by Katharine Ashe
Series: The Prince Catchers #1
Published by: HarperCollins
Genres: Historical Romance
Three very different sisters beguile society with their beauty and charm, but only one of them must fulfill a prophecy: marry a prince. Who is the mystery Prince Charming, and which sister will be his bride?
On the way to marry a prince in a castle, a lady should never:
1. Bribe an infuriatingly arrogant and undeniably irresistible ship captain,
2. Let him kiss her senseless on a beach,
3. Battle thieves at his side,
4. Exchange wedding vows with him, even under the direst circumstances.
But daring, determined Arabella Caulfield isn’t just any lady. And Luc Westfall is no typical ship captain. He’s the new Duke of Lycombe, and to defeat a plot that could destroy his family he must have an heir. Now he knows just the woman for the job . . . and he’s not above seduction to turn this would-be princess into a duchess.
I love a good historical romance, and when you add in suspense and a little mystery I begin to drool. I Married the Duke is the first in the Prince Catchers series by Katherine Ashe and from the very first pages I was enthralled. Three charming, orphaned sisters, and a prophecy ensures this series will be a delight. Three word review: romantic, suspenseful with delightfully flawed characters.
The tale begins when the three Caulfield sisters show a gypsy the ring their mother gave them before placing them aboard a ship. It is the only clue to their heritage. The gypsy informs them that a prince holds the answers and that one of them will marry the prince. This first story belongs to Arabella who misses her ship to France, where she will be a governess for a prince in France. When she misses her boat to help three stranded children she finds herself at the mercy of Lucien Westfall, a pirate and sea captain, who has his own secrets. The tale that unfolds has secrets, romance and sinister plot to control a Dukedom.
Ashe introduces us to some wonderfully fleshed out characters that made me swoon, giggle and gasp. Arabella is strong, determined, and completely caught off guard by handsome Lucien. He isn’t a prince, he is a pirate but his rough good looks and strong arms unnerve her. I loved how she meddled and followed her heart. Lucien is a complicated pirate with plenty of secrets, and I adored watching Ashe peel back his layers as she exposed him to us. We meet plenty of other colorful characters, including Arabella’s siblings, a few villains and they each added to this delicious tale.
I Married the Duke has several general tropes woven into the tale from marriage of convenience to sinister plots, and it all worked beautifully to keep this reader engaged. The romance that develops felt genuine and Lucien made me melt. Who would have thought his comments regarding hair could curl my toes? At times,I was frustrated when one of them didn’t disclose information, but their cat and mouse game kept me entertained. I am anxious to discover more about the ring and the sister’s birthright. The plot for the kingdom was fascinating, and I loved how Arabella got into the thick of things unearthing clues and secrets. There were some steamy moments with just enough detail to heat the pages and steal my heart. I Married A Duke was a delightful tale, and I am anxious for the next sister’s adventure.
I Married the Duke, is the perfect start to this promising new series. Fans of historical romance, suspense and unique characters will delight in this engaging tale. Ashe is a delightful storyteller, and I look forward to reading more of her novels.
Four cups of coffee out of five
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