Love takes the stage . . .
Elise deVries is not what she seems. By night, the actress captivates London theatergoers with her chameleon-like ability to slip inside her characters. By day, she uses her mastery of disguise to work undercover for Chegarre & Associates, an elite agency known for its discreet handling of indelicate scandals. But when Elise is tasked with locating the missing Duke of Ashland, she finds herself center stage in a real-life drama.
Noah Ellery left the glamour of the London aristocracy to pursue a simpler life in the country. He's managed to avoid any complications or entanglements-that is, until he lays eyes on Elise and realizes there's more to this beautiful woman than meets the eye. But when Elise reveals her real identity-and her true feelings for him-the runaway duke must confront the past he left behind . . . to keep the woman he loves forever.
In her second Season for Scandal novel (after Duke of My Heart), Bowen once again sets up one of her fabulous Regency-era women in such unusual circumstances that it's no wonder the eponymous duke finds her irresistible. To keep order in London's high society, mysterious Elise deVries and her professional cohorts at Chegarre & Associates specialize in smoothing over scandals, both petty and major. They end up on a wild goose chase when they're contracted to locate Noah Ellery, the Duke of Ashland. He may be dead, he may be estranged from his mother, or he may be alive now but slated for death by his feckless cousin Francis, who has his eye on the dukedom. In one of Bowen's signature diverting happenstances, Elise stumbles on the errant duke hiding away on a farm and employs all her wit and charm to convince him that he should reunite with his family. He's not as keen on that as he is on uniting with her in a very carnal way. This merry-go-round, emphasis on merry, is guaranteed to charm Regency fans.
I loved the characters, their development and the story, but I feel the ending was rushed.
Another great author
This is only the second book I have read by this author, but so far I would put her novels right up with those from McLean, Hoyt, and Dare. These are romantic, exciting, clever and original. There are many characters here that are multidimensional plus extremely compelling lead characters. If you are looking for something slightly different than ballroom drama, give these a go.
Oh. My. Heart.
This book stole my heart. Delightful at every turn. Elise and Noah had a connection and chemistry that was pure magic. I am ready to dive into the next book!