotions and hope played a huge part in deciding the course of their actions. Shana Galen makes “Taken by the Duke” constantly intriguing with unforeseen developments. A delightful story with subtle humor and charming characters.
“Fighting for His Lady” by Christi Caldwell
Though Patience Storm had once deeply cared for Godrick Gunnery, his lies caused her to never want him in her life again. However, a desperate need for her brother to win a prizefighting match has her contacting the man who became a champion after being taught by her deceased father. Previously called the Duke of the Ring but now retired, Godrick agrees to help Patience’s brother train in order to hopefully have a victorious bout. Fighting is all he has let himself think about since he last saw the only woman who ever meant anything to him, yet being around her brings back memories that he wants to turn into a reality once more.
“Fighting for His Lady” is an exciting story of lost dreams and optimistic wishes. The premise does not follow a typical Regency plot, as Godrick lives an unusual life for a Duke’s son, while the conduct of Patience is not the norm for women of the period. I was highly entertained when this couple interacted, because honest feelings led to earnest responses. Christi Caldwell has written a rousing and enjoyable romance.
“The Prodigal Duke” by Theresa Romain
There was a good reason for Leo Billingsley leaving London years ago, but now he has returned and will become the next Duke of Westfair. But he needs some assistance with a problem, and the only person who comes to mind is Poppy Hayworth, the woman with whom he grew up and is now a local tightrope performer. Since she has her own troubles, accepting his offer of a fictitious engagement will also benefit her. What was once between Poppy and Leo could have turned into more than friendship at one time, and they might just realize that the chance is still there.
Amusing comments had me smiling, while several more serious incidents made me anxious as I waited to see what would eventually take place. Leo and Poppy are pleasantly delightful, and I saw them as two people who were caught in difficult situations not of their making yet still tried to make the best of whatever they faced. Theresa Romain gives her couple much to prevail over, and I found their choices to be genuinely realistic. “The Prodigal Duke” has sincere emotions and enthralling occurrences.
“The Buccaneer Duke” by Vanessa Kelly
With two aspects about her life that English society sees as disgraceful, Antonia Barnett is not having any luck finding a man willing to marry her. Then she meets Captain Roman Cantrell. He was a privateer during the war, and now the illegitimate offspring of a royal prince is supposed to wed someone of good standing in the hope it gives him respectability. Though different in many ways, Roman and Antonia do share some similarities and their conversations are certainly lively. But there is no way her father will get his daughter be connected to the man who not only looks like a pirate but has acted like one.
Engagingly imaginative from beginning to end, “The Buccaneer Duke” is an engrossing romantic adventure. I was overjoyed for the chance to read another Renegade Royals story, as this favorite series has an innovative premise and unique characters. Roman and Antonia are truly beguiling, as they are quick-witted and make some of the most outrageous remarks. I repeatedly laughed at the more humorous moments in the story, while other instances profoundly affected me with their realism. The large number of candid scenes created by Vanessa Kelly for her appealing couple caused countless smiles.
I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Releases: May 9, 2017
Rating: 5 Stars