Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Duchess by Design by Maya Rodale

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.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Avon Romance

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Duchess by Design is the debut in The Gilded Age Girls Club series, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment.

Just a decade until the turn of the twentieth century, the world is changing. Women are striving to find a voice and a life to call their own. Taking place in a thriving New York City, many impoverished entitled peers are flocking to America to marry heiresses to fund their failing dynasties back in England.

Adeline is a self-made, independent woman, striving to make her way in a world where women are seen as lesser. She isn't a damsel who needs to be rescued. She doesn't need a hero. She doesn't need a man to pay her way. Adeline has a voice and she's determined to use it and be heard.

After centuries of living off entitled lands and properties, the mismanagement of funds has Kingston wishing to marry into money. As a duke with many other titles, he struggles to save the legacy his father allowed to be bled dry, to protect his mother and sisters and their tenants. Kingston is selling his future happiness for the burden he carries, seeing the only way out is to marry for money, not for love. After centuries of a mindset where to earn money, to work, is seen as lesser, Kingston sets his sights on New York City's plethora of heiresses.

Push-pull, slow-burn, filled with lust-filled tension as a budding relationship is tested time and time again, Kingston opens his eyes to larger issues, while Adeline strives to make the lives of an entire gender better.

Having read the entire book in one evening, I was entertained, my appetite whetted for more, but there was just a little something missing for me, where I didn't get enthralled by the story, where I was rooting for the main characters. Maybe it had something to do with Kingston marrying for money, instead of solving his own problems – this isn't a gender issue for me, as I'm not a fan of that trope in historical romance, usually utilized by the female's family to get out of a bind.

Kingston does evolve as the story progresses. Maybe it was his cousin, while filled with reality, rubbed me wrong. I wanted a few pages with Kingston's family, but it was just told how they up and disappeared, to where I wasn't sure why they were shown at all, to be honest. Even the interaction the duchess and her daughters had with Adeline was told in a paragraph, when the scene would have been eye-opening to read. I needed more on this end, as it was the plot of the entire novel – Kingston's strong desire to protect his legacy and family.

However, I was intrigued by the women in the novel – a strong feminist, equality message on most pages. All of the women mentioned, I cannot wait to read their stories.

Highly recommended to fans of the author and the genre, Duchess by Design was a solid start to a new series, and I cannot wait to see what will come next.

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author of smart and sassy romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Duchess by Design (The Gilded Age Girls Club #1) by Maya Rodale to read and review.

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