The Heiress Gets a Duke by Harper St. George
Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
r/suggestmeabook: I’d like a steamy Gilded Age romance between an unwilling, independent American heiress and a reluctant, flat broke English Duke.
Movie rating: R
Series: Gilded Age Heiresses
ARC provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Gilded Age/Victorian romance
Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter: The Heiress Gets a Duke.
From the publisher: American heiress August Crenshaw has aspirations. But unlike her peers, it isn’t some stuffy British Lord she wants wrapped around her finger–it’s Crenshaw Iron Works, the family business. When it’s clear that August’s outrageously progressive ways render her unsuitable for a respectable match, her parents offer up her younger sister to the highest entitled bidder instead.
If you love the chase in a romance with a good dose of sexual tension, this is your book. Harper St. George creates two strong-minded characters with different goals and does a pretty good job of not moving the constant mistaken interpretation of each other’s actions over the line into the ridiculous or annoying.
New York Society thrived on financial and social matches made in marriage, and one unwilling bride wasn’t going to change anything. A hundred unwilling brides wouldn’t change anything.Harper St. George, The Heiress Gets a Duke
There are some really nice touches to this overall predictable story (given the title, the outcome isn’t going to be much of a surprise). There are the chapter epigraphs with quotes from writers of the era (and before), such as Mary Wollstonecraft and Benjamin Disraeli.
The sharp scent of gin, sweat, and cheap cigarette smoke tinged the air. People yelled to be heard over the cacophony of a hundred different conversation.Harper St. George, The Heiress Gets a Duke
Her detailed descriptions evoke everything from crowded and malodorous Whitechapel to the decaying grandeur of an English country house to the perfumed press of a London Season event. I’m generally not that attuned to descriptions of fashion, but St. George did a great job of describing a dress that would shock her milieu in a way that I could both envision the dress and understand the reaction.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on her mood, which changed from one minute to the next, the gown that had been delivered to their townhome last week had been far more scandalously cut than she had realized.Harper St. George, The Heiress Gets a Duke
The two protagonists, August (I so wanted to make it Augusta) Crenshaw and Evan Sterling, the Duke of Rothschild (I also tended to giggle at this title choice) are generally likable. Their interactions are enjoyable—the fighting couple that falls in love that can be traced back at least to The Taming of the Shrew or Much Ado About Nothing. August is modern enough for us to root for but still has the disadvantages of being a woman in the latter half of the 19th century; Evan is self-aware enough that his privileged position doesn’t alienate us.
August was the bluestocking. The one who, while pretty enough, would only marry when she could find a man who could overlook her many shortcomings. She was too opinionated. Too intelligent. Too mannish.Harper St. George, The Heiress Gets a Duke
What was more interesting to me was the other relationships these two had: August’s protective relationship with her little sister, who’s more astute than she gives her credit for; everyone’s relationship with August’s mother, an American Mrs. Bennet; Evan’s feelings about his brother and father; and the sweet relationship of Evan with his mother and sisters.
Bloody hell, this was to be his mother-in-law. Visions of endless holidays filled with her constant boasting stretched out before him. Perhaps bankruptcy would be worth it to avoid that fate.Harper St. George, The Heiress Gets a Duke
Of all of them, the most intriguing is that of August and her father. He has allowed her to be a part of his business, keeping books and evaluating financial opportunities. She feels valued to him as a result, and this burgeoning relationship with Evan complicates August’s relationship with her father in unexpected ways. This was, to me, the emotional core of the book, and it lifts this romance out of the humdrum.
My lord, although Miss Crenshaw is my daughter, she is also a trusted employee of Crenshaw Iron Works. I trust her discretion and her advice implicitly. you did say that this was a business issue?Harper St. George, The Heiress Gets a Duke
If you’re not a fan of explicit sex scenes, there will be quite a few bits you’ll have to flip past, but the rest of the book makes it worthwhile. if you do like them, you should find plenty here to like.
As he held it tight, something had become clear to him. He wanted to win her on his own merit. He wanted her to choose him. And, more importantly, he did not want to hurt her.Harper St. George, The Heiress Gets a Duke
All in all, The Heiress Gets a Duke is an exemplary version of the love/hate romance with the commoner and a Duke, so if that’s a read you enjoy, put this one on your to-be-read list.