Saturday, January 17, 2015


Series:  Royal Pains #1
Author:  Nina Mason
Publish Date:   01.17.15
Publisher:  Nina Mason
Category /Genre:  Historical Romance, Erotica, BDSM
Recommended for:  18+ due to sexual content
Received from:  Nina Mason (as part of her Beta team)
Date completed: 11.23.14

Description from the publisher:
Maggie York, a convent-raised foundling, knows the Duke of Dunwoody’s sexual tastes are a shade or two darker than normal, but marries him anyway—partly because she has no other prospects and partly because, try as she might, she can’t seem to stop fantasizing about her dashing guardian.

Two years ago, a voyeuristic experience involving him lured her from the garden of innocence into the orchard of forbidden fruit and she's been hungry for more ever since.

Robert Armstrong, the duke, is a Roman Catholic whose extreme devotions as a child colored his desires as a man. He’s also a slave to the times in which he lives--and to his king. Everything he is, everything he holds dear, depends on staying in Charles II’s good graces.

Unfortunately, Maggie isn't the king's choice of brides for the young Duke of Dunwoody. Now, to make amends, Robert must choose between the lesser of two evils: whore his wife or be reduced to a penniless commoner.

Whose interests will Robert choose to serve, his own, the king’s, or the woman he loves?

This is the first book in what is expected to be a trilogy.  They will need to be read in order.

In a time in English history when being a Catholic was dangerous, convent-raised Maggie York and the Duke of Dunwoody, Robert Armstrong, have married despite the king’s intention to have Robert married to another woman.  Without the king’s blessings, their marriage may be annulled leaving Maggie socially ruined or Robert may be removed from the duchy leaving him and his people financially ruined.  Either way, Robert is sure to be left with a broken heart.  The king offers his blessing in exchange for a night with Maggie.  Is there any way for Robert or Maggie to come out of this happy and together?

I have read all of Nina Mason’s books and each is so different from the other, but all are extremely well researched.  I love how she weaves true history into her stories so that we learn a bit during the entertainment.

I loved this story.  Robert has always been one of those at court seen as the life of the party.  He knows that he needs to stay within the king’s good graces in order to maintain his position and his title and that being Catholic does put him in greater danger of being refused because of the politics of the times.  He also knows that he has always been drawn to his ward, Maggie, and he is determined to have her as his wife and not the woman the king wants him to wed.  He wants a marriage of love and passion, not arrangement and greed.  Sigh – a man who wants the romance (with a side of kink).

I was lucky enough to be chosen to be on the Beta team for this book and it was done so much differently from many other teams.  We were all given the story a chapter (and sometimes a single scene) at a time and allowed to provide constant feedback in the development of the story idea.  Make no mistake, this is Nina’s baby, but I for one felt like a happy midwife in bringing it forth.  Thank you for that Nina!  I am looking forward to the next book in the series and hope that I will again be asked to come along for the developmental ride.

Grammar/editing:  ungraded – book received as an unedited ARC / errors excused

The series:
  1. Devil in Duke’s Clothing
  2. Spare the Rod, Spoil the Duke (not yet released)
Other Books from Nina Mason:
  • Tin Man
  • Queen of Swords

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