Featuring the novellas Taken by the Duke and How to Steal a Duke
Taken by the Duke
A vexed viscount…
When Henry Selkirk, Viscount Bexley, is proclaimed the Prince Regent’s Master of Ceremonies for His Highness’s birthday celebration, Henry wonders what he ever did to deserve such punishment. Taxed with curbing the extravagant prince’s spending, Henry juggles the prince and the difficulties of preparing the venue, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. While touring Vauxhall, Henry encounters a gang of thugs and is taken prisoner by a disreputable criminal who calls himself the Duke of Vauxhall. The pleasure gardens are the duke’s domain, and he wants Henry gone. For good.
A woman with a secret…
When Kate Dunn sees Henry Selkirk again, she hardly dares to believe her first love will remember her. It’s been years since the two played as children together on the streets of London. She uses her influence to see him set free from the Duke of Vauxhall’s clutches, but when Henry refuses to give up his position at Vauxhall Gardens, his days are numbered. To add insult to injury, Henry warns Kate that it’s she who’s running out of time. He knows her secret, and once the gang finds out, she’s as good as dead. As the night of Kate’s greatest heist ever approaches, she must choose between failing the gang and losing her life or disappointing Henry and losing her only chance at true love.
How to Steal a Duke (in Ten Days, Give or Take a Few Days, But Definitely in Less Than a Fortnight)
Dominick Spencer, the Duke of Tremayne, is a powerful man used to having his way. When he sets out to find the lost volumes of The Duke’s Book of Knowledge to present to his favorite Oxford professor, Dominick takes his task seriously, even hiring a cat burglar to help him gain entry to a remote castle in Cornwall inhabited by a mad earl.
Rosalyn Dashner knows accepting the duke’s assignment is dangerous, but her impoverished family and sick brother need the money. The daughter of a gentleman, Rosalyn is not impressed by titles. She’s not impressed by the haughty duke until she comes to know the kind but lonely man under the gruff exterior. The duke might be looking for a manuscript, but she’s found a man she loves. When Rosalyn must risk her life to obtain the manuscript, will Dominick choose her or his quest for the Duke’s Book?
**These novellas were previously published in the anthologies The Dukes of Vauxhall and How to Find a Duke in Ten Days.**
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
How to Steal a Duke : Dominick Spencer, the Duke of Tremayne, is searching for “The Duke’s Book of Knowledge” for his favorite professor who is retiring. Some say the book, or rather the books, as there are four volumes, does not exist. Dominick, and his friends Seton and Harry, do believe they exist and have 10 days to find them before Professor Peebles retires. Dominick believes there may be clues at a remote keep, The Temples, on the Cornwall coast. The problem is it’s on the cliffs, partially surrounded by the sea and a mad earl lives there. Rosalyn, whose family has come on hard times, meets the Duke as she is trying to escape from an attempted theft. He saw her climbing the wall and prevents her arrest as he wants to hire her to climb into the keep, which she does. The keep’s lady has told them all the books were sold after her husband died. He may or may not find the book, but he does find love. Taken by the Duke: Henry Selkirk, Viscount Bexley, has been chosen by the Prince Regent to oversee preparation of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens for Prinny’s birthday celebration and he can’t refuse. He is grabbed by a gang of thugs; whose leader is the infamous “Duke of Vauxhall”. Henry is surprised that the “Duke” is his childhood friend Kate Dunn. Kate’s life changed many years ago, but Henry still sees the girl he loved before she disappeared. So much more happens and I won’t spoil it for you. This is a wonderful novella.
Two stories in one! How to Steal a Duke Dominik and Rosalyn make one of my favorite couples ever. She was graceful, playful, and brave. He was haughty, proper, and much to his chagrin, caring. Together they are the perfect pair. With a hint at gothic, and although it’s only a novella, this story packs plenty: romance, nail-biting situations, and an unexpected twist. It was a nice story that I wish would have been longer! Taken by the Duke When Henry is attacked by a band of ruffians, the last thing he expected was to come reacquainted with a long lost love. Kate has changed so much since he last saw her however he knows that deep inside she’s still the same girl he knew all those years ago. There were sparks flying for these two from the start. I loved that it’s not your typical “duke” and there was “no damsel in distress.” I thought the ending was kind of abrupt but it was still an enjoyable read. Both stories were fun, enjoyable, and quick reads. If you’re looking for a read to pass your morning, this is the one to get.
Taken by the Duke - Shana Galen: Henry Selkirk, the new Viscount Bexley, has been roped into planning the Prince Regent’s birthday and Battle of Waterloo celebration at Vauxhall Gardens, all while keeping expenses within budget. As if that’s not hard enough, then he’s captured by the resident criminal group, led by the so-called Duke of Vauxhall, who object to his presence on their turf. It turns out the Duke is Henry’s childhood friend, Kate Dunn, who had disappeared into poverty after her family's fortunes took a turn for the worse. The two work out a way for them to both get what they want from the situation, but all of his old feelings for Kate have returned and Henry wants more. I love the author’s unusual character’s, Kate is definitely not the commonplace heroine, she’s tough and smart, and she’s had to fight for her place at the top while keeping her gender from being known by her rivals. Henry is a man thrust into a role he never planned for, content in his previous life as a barrister before becoming a lord, he’d happily leave it all behind if he could. This couple needed a happily ever after, and they managed to find one. How to Steal a Duke - Dominick Spencer, Duke of Tremayne, is determined to find the Dukes, so he enlists the help of a young lady he finds in the middle being caught as a thief. Rosalyn Dashner comes from a good family, but she and her two brothers have turned to stealing to pay for medical treatment for their ill youngest brother. She’s a very good cat burglar, which is just what Dominick needs to recover the manuscript he believes is held by a mad earl in wilds of Cornwall. Although this mission might put her life in danger, Rosalyn is determined to give Dominick what he’s paid her for. He realizes, however, that there might be more important things in life than musty old manuscripts, such as the brave, resourceful young woman he’s come to care for. This author is great at bringing together couples that have very different backgrounds, it’s always fun to see how it all comes about.
HOW TO STEAL A DUKE (in Ten Days, Give or Take a Few Days, but Definitely in Less than a Fortnight). This novella features the very comme il faut Dominick Spencer, Duke of Tremayne, who will do anything to acquire the volume on medical knowledge in the Duke’s Book of Knowledge, also known as the Liber Ducis de Scientia. Dominick has heard that the tome is in the library of the Temples, the estate of the mad Earl of Verney. He needs someone to gain entry to the building, as he was not able to meet said mad Earl. As luck would have it, while sitting in his coach, he spies someone climbing down a wall: Roslyn Dashner, who became a cat burglar by necessity. You would not expect Shana Galen to write a sedate little tale, now would you? This novella is filled with action, very unexpected twists, and clever little surprises. Dominick is a staid and very proper duke, who displays unusual personality traits I found endearing, and Roslyn and bubbly and very ingenious. This is a riveting story with a bit of a Gothic vibe, and Ms. Galen’s writing is as smooth and polished as ever. I really wanted more of this story! TAKEN BY THE DUKE Henry Selkirk is the new Viscount Bexley, something he never wanted, but circumstances made it so that Henry would not become a barrister, so here he is. The Prince Regent tasked him with the preparation of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens for Prinny’s birthday and in celebration of the victory at Waterloo. But worse, Henry must do this economically, and given the Prince’s propensity to extravagance, it won’t be an easy task indeed. While touring Vauxhall, Henry is grabbed by a gang of thugs, whose leader is “the Duke of Vauxhall”. But Henry certainly didn’t expect to meet his childhood friend Kate Dunn. Kate has a huge secret, and while Kate rescues Henry, her life is now in danger. Shana Galen does not waste one paragraph, we’re thrown in the thick of things right from the start. Ms. Galen is in spectacular form, her writing has never been better, and her dialogues are a marvel, and more eloquent than ever; she had me enthralled and guessing from the start at why all this was happening. TAKEN BY THE DUKE certainly does not qualify as fluff! Kate has had a rough life, and while Henry and she came from the streets of London, Henry has moved up in the world. They were once in love, but things have changed too much to rekindle their romance; or have they? I knew Shana Galen would not fail me, but I had no idea how Henry and Kate would ever get their happily ever after together, too many things seem to draw them apart, and yet it all worked out, but at quite a bit of cost to both Kate and Henry. TAKEN BY THE DUKE might be a novella, but there is a lot of substance in there, impressive character development, a lot of action, and much heartache caused by class differences. At one point, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like where the story was going, what choices the characters would make, and I feared someone was going to do something I wouldn’t like, and I would have considered a huge mistake, and well, Ms. Galen handled that prickly situation with extraordinary finesse and intelligence! TAKEN BY THE DUKE is a marvellous story, and I would not have expected any less from one of my favourite authors! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.