Mon
May 8 2017 12:00pm

First Look: Shana Galen, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain and Vanessa Kelly’s The Dukes of Vauxhall (May 9, 2017)

The Dukes of Vauxhall by Shana Galen, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain and Vanessa Kelly

Shana Galen, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain and Vanessa Kelly
The Dukes of Vauxhall
Self-Published / May 9, 2017 / $3.99 digital

The prince regent’s splashy birthday celebrations at London’s notorious Vauxhall Gardens provide the backdrop for The Dukes of Vauxhall, a charming quartet of linked historical romances by Shana Galen, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain, and Vanessa Kelly. All set during the same handful of weeks and the same dizzying crush of events—a prize fight, a masked ball, etc.—each story gives the reader a different voice, a different perspective, and a different couple to love! And, oh, a different kind of duke! 

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a little bit of peerage fatigue. Like, how many freakin’ dukes do we have in Romancelandia? (I’m looking at you, too, viscounts. You’re not off the hook.) But the wonderful and engaging thing about this anthology is that the titular dukes are as unconventional as their love interests and each tale moves quickly enough that you don’t get caught up in a lot of the typical Regency romance beats. (But there are balls. Of many kinds. Heh.)  

Shana Galen kicks off the anthology with Taken By the Duke, about Kate Dunn, a crime boss looking for one big score and her childhood sweetheart, Henry Selkirk, who’s been given the thankless task of catering to Prinny’s whims. While the conflict resolves itself a little too quickly, the build-up is fun and sexy and the action sequences entertaining. I was particularly delighted that certain things that happen in this story are useful plot devices in the later ones. Christi Caldwell’s Fighting for His Lady focuses on the boxing element of the anthology, as Patience Storm seeks out her father’s old protege, Godrick Gunnery, to help her brother get up to snuff...and to help her heart heal from wounds of the past. Patience, who’s fallen on hard times, is as much of a boxing expert as anyone who spars at Gentleman Jackson’s...and that’s really cool! It felt organic that she would’ve picked up her father’s expertise.  

Theresa Romain’s heroine, Poppy Hayworth, walks a literal tightrope in The Prodigal Duke when her old friend Leo Billingsley comes back from making his fortune abroad and has a proposition that could help them both. This novella has a lovely portrayal of a hero with ADHD and a heroine trying to take care of herself after a horrific event, along with sharp and witty banter to lighten the load. Meanwhile, Vanessa Kelly returns to much-loved characters from her Renegade Royals series as self-sufficient hoyden Antonia Barnett gets her happily-ever-after with Captain Roman Cantrell, The Buccaneer Duke. I was definitely charmed by Tony and Roman and their busybody families. As someone who hasn’t read any of those books, I wasn’t at all lost, but it did feel more like a gift to her existing readers than a stand-alone novella. Still...who’s going to turn down a present of any kind? 

The Dukes of Vauxhall collection is definitely a beautifully wrapped package for any Regency romance fan!   

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Learn more about  or pre-order a copy of The Dukes of Vauxhall by Shana Galen, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain and Vanessa Kelly, available May 9, 2017:

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H&H Editor Picks:

First Look: Theresa Romain’s My Scandalous Duke

First Look: Christi Caldwell’s The Rogue’s Wager

First Look: Vanessa Kelly’s How to Marry a Royal Highlander

Summertime Is Anthology-time: Regency Anthologies For the Reading

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mala Bhattacharjee is a longtime pop culture writer and the former News Editor of Soap Opera Weekly magazine. She also writes contemporary romance as Suleikha Snyder. She loves romance, genre TV and movies, Bollywood and single-malt scotch. Follow her on Twitter @badnecklace.

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2 comments
Kareni
1. Kareni
This sounds like a fun read! Thanks for the First Look.
lauralee1912
2. lauralee1912
I've been looking forward to this anthology. Four of my current favorites in one book.
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