The Gilded Age Girls Club, Book 3
From the publisher:
Can a scandalized heiress…
Beatrice Goodwin left Manhattan a duchess and has returned a divorcée, ready to seize control of her fate and the family business. Goodwin’s Department Store, once the pinnacle of fashion, has fallen from favor thanks to Dalton’s, its glamorous competitor across the street. But this rivalry has a distinctly personal edge…
And a self-made tycoon…
For Wes Dalton, Beatrice has always been the one—the one who broke his young heart by marrying a duke, and now, the one whose cherished store he plans to buy, just so he can destroy it. It’s the perfect revenge against a family who believed he’d never be good enough for their daughter—until Beatrice’s return complicates everything…
Find happily ever after at last?
While Goodwin’s and Dalton’s duel to be the finest store in Gilded Age Manhattan, Beatrice and Wes succumb to a desire that has only deepened with time. Adversaries by day, lovers by night, both will soon have to decide which is sweeter: winning the battle or thoroughly losing their hearts…
This is not a unique plot; lovers to enemies to lovers definitely makes its way through many a romance, historical and contemporary. In fact, I had just finished reading this book when I saw the beginnings of this same plot on a TV show I recently started streaming on Netflix, “Reign.” It was a CW show but I had never heard of it until someone recommended it to me. It’s my husband who loves anything historical on TV, I generally sort of watch while reading. “Reign” is very loosely based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, plus a lot of sex and sexy costumes that are definitely not of the time period. The music is modern, which at times feels jarring. But in these days of quarantine, we are watching more TV than ever so we just finished the first season, at the end of which arises a subplot much like the one of this book. And here we are.
This is also a book about women and how they are treated and it pushes the boundaries of historical romance about as far as it can get. Beatrice and Wes were childhood friends who eventually fall in love. But Wes works as an assistant in Beatrice’s father’s Manhattan department store, so no way can she marry him. Her parents have arranged a marriage with an impoverished Duke for her, and he whisks her away to England and his big old estate. Better to marry a poor man with a title than just a poor man. But Beatrice is miserable there. The Duke and his mother treat her abominably, and after not producing an heir for several years, she seeks a divorce. He is thrilled to be rid of her and ready to marry any younger, wealthy woman who can hopefully produce the requisite heir and a spare. Beatrice returns to America.
Once home, she visits the family store and is shocked to see it is full of out of date merchandise and empty of shoppers. Since her father’s death, her brother has been running the store into the ground. Meanwhile, across the street, is the trendiest, most successful store in NYC. It is so successful it doesn’t even have its name of the building; everyone knows it’s Daltons. Yes, that Dalton, Beatrice’s childhood friend, and teenage love.
Wes has been extremely successful. After Beatrice married the Duke, her mother paid him a few thousand dollars to keep away from Beatrice. He took that money and turned it into a fortune, one of New York’s richest men. He has been driven for years with revenge as his goal. But when Beatrice returns home, Wes is having second thoughts.
Beatrice takes over the store after her drunk brother is sent out to Long Island to dry out. She also joins a women’s group and they help support her and raise money for her. It’s all sort of fantastic but I went with it. She also gets her mother on board and tries to turn the store around.
Wes and Beatrice realize the old flame is still strong but a lot has to happen before they can reach their happy ending. This was a fun and sexy read with enough drama to keep the pages turning. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Maya Rodale book I don’t like, and I liked this one a lot.
8/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
AN HEIRESS TO REMEMBER by Maya Rodale. Avon; Reissue edition (March 31, 2020). ISBN 978-0062838841. 368 pages.
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