Monday, January 25, 2016

REVIEW: "My American Duchess" by Eloisa James


My American Duchess
For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Georgian England

Avon -- Published on January 26, 2016
eARC, 432 pages
Read in January 2016
Received from Edelweiss

RATING: 3.75 STARS

THEMES/TROPES
Marriage of Convenience, Romantic Comedy, Scandalous Heroine, American Heiress in Great Britain

SUMMARY
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 fianc├ęs.

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.  


FIRST LINE
"At 9 p.m. sharp, Lord Cedric Allardyce gracefully fell to his knees, signaling his intent to request Miss Merry Pelford's hand in marriage."

MY THOUGHTS
I received a free copy of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I always enjoy Eloisa James's historicals and this book is no exception to that rule.  It isn't my favorite of hers, but I found it to be enjoyable and entertaining.  I found the characters to be unique and well-developed while the romance was quirky in the way that I expect from this author.

My American Duchess focuses on the theme of an American heiress who travels to Great Britain in order to get a titled husband.  The titular American is Merry who has already broken two betrothals and is determined to actually make it to the church this time.  So she is ecstatic when she falls for and becomes engaged to Lord Cedric.  Shortly after accepting the proposal, she has a fascinating conversation with a simply-attired gentleman that enchants both her mind and her body.  Things get complicated when her mystery man is later introduced as the Duke of Trent, her future brother-in-law.

Merry and Trent are, as they should be, the stars of this book.  I loved how genuinely Merry was and the intellectual way that she dealt with learning about British society.  Trent is a sexy and surprisingly lovable hero who was fascinated by Merry from the start.  The sexual tension between them is well-written and, I think, all the more powerful by their intellect and senses of humor.  I was afraid that the love triangle part would drag on, but that part of the book is resolved quickly which made me happy.

There are plenty of interesting side characters in this book which is something else I love about Eloisa James's writing.  I particularly liked Merry's Aunt Bess who adores her niece and spends her time writing long poems (900 lines, anyone?).  And there are also two adorable dogs, Snowdrop and George, that provided comic relief and insight into the other characters especially the irritating and snobbish, Lord Cedric.

If I could rate My American Duchess based on the first half, I would give it 5 stars without reservation.  Unfortunately, once Trent and Merry got married, I thought the story went downhill a bit.  I liked the parts where they were learning to live as husband and wife while dealing with one another's quirks.  Then the plot started to resort to communication issues and, I felt, unnecessary drama which pulled me out of the story.  I enjoyed the book, but I wish it had stuck the landing.

FAVORITE QUOTE
The pineapple had been rented?  Who rented food?

4 comments:

  1. I've heard a couple people say the same thing. That the first half was excellent but the second half wasn't great. I do want to give this one a try, but I'm nervous about the Love Triangle. You say it raps up pretty quickly?

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    1. It resolves itself very quickly. I think you would like it. Eloisa James's style is very different and a lot of fun.

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  2. I do love Eloisa James---she does write fantastic right? I am currently reading this one, so I just skimmed your review. I am really liking the sexual tension between the two and the snobbish Cedric is so entertaining. Normally a character like him would drive me crazy, but I am getting a kick out of his character. hehe Looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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    1. I'm interested to see what you think, Renee! Cedric made me laugh so hard at times. He was over-the-top enough to make him absurd rather than annoying.

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