This Regency novel won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the Romance category, in addition to being an overall finalist. Very well done, Ms. Pryce. I can understand why she won. I will definitely be adding her to my Fingers Crossed for Potential list, so Caroline Linden best skooch over. As this book clearly sets up a trilogy, there will be at least two more chances to see what Evelyn Pryce can do.
Josephine Grant has fallen from society and is eking out a living running the bookshop she inherited from her wastrel father and by playing piano in an upscale brothel, the Sleeping Dove, at night. Elias, the Duke of Lennox, an intimidating and often dour aristocrat, is dragged to the Sleeping Dove one night for a wallow in debauchery. The only problem is that he is not and does not want to be that kind of man. Elias sees Josie playing piano and is instantly drawn to her. He is arrogant and high-handed, but ultimately well-intentioned. Josie isn’t for sale, but she is drawn to the gorgeous, stern man who insists on speaking to her while she plays.
There are a couple of problems in the book, such as initial bumpiness in the hero’s conduct and the plot hangs on a Big Misunderstanding at one point, but they are issues that occur in lots of these kinds of novels and they can be ironed out. The writing overall is excellent and entertaining, and you do really feel for the characters.
The book is a free loan for Prime on Kindle, but maybe go ahead and buy it to encourage a writer starting out. She has what it takes and needs the chance to write more.