Laura Lee Guhrke is the latest author in my quest for good romance writers, but I haven’t decided whether or not to continue reading her. Guess it will depend on what the next book is about.
This book had an interesting premise; an American heiress engages in a marriage of convenience to an English Duke. Edie’s loaded, but her reputation has been besmirched back in New York, so if she doesn’t marry in England she’ll have to go home a spinster. Stuart, the Duke of Margave, has inherited his title and his family’s enormous debt. Properties are going to have to be sold unless he can marry money.
These two come together with the understanding that this is strictly a business proposition. Edie willingly offers to pay off the debt and take care of the family and their property – all she asks in return is that Stuart leave England, go back to Africa and never return.
They agree and he goes off, until he is mauled by a lion and almost loses his life. He realizes then that there is more to life than adventure and he returns home. Edie is not happy to see him, to say the least, but women have no rights to speak of in Victorian England, so she makes him a deal; if he can get her to kiss him in 10 days, than he can stay. He has a few demands of his own, including that she spends at least 2 hours a day in his company, and take meals with him.
This is all well and good, but it turns out her baggage from New York is quite a bit heavier than her husband anticipated. Not all of this story rang true for me, especially the sex scene and the revenge story, which is the downside here. I did like seeing a strong, smart woman running this massive estate, and a Duke who was more concerned with his wife than with convention. I would think this would be good for fans of Downton Abbey.
7/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
HOW TO LOSE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS by Laura Lee Guhrke. Avon (April 29, 2014). ISBN 978-0062118196. 384p.