The Debutante Diaries  - Book 2
St. Martin's
ISBN-13: 978-1-250-19948-5
August 2019
Regency Romance 

London, England - Approximately 1810 

Miss Lily Hartley has a secret that would ruin her reputation and that of her sister, Fiona, and her best friend Sophie. Lily writes an advice column for unmarried ladies entitled,  The Debutante's Revenge,  which has recently become all the rage among the young women of London, while being viewed as a scandalous horror to the elder  ton ! The three ladies have vowed to keep their secret at all cost...

Published each week in  The London Hearsay, The Debutante's Revenge  offers wicked advice to its readers on matters of courtship and love. Lily does the writing, her sister Fiona, the sensual drawings that accompany each installment, and both sisters, along with Sophie, edit the copy. Then, each week Lily disguises herself as a messenger boy: a cap to hide her long hair, and a scruffy shirt, pants and boots; after which she rushes to the news office, drops the article and drawing, then rushes back home. But today is different and Lily is excited. Fiona and her husband Gray are on their way to Scotland for two weeks, Lily's parents are also out of town for two weeks, so Lily is free to do whatever she pleases! Which means she can venture into places she normally is not allowed, and none of her chaperones will be the wiser!  

Lily drops off her article and wanders the streets near the newspaper office until a sudden downpour forces her to find shelter. After ducking into a tavern, she finds a corner table and orders a meal, prepared to watch and see just what people inside a tavern do! But suddenly, Lily is in over her head and as the minutes pass and more men enter through the door, the language grows course and graphic, and Lily becomes quite uncomfortable. She pulls her hat low and decides to leave, but there are three ruffians blocking her way out, demanding she surrender her bag! Another man steps who comes to her rescue, and in the ensuing scuffle, Lily is knocked unconscious . . .

Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge, should not have been in the tavern in the seedy part of town, but the need to flee his responsibilities for just a little while was too tempting, which is why he finds himself fighting off the three thugs trying to steal a lad's messenger bag. Thus, Nash was the reason the boy was hurt, only to discover instead, an unconscious young woman lying on the floor!  

 And so, it is Nash whom Lily sees upon opening her eyes the next morning. She's lying in a bed in an unfamiliar house, and this man, a stranger, is asking her name. For some reason she has a terrible headache, she can't think of anything to say, least of all what her name is; maybe if she just sleeps awhile . . .

Nash has much to deal with, having recently lost his father and his twin sister Emily, and the sudden responsibility of inheriting the Dukedom, coupled with having to introduce his younger sister Delilah into society and now, he has an unknown young woman occupying a guest room upstairs. She cannot remember her name or anything of her life before the incident, in fact, she doesn't remember being in a tavern at all! Nash cannot make inquiries; if anyone knew she was in residence, her reputation will be in ruins, not to mention Delilah's reputation as well. Somehow there must be a solution; until then, the young woman they call Caroline must remain hidden at all costs!  

A complex tale of heartbreak and love, coupled with a very fine romance, THE DUKE IS BUT A DREAM takes readers into the lives of a daring young heiress, Lily, who is struggling to remember her name and her life, while falling head over heels for a Duke who is wrestling with his own place in the world after he turned his back on love. Nash fears for Delilah's future as she speaks of romance and eligible men, and he's worried when she becomes enamored with a titillating and scandalous advice column that appears in the local paper. He is determined to stop her from making the same mistakes that led to their sister Emily's death!

THE DUKE IS BUT A DREAM is the second book in  The Debutante Diaries  series and follows FIRST EARL I SEE TONIGHT, (November 2018), which is sister Fiona's story. Both novels stand alone, but your reading will be greatly enriched by grabbing each story! I am not sure if there are to be more books in the series, but I am hoping to see stories for Delilah and Sophie soon! Both books are chock full of dynamic characters and lots of excitement that will keep you reading far into the night!

Full of passion, romance, and a bit of mystery, don't miss THE DUKE IS BUT A DREAM!

Diana Risso