The Mad, Bad Duke
The Mad, Bad Duke has a little more of the paranormal elements that Ms. Ashley is known for but these prototype Shifters are more feral and tribal than they are a subsect of a progressive kingdom. The intriguing part of the story is how it recasts the former villain into a romantic hero by shattering his self-image and having him reconstruct himself though the love and understanding of his heroine. The problem, however is not the lack of supernatural elements but because tonally it’s all rather boring. Once again the setting isn’t in the magical land of Nvengaria but just normal, everyday Regency England. There are plots afoot to undermine the Nvengarian government by their neighbors Austria and Germany; however it’s all presented through mustache-twirling villains who scheme in back rooms while our hero is dealing with some hairy issues.
There are more stories in the Nvengaria world but I was content to stop here rather than frustrate myself with more non-magical politics and vaguely reimagined fairy tales.