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Book CoverVeena’s review of Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea (Royal Entourage, Book 1) by Sophia Nash
Historical Romance published by Avon 28 Feb 12

Between the Duke and Deep Blue Sea is a wonderful kickoff to Sophia Nash’s new regency romance series. Alex Barclay, the newly minted Duke of Kress, barely gets to celebrate his good fortune before he finds himself penniless and exiled to his crumbling estate in the wilds of Cornwall to host a house party of eligible heiresses. Contrary to his orders from the Prince Regent, he’s strongly attracted to the unsuitable and very married Roxanne Vanderhaven, who joins his household after he rescues her from near death and drowning.

Roxanne is a commoner who was married for her fortune to the Earl of Paxton and elevated to the peerage. Gradually she is isolated from her family and the people she grew up with and becomes completely submissive to her husband until she is subjected to the final indignity where he tries to engineer her death. She wants to retaliate and finds an unlike ally in her efforts in Alex.  In a series of hilarious episodes, the two of them engage in pranks that prick her husband’s vanity and ambition until “I’ve grown weary of his uninspired villainy, if he cannot provide more sport,how long must I continue playing with a mouse who is already dead?”

Alex lives life on the surface, refusing to risk his heart after he lost his parents during the French revolution. He is determined to find a rich wife as commanded by the Prince and restore his crumbling estate to its former glory. Roxanne, however, breaks through all his defenses and he finds himself fighting a losing battle against his growing attraction to her.

As gold separates from the dross, Roxanne finds new and true friends amongst the ladies attending the house party. She finds love with Alex as he cajoles and flirts with her while giving her her self-esteem back. I found myself laughing aloud at some of the conversational dialogues between them and some of the things that they do to Roxanne’s husband.

There are a lot of interesting characters that are introduced in this book, and I am sure that some of them will have greater roles and may even be the center of some of the books to come in this series. This is a delightful, lighthearted romp and makes a great read. There are some interesting twists and turns to the plot, but all comes together nicely in the end with the help of new and old friends. I am looking forward to the mysteriously disappearing Roman’s story next.

Grade: A+


The morning after the most scandalous bachelor party of the century, the dukes of the royal entourage must face all of London’s fury . . . when not one of them can remember a thing.

Roxanne Vanderhaven always believed herself the perfect wife. But when her husband, the Earl of Paxton, leaves her clinging to the edge of a cliff, she’s forced to face the truth: she married a murderous blackguard. Her eventual rescuer, Alexander Barclay, Duke of Kress, is one of England’s most disreputable peers—a member of the notorious royal entourage, no less–and certainly the last man she can count on. Indeed, the Prince Regent himself exiled Barclay to Cornwall, and now, by decree, the dashing duke must seek a royal bride to regain favor and help quell the public’s fury against the excesses of the crown.

Roxanne desperately wants a new life—after she’s uncovered the cause of her husband’s despicable actions—and she finds herself drawn, most surprisingly, to her unlikely champion. The Duke of Kress may not be quite the scoundrel he appears…but if she gives him her heart, will Roxanne be making the same mistake twice?

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

Book Cover