Sophia Nash’s THE ONCE AND FUTURE DUCHESS, which is part of her series of the Royal Entourage, is really a very hysterical “The Hangover” a la Regency era. I am not a fan of the movie, The Hangover (I think I’m the only one) but I do admire the shenanigans and problems that they all have to deal with the morning after and go, “How the hell did this happen?” Such is this series. The Prince has issued a royal decree that all the participants of this evening must now marry and reform—after all, we can’t have what’s going over in France happen over here in England! The beheadings!
The Duchess of March also happened to be there that night…though her shenanigans were definitely more on the prudent side. However, this doesn’t keep George from issuing a royal command she marry too; and it appears she and George have the perfect candidate in mind. Actually pretty much everyone sees it, even James himself, the Duke of Candover, since he’s in love with Isabelle, but made a promise to her father not to let her marry someone like him. You know, old. And there is a whole bunch of nuanced issues that made up motivations and kept everyone from having a happy ending for a long, long time, like the Duke of March was like the father Candover wished he’d had and he would never disappoint the man’s final and only request, blah, blah, blah. Noble people are so exhausting. It works out, eventually. To keep you from losing despair though there is a lovely subplot with Candover’s friend and an abigail who tricked him into marrying her that fateful night. Hilarious.
I’m not sure if there are any other stories to wrap up in this series, but the series itself has been solid and hilarious and well-characterized. If you haven’t read the Royal Entourage series, I recommend it, especially if you liked The Hangover…and even if you didn’t. Five stars.
What have you been reading lately?