Imperious and commanding Drake Weston, the Earl of Warwick, is betrayed by his father from the grave. Shattered and infuriated, Drake finds himself running from the law after a fit of aggression towards a conniving servant wanting to benefit from his misery. Ever resourceful, Drake concocts a plan to marry quickly, produce an heir, deceive the English court and regain his rightful inheritance.
Escaping to Philadelphia, Drake survives the frightful voyage and finds himself at the mercy of the Winters, a gentle Quaker family, as an indentured servant. Drake's intelligence and forthright manner has Serena Winter second guessing his story but she finds herself drawn to him as no other man before. Forsaking her church, but not her faith, and all that is familiar, Serena follows her heart only to discover Drake's shameful past and his bold plan that will destroy her trust and shatter her dreams forever.
The Duchess and the Dragon is a passionate tale of love and betrayal set in the early 1800's captivating me from beginning to end. Jamie Carie's characterisation is brilliant with both Drake and Serena having a depth and authenticity rarely seen in romance novels. Drake is charismatic and driven but his transformation to a life of servant hood is revealing as he chafes against his new found limitations but is at the same time empowered by the work of his hands. Serena's compassionate nature is palpable and her confusion over her attraction to Drake delightful. The scurrilous intrigue alongside discoveries of faith play out against the backdrop of their growing love and add to the appeal of this evocative and enchanting story. For those who love Deeanne Gist, Jamie Carie will not disappoint - with one book she has entrenched herself a place as one of my "must read" authors.