HOW TO DANCE WITH A DUKE - Manda Collins
St. Martin's Press
England after Waterloo
Miss Cecily Hurston is much more interested in ancient Egypt than in modern England . Marriage would only mean another man besides her father telling her she shouldn't study or use her intelligence for anything but for her husband and children. Having been jilted by one man already, Cecily isn't about to jump into another relationship unless she has to. But when her father returns from another expedition and suffers an apoplexy, her life takes a different turn. One of the members of the expedition disappeared, and the rumors around the ton are that Hurston and Will Dalton had a disagreement and Hurston may be at fault. Cecily can only prove otherwise if she can obtain her father's normally meticulous notes from the trip. However, single women are not allowed admission to the Egyptian Club where Cecily believes the papers were taken. There's only one way in—she must marry a member of the club.
Determined to find the answer to his brother's disappearance, Lucas Dalton, the Duke of Winterson, happens upon a distraught Cecily moments after being denied entry to the Egyptian Club. He is just as hopeful of finding what's in Hurston's notes, and when he meets with Cecily later, he's jolted by her pronouncement of finding a husband among the club members. Even though he is not a member, Lucas would very much like to learn a little more about the feisty and very pretty Miss Hurston.
At a party, Cecily, normally the wallflower, has an encounter with one Amanda Snow in the ladies' retiring room. Amanda is catty and cruel, but when she leaves, Cecily discovers Amanda's dance card and the perfect opportunity to find herself a qualified member of the Egyptian Club to wed! However, the persistent duke keeps invading her space and her thoughts, and soon she and Lucas are plotting how to get her father's notes. Does Lucas have to be so handsome? Cecily tries hard not to let him get too close to her heart.
HOW TO DANCE WITH A DUKE is a delightful tale of romance, mystery, and a bit of adventure. Cecily blossoms from the dowdy, studious daughter into a beautiful woman who turns more than a few heads. Her relationship with Lucas blooms as they get to know each other better, and as more is learned about the fateful last expedition of Viscount Hurston and Lucas's brother. Danger lurks in a surprising place, but will they learn of what happened to Will and still clear Cecily's father's name?
With its brilliant writing and well drawn characters, HOW TO DANCE WITH A DUKE will warm any winter's night.