It's 1922, and New York heiress Zoe Gifford longs for the freedoms promised by the Jazz Age. Headstrong and brazen, but bound by her father's will to marry before she can access his fortune, Zoe arranges for a brief marriage to Sebastian Hazelton, whose aristocratic British family sorely needs a benefactor.
Once in England, her foolproof plan to wed, inherit and divorce proves more complicated than Zoe had anticipated. Nigel Hazelton, Duke of Langford and Sebastian's older brother, is as austere and imposing as the family's ancestral estate. Still reeling from the Great War, Nigel is now staging a one-man battle against a rapidly changing world—and the outspoken Zoe represents everything he's fighting against.
When circumstances compel Zoe to marry Nigel rather than Sebastian, their heated quarrelling begets passion of another sort. But with Nigel unwilling to change with the times, will Zoe be forced to choose between her husband and her dreams?
5 Words: historical, romance, surprising, aristocracy, progress.
I got to around the half way point in this and thought "oh, what a sweet ending!"... But it wasn't the end.
An American Duchess takes a much used trope in historical romance and goes far beyond the usual happily-ever-after. Where most books end with the wedding and the honeymoon, this book goes far beyond.
This was a sweet book that had me totally engrossed. I couldn't tear myself a way from the pages. The characters really came to life and I loved reading about Zoe and her passions. And she was one hell of a passionate character.
Langford was a little bit infuriating at times, but it was the way his character was. Watching him develop and grow and change was fantastic, and it really upped the power of this story.
This book is Downton Abbey meets My Last Duchess, with a dash of Girl Power for good measure. I loved it and will definitely look out for more of this authors work!
And look at that cover. Just sit and stare at it. I did.