Thursday, 6 July 2017

Review: The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean has been incredibly brave writing this story, because the hero has behaved so badly towards the heroine - and not in a villain-we-love-to-hate way either - it is hard to see how he can redeem himself. So, has the author pulled off a satisfying ending? I think so!

The Day of the Duchess is the third in a series called Scandal and Scoundrel - 'scoundrel' being the heroes (obviously!) and 'scandal' being the disaster the heroine has usually embroiled herself in. Now, usually this is the part where I say that the book works well as a stand alone and it doesn't matter if you haven't read the others in the series, but this time it really is of benefit if The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal and Scoundrel #1), is read first. You will get to see exactly what the hero did that was so unforgivably awful, rather than hearing about it second-hand.

Our heroine is Sera, one of the scandalous daughters of the Earl of Wight, who won his title in a card game with the Prince of Wales. Now incredibly wealthy, the Earl started life as a coal miner. No matter how hard they try, his daughters have never been accepted by the aristocracy, so they've given up - and delight in being shocking. When Sera meets the Duke of Haven and falls in love, no one seriously believes he'll marry her. So her mother stages an intervention; the couple have no choice in the matter and their marriage is doomed from the start.

Basically this story is about two people who fall in love, betray each other, hate each other, do their best to destroy each other - and are now at the 'can't live with, can't live without' stage of their relationship. Helping/hindering in a possibly reconciliation are Sera's forthright sisters and her business partner - the incredibly loyal and rather gorgeous Caleb.

I would recommend this to fans of the more modern style of historical romance, who are perhaps looking for something a little bit different from 'rake falls for debutante'. I found it very romantic, particularly the ballroom scene, and was almost in tears by the ending (and I'm usually as hard as nails, so that takes a lot!). I am so looking forward to the next in the series, although it is hard to see how Sarah MacLean will be able to top this one!

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