Two outcasts find each other hiding in plain sight—and fall in love.
When they run into each other in an Edinburgh bookshop, Ibrahim Kent and Joseph Smart have just one thing in common: Neither of them are who they claim to be. Joseph Smart is actually Elizabeth Shaw, better known as Libby, a smart society lady who wants so badly to be a doctor that she is dressing up as a man to attend lectures at Surgeons’ Hall. And Ibrahim, known as “the Turk” and posing as a society portraitist, is actually Ziyaeddin Mirza, Prince of Tabir, in exile from his homeland for 17 years. Ziyaeddin has been enamored of Libby since first meeting her two years ago, so when she asks him to host Joseph Smart in his home, he agrees on the condition that she pose for him once a week. As she devotes every waking hour to her studies and he prepares to re-enter Tabir after its current ruler is deposed, their obsessions leave them little time together. But Libby’s hour of sitting for Ziyaeddin each week crackles with chemistry and, eventually, leads to the bedchamber. Given their single-minded plans, as well as Libby’s mounting battles with her mental health, it’s hard to see how the two can find a happy ending together—but, as usual, Ashe finds a way. As with the three previous entries in her Devil’s Duke series, she has written a remarkably complex story that historical romance readers will adore. Few romance novelists can conjure such lush, erotic stories alongside substantial historical detail and moral heft.
A Georgian-era romance that enthralls and impresses up to the last page.