DUCHESS BY DESIGN by Maya Rodale

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The Gilded Age Girls Club, Book 1

From the publisher:

In the first novel of Maya Rodale’s enthralling new series, an English duke vows to make an American seamstress his duchess…

In Gilded Age Manhattan, anything can happen…

Seeking a wealthy American bride who can save his family’s estate, Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston, is a rogue determined to do the right thing. But his search for an heiress goes deliciously awry when an enchanting seamstress tumbles into his arms instead.

…and true love is always in fashion

Miss Adeline Black aspires to be a fashionable dressmaker—not a duchess—and not even an impossibly seductive duke will distract her. But Kingston makes an offer she can’t refuse: join him at society events to display her gowns and advise him on which heiresses are duchess material. It’s the perfect plan—as long as they resist temptation, avoid a scandal, and above all do not lose their hearts.


This is the first book of a new series and it is terrific. I love the time period, the gilded age in New York at the turn of the last century.

While the Duke is from England, he travels to America to find an heiress to save his family from ruin. He feels a tremendous responsibility, and his mother and sisters apparently have no idea what sort of financial straits the family is in – probably because he doesn’t tell them. He is determined to do the right thing, marry a woman with a fortune, he is not looking for a love match. But when he meets Adeline, it turns his world upside down.

Of course there is a case of mistaken identity that adds to the comedy of errors here. The humor is top notch and the characters are charming and fun. The hot sex scenes are also fun.

There is a definite trend in romances for strong, independent female characters and Adeline definitely fits that mold. I loved the references to real women of the time like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, it lends a touch of realism and helps with the suspension of disbelief.

I really enjoyed this read and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

10/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

DUCHESS BY DESIGN by Maya Rodale. Avon (October 23, 2018).  ISBN 978-0062838803. 384p.

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