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Murder, forgery, secrecy, and romance are all integrated in Manda Collins’ latest novel How To Dance With A Duke. At the forefront of the story, which takes place in Regency England, is Lord Lucas Dalton, the Duke of Winterston whose brother William disappears during an excavation of the ancient ruins in Egypt. His unlikely partner becomes Lady Cecily Hurston whose father Lord Hurston was at the helm of the excavation and returned mentally impaired and physically debilitated due to being the victim of an enemy amidst his camp recruits, but who?
Lucas and Cecily embark on solving the riddle of the disappearance of William Dalton. They also learn that several artifacts exhumed during the excavation have been stolen and forgeries of them have been made to be sold on the black market. Though Lucas and Cecily’s partnership is based on mutual intellectual pursuits, their close proximity ignites a passionate romance which leads them to marry.
Collins’ story has its moments of intensity tempered by sprigs of humor and lulls and peaks in the characters action. Elements of mystery and adventure thicken the plot and challenge readers ability to piece clues and figure out the answers for themselves. Acquaintances thought to be enemies end up being friends and vice versa. People aren’t who they seem to be in this story as Lucas and Cecily’s senses are sharpened and the readers as well.
I read the book by an exciting new authoress Manda Collins's "How to Dance with a Duke". I was totally surprised by this story. I loved the characters: Miss Cecily Hurston, a Blue Stocking kind of girl would rather use her mind in other pursuits. She loves her academic knowledge in Egyptian antiquities and wants admission into the Egyptian Club, but can't because she is a woman. So Cecily decides to hunt for a husband that will let her become a member.
Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is a handsome, decorated war hero who meets by chance Cecily in her attempt to enter said club.
Boy, do sparks fly between these two when they come together. You have to read this book, because it has mystery, murder and of course romance.Thanks Ms Collins for an outstanding first novel.