by Barbara Dawson Smith

November 2005
ISBN: 0-312-93238-3
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

Barbra Dawson Smith has written another winner. Her newest novel, The Duchess Diaries, takes the reader on an other enchanting ride into the Regency world with a unique twist. Grant Chandler is a pariah to society in England so he escapes abroad and becomes a famous jewel thief. When he is named of guardian of the Duke of Mulford’s young son, he returns to England. Upon his return, he is faced with the woman he has always loved- Sophie the Duke’s widow. Sophie is terrified that Grant will negatively influence her young son, but at the same time she is attracted to Grant and his wild ways. However, Grant has come to believe that the Duke did not die of natural causes and he has reason to suspect that Sophie may not be as innocent as she appears. Fighting their mutual attraction to each other Sophie and Grant must discover who may have murdered the Duke and may be after Sophie’s young son.

The Duchess Diaries is a wonderful read full of sensual romantic scenes and yet moves at a fast pace that captures the reader from the first page. The sparks fly between Sophie and Grant throughout most of the novel and make the ending even sweeter for the reader. The mystery is interesting and has quite a few unexpected turns that kept me guessing until the end. The details in this novel are well researched and firmly place the reader in the Regency period. The romance between Sophie and Grant starts out slow but quickly accelerates to a fast pace that moves the story along. Grant’s bad boy reputation brings a touch of spice and makes him even more attractive to the reader. Who can resist a bad boy trying to go right; certainly not this reviewer or Sophie for that matter! This touching romance is a cozy read that touches the heart and brings a smile to the face. A true winner, I can hardly wait for Smith’s next book. She is truly a rising star in the historical romance world. I highly recommend this book to all historical romance lovers.

Reviewed in November 2005 by Jen.

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