Monday, August 26, 2013

I Married the Duke, by Katherine Ashe

If this first novel in The Prince Catcher's series is any indication, I will anxiously await the next two books, sisters' Eleanor and Ravenna's stories. Katherine Ashe, in I Married the Duke, brings us the story of Arabella, the middle sister of three motherless daughters in search of their father after a disastrous shipwreck. With a prophesy from a gypsy woman regarding an heirloom they hold, Arabella sets off to find and marry the Prince who will lead them to their heritage. Instead of her Prince, she finds Lucien Westfall, a French Comte from his mother's side and an heir to a dukedom on his father's. An "imperfect" hero, Luc is nevertheless perfect for Arabella, despite her somewhat stringent requirements in a groom.

I Married the Duke is a love story, told in fits and starts, two steps forward, one step backward fashion. Ms. Ashe weaves together the stories of two disparate and dysfunctional families into one, a paradigm for any modern marriage.  Wonderful secondary characters abound. Luc's cousin Cam and his naval friend Tony move the story forward while adding necessary intrigue and dash. One hopes that these two will one day get their own happily ever afters.

This novel is different in that the hero is physically impaired, and the outcome of the relationship, let alone the protagonist's individual survival, is left in doubt in many places. It's a story that's riveting, colorful and so much better for all the twists and turns.

Well written, well thought out, highly recommend.

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