When her father is assassinated, Princess Emilie flees to England, then goes undercover as Mr. Grimsby, a male tutor to the teenage son of the scarred, war-wounded Duke of Ashland.
When their German principality comes under attack, three princesses escape to England and the protection of their uncle, the Duke of Olympia, who arranges to send them each undercover into different households across the land. Emilie, the most studious and intellectual of the three, winds up as the tutor to the son of the reclusive Duke of Ashland, who was wounded in India and shuns society in his remote Yorkshire estate. Immediately drawn to the damaged yet compelling duke, Emilie finds herself enticed into a platonic but highly sensual relationship with the man at a nearby hotel, while still maintaining her disguise in his household. And if that situation isn’t confusing and fraught enough on its own, things become even more problematic when enemies of her kingdom attack her in Yorkshire. Gray begins a new trilogy on the heels of her highly successful Affairs in Moonlight (A Duke Never Yields, 2013, etc.), following a trio of sisters who flee their besieged principality in late 1889. Fun, engaging, sensual and touching, the first installment reads like a slightly outlandish fairy tale, but Gray’s lyrical writing, intense emotion and spirited characters carry the sophisticated plot to satisfying fruition and keep readers invested every step of the way. Gray’s fans will recognize the ever-plotting Duke of Olympia and some other minor characters from her previous trilogy.
A delightful romance treat.