My American Duchess by Eloisa James with Excerpt and Giveaway

My American Duchess by Eloisa James with Excerpt and Giveaway

My gateway back into historic romance was Eloisa James, hers were the first titles I grabbed a few years back when I decided to start reading this genre again.  She’s still a favorite, from her own books that have provided hours of enjoyment as these fueled an obsession that has lasted these past few years.  Please read on for my review, an excerpt and be sure to check the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title.  And please don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a $25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller. But first …

My American Duchess:

Merry is an American heiress on her third engagement, yes, third, and is determined that this one will lead to the altar.  Back in the states she is known as Mary Mary Quite Contrary for her peculiar decisions that lead her to accept then reject proposals.  She started out a bit indecisive and dithery, but for me this worked nicely to serve the plot: she could follow her current path and remain a slightly unfulfilled and immature society wife, shallow as a puddle and providing tame company. But then she meets Trent.

Trent is the eldest of twin brothers, managing the estate and their lives as best he can. Frustrated with his brother Cedric and his profligacy, when he meets Merry he just knows that she intrigues him, and he wants more.  But, Merry is not available: she is engaged to his brother, and here the fun begins.  Trent was a bit skeptical and jaded, believing that love is fickle and for fools. Until he finds one that he can’t let go of.

The first half of the story is mostly light and fun, a flirtation if you will between characters and readers as we see the chemistry and enjoyment that Merry and Trent have, and the lack of same with her fiancé.  As often happens in romance, Cedric is not what he seems and the engagement is off, leaving Merry free to follow her heart, if only Trent will get past his own stubborn belief that love doesn’t exist.

The second half of the story (roughly) shows us the married life of Merry and Trent, his gradual softening and obvious regard for Merry and her stepping up to take control of her new title and the termagants that are the London Ton. While we knew Merry was smart and kind, we also start to see her grasp onto her full potential and become a grownup with her own particular way of doing things, and her true love for Trent. It’s nice to have time to see the development of a couple AS a couple, married and dealing with all of those new issues, ideas, expectations and time learning one another.

With her usual style and flair, James manages to bring two unique characters together in a match that, while rather implausible, is wholly enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining. Open the first page and prepare to be transported to a place and time both long ago and oh so present.

My American Duchess by Eloisa James with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: My American Duchess
Author: Eloisa James
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon
ISBN: 0062389432
Published on: 26 January 2016
Format:Paperback
Source: Publisher via Avon Addicts
Pages: 432
Audio Length: 12 Hours: 13 minutes
Rated: four-half-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford— an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.

But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.

The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear:
All is fair in love and war.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via Avon Addicts for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Header - Excerpt - Tasty

Merry wrapped her shawl around herself to ward off the April air and tipped back her head to look at the sky.

She kept forgetting that no stars shone above London, rain or no. Fog and smoke turned the streets dark by four in the afternoon.

But Cedric loved the city, so they would live here. There was no point in longing for starlight. Or gardens, for that matter.

Merry had a passion for gardens that went beyond her schoolfriends’ delight in arranging bouquets. She liked to “muck about in the dirt,” as her uncle called it, rooting up plants and rearranging them until she had laid out the perfect garden.

Just then a man shot across to the balustrade and muttered a string of oaths that no young lady was meant to overhear.

She drifted a step closer, pleased at the opportunity to augment her vocabulary of forbidden phrases. Alas, the only word she caught was “ballocks,” and she already knew that one. As she watched, his fingers curled around the rail in a controlled but furious gesture.

Most likely, someone had snubbed him, and he’d come out here to regain his composure. English aristocrats, as she’d discovered since her arrival in London, had a penchant and a talent for delivering withering remarks. She’d seen her own darling Cedric issue several snubs himself, though only when mightily provoked.

Why, if she were the type to take offense, she’d be cross at half the guests here tonight, given the way they mocked her Boston accent.

The man glowering down at an innocent whitethorn hedge was probably from one of the lower rungs of the social ladder, someone whom most people in that ballroom would look right through.

In America, he would be free to make his own way, judged on his merits, not his birth. But here? One was born into a social class, and in that class one remained until death.

The man certainly wasn’t wealthy. Cedric’s attire glittered with gold thread and gilt buttons, but this fellow’s coat was as plain and black as a Quaker’s.

Even from where she stood, she could tell that his cravat had no more than a touch of starch and was tied in a simple knot. In fact, he might be without the services of a valet, as his hair was cut short and wasn’t in the least modish.

Perhaps he was American. It would explain his unfashionable hair and coat. With a surge of patriotic fellow-feeling, she moved over to him and lightly touched his sleeve.

When he turned to face her, she knew instantly that she’d been wrong not only about his nationality, but about his rank. The hard line of his jaw and the arrogance of his manner marked him, without question, as a member of the British peerage. Even his hair, the color of tarnished guineas, looked aristocratic.

“I beg your pardon?” His voice was deep—and she thought she heard disdain. He glanced down at her hand, still resting on his sleeve, and she snatched it away.

Oh dear.

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About Eloisa James

A New York Times bestselling author, Eloisa James is a professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but who can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. (Her husband is an honest to goodness Italian knight!) Eloisa’s website offers short stories, extra chapters, and even a guide to shopping in Florence. Visit her at www.eloisajames.com.

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