The Prince: A Devil’s Duke Novel
An entertaining romance featuring non-typical characters and a refreshing twist on the masquerade trope, this fourth book in the Devil’s Duke series matches Libby Shaw, an Edinburgh doctor’s daughter, with an exiled Persian prince, Ziyaeddin Mirza, who makes his living as a portrait painter. Ziyaeddin allows Libby to live at his house so she may study to become a surgeon, a lifelong dream she pursues in the guise of the prodigiously gifted Joseph Smart. In payment, Libby makes her host a prosthetic foot and agrees to let him draw her. Ziyaeddin is a layered character whose fantastic history has little bearing on the story; he exists solely to protect and support Libby, fulfilling her every demand, helping her control her obsessive-compulsive disorder, drawing her anatomically correct sketches, and bailing her out of trouble with unstinting financial and emotional support. Ashe handles her diverse cast sensitively and well—Libby treats prostitutes and dukes in the same forthright manner—and it’s a delight to read a genre romance that tackles real aspects of the period, including class prejudices, racial stereotypes, and the state of the medical field in 1825. A unique, enjoyable story.