The duke has died. Long live the duke! The only problem is no one knows who the new Duke of Beckworth is. All of England wonders, but no one more so than the people who depend upon Beckworth for their livelihood. In 1816, a year so cold that the word “summer” is a cruel joke, that livelihood is even more uncertain. However, they are all about to find out, with the duke away, there is nothing more warming than scandal and love…
This book consists of a series of stories that were already published as individual books and that were all written by different authors. They tell the story of the household of the Duke of Beckworth after the Duke's sudden and unexpected death. Everybody is searching for the heir but it takes a year to find him and this year changes a lot for many of those connnected to him.
Each of these five stories follows a couple of people on their way from getting to know each other (or reacquainting themselves with each other) to the altar. I must admit that even though I really liked each and everyone of these stories I felt like I knew too well how every story would evolve and of course also how it would end. As none of them are very long, there are not many surprises along the way but by choosing a different author for each of the stories they varied enough to keep me interested and I enjoyed reading them.
I loved especially how the authors worked together to weave a story telling five stories in five different voices that ends up as one homogenous story about the Duke, his household and his friends. Well developed characters, an interesting concept and well written stories make this book a really enjoyable read.