Saturday, January 7, 2012

How to Dance with a Duke by Manda Collins

Cecily Hurston's father is a renowned Egyptologist. In fact, he was one of the founding members of the Egyptian Club in London. Which makes the distancing of the club from her father after his attack (stroke?) puzzling. There are rumors of a curse from his last expedition where her father quarreled with his secretary, Will Dalton, who subsequently disappeared. 
Will's brother Lucas, the Duke of , is also worried. Though his brother did not have a good marriage, he knows that Will should have returned home after the last expedition. When he runs into Cecily outside the Egyptian Club, he is at first amused by her attempts to get in (unmarried ladies are not allowed) because he empathizes with her predicament (he is not allowed in because he isn't a member) and because he admires her persistence and intelligence. 
This is a romance novel so it should be no surprise that, after some fits and starts, Cecily and Lucas decide to work together to discover what is going on. And, of course, close proximity and mutual attraction will lead them into a partnership of a different sort. 
Very close to a five star book for me. It wasn't the cover that turned me off although, seriously, what were the publishers thinking? This cropping creates a weird optical illusion and, although I think they've fixed it a little since it was first put out, the man still doesn't have a goddamn nipple. Is this like one of those books where the hero on the cover doesn't actually depict what's in the book? Maybe it's a war wound that was never described? 
It was an overall well-written book but there were a couple of places (which, of course I didn't write down) where I was pulled out of the story through annoyance or just plain frustration with one character or another. 
Very much looking forward to the stories of Maddie and Juliet, Cecily's cousins. The three girls are daughters (Cecily is a step) of the three Featherstone sisters who took London by storm, quickly snatching up eligible bachelors even though they were the daughters of a church man. 
Readalikes: Legend Hunter series by Robyn DeHart (historical treasure hunting, Stephanie Laurens (peppy patter) 
Spelling errors (ebook): 241 "though" instead of "through"

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