After seeing his mentor off to Italy, Ash returns to London to live with
his two best friends: Nate and Verity Plum, owners of Plum & Company,
Printers and Booksellers. The economic climate is hurting the siblings'
business, and Nate's involvement in revolutionary diatribes against the
government is even more worrying: he could go to prison. Always
looking for material to publish, Verity is handed a naughty manuscript
that begs for quality illustrations, and who better than Ash's deft hand!
Ash has been in love with Verity for years, the Plums are like family, and
he fears anything more than friendship could upset the delicate
balance of the triumvirate. Besides, he knows that Verity is against
marriage, and it is something he would insist upon were their
relationship reach the next level. But when it does, unexpected
complications arise, threatening everything they hold dear.
Strangely enough, the fact that A
DUKE IN DISGUISE seemed like a mainstream male/female
historical romance coming from Cat Sebastian made me hesitate to
pick up this book because I adore the author's queer Regency novels.
Additionally, Verity previously had a liaison with Mrs. Portia Allenby... It
turns out that Cat Sebastian crafted her most textured plot, highlighted
by vibrant cinematic descriptions. Ms. Sebastian possesses an uncanny
ability at creating a plausible environment, charismatic characters and
people we seldom encounter in historical romances. A DUKE IN DISGUISE is a sort of New
Adult historical romance: Ash, the Plums, and their friends are rebels.
They are young, working class, and eager to rid England of societal
inequalities and injustice. The tension and the excitement are palpable
throughout the story; those were dangerous times to be embroiled in
revolutionary ideology and to be an epileptic, a condition that indirectly
nearly ended Ash's life.
A DUKE IN DISGUISE succeeds
brilliantly at establishing a captivating background for the romance, and
the secondary characters are probably the strongest the author has
ever written. So much so, that I hope we haven't seen the last of most
of them. In some ways, the romance felt a bit weaker. When Ash and
Verity first become intimate, it was cute and sweet, but I felt the
fireworks were missing. Then it dawned on me that it's the way it
should happen, shouldn't it? And that Ms. Sebastian really got the
friends-to-lovers trope right. Verity is a feminist before her time, she
doesn't trust that a man would always treat her well, however, I found it
hard to comprehend why she doubted Ash for so long. Ash, that
magnificent hero, what a splendid character! The author's endeavors
for historical accuracy are laudable, but I felt that in a couple of
instances there were superfluous details about some minor elements
while in other places, I was a little confused because some things were
barely implied. I also wonder if I missed something in the last chapter
because it seemed to me that an act of treason might have been
Cat Sebastian demonstrates once again her boundless creativity in A DUKE IN DISGUISE, where non-
conformists find their happily ever after, and mercifully without
contrived and annoying plot twists. I am now ready to follow Cat
Sebastian wherever she chooses because I know it will be exciting,
regardless of the context.
If anyone else had asked for his help publishing a naughty
novel, Ash would have had the sense to say no. But he’s
never been able to deny Verity Plum. Now he has his hands
full illustrating a book and trying his damnedest not to
fall in love with his best friend. The last thing he needs
is to discover he’s a duke’s lost heir. Without a family or
a proper education, he’s had to fight for his place in the
world, and the idea of it—and Verity—being taken away from
him chills him to the bone.
One radical bookseller
All Verity wants is to keep her brother out of prison, her
business afloat, and her hands off Ash. Lately it seems
she’s not getting anything she wants. She knows from bitter
experience that she isn’t cut out for romance, but the more
time she spends with Ash, the more she wonders if maybe
she’s been wrong about herself.
One disaster waiting to happen
Ash has a month before his identity is exposed, and he
plans to spend it with Verity. As they explore their long-
buried passion, it becomes harder for Ash to face the
music. Can Verity accept who Ash must become or will he
turn away the only woman he’s ever loved?