Starred review in Publishers Weekly:
Ranney’s first Dukes romance sets a riveting fairy tale story in a beautiful castle in the Scottish Highlands in 1861. Lorna Gordon has been working as a maid at Blackhall Castle since the death of her father, a botanist. After seeing Alexander Russell, the ninth Duke of Kinross, at a distance, she is determined to interact with him as a guest at his costume ball. Once she’s disguised as Marie Antoinette, Lorna easily attracts Alex’s attention. After a sizzling encounter that neither of them expected, Lorna feels disillusioned about the man whom she has worshipped from afar, while he thinks of her as manipulative. Their circumstances change, they meet again, and they begin to overcome their differences and misconceptions. The development of their romance is intense and captivating as Alex and Lorna discover mutual passion and learn that love makes them stronger together than apart. This promising series inception is sure to garner attention from fans of historicals, who will want to follow up with future series installments.
Starred review in Booklist:
When Lorna Gordon’s father dies, she has no choice but to become an upstairs maid at Blackhall Castle, in the Scottish Highlands. Her goal is to get her father’s scientific book published, but her plans go wildly awry when she finds an elegant old gown in the attic and wears it to the duke’s masquerade ball. Alex Russell, Duke of Kinross, has major trust issues, and not without cause. His unfaithful wife, said to be the most beautiful woman in Scotland, has died in childbirth, the father unknown. Someone in his household has stolen his scientific paper, and now the first woman who’s really caught his eye turns out to be a suspicious maid in his employ, a woman of neither social rank nor means. But Lorna is no shrinking violet, and Alex has met his match, especially on an intellectual level. Still, the glass slipper is a long time coming. Ranney has created a unique and enchanting riff on the age-old Cinderella tale. Readers who can’t get enough of hunky Highland heroes will love this enticing tale, which is the first in a planned series about dukes. — Shelley Mosley
Though raised as a gentleman’s daughter, Lorna Gordon is obliged to take a position as an upstairs maid at Blackhall Castle when her father dies. Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is the most tempting man she’s ever seen—and completely unattainable—until, at a fancy dress ball, Lorna disguises herself as Marie Antoinette and pursues an illicit tryst…with scandalous consequences.
Months after his mysterious seductress disappears, Alex encounters her again. Far from the schemer the distrustful duke assumed her to be, Lorna is fiercely independent and resourceful. She’s the one woman capable of piercing his defenses. But when danger threatens Lorna, Alex must prove himself not just the lover of her fantasies, but the man who will fight to protect her.