My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Historical romance is not my genre of choice. To be honest, anything historical is not my thing. Usually I have trouble relating to the characters and occasionally the wording throws me off. Thankfully, this was not the case while reading An American Duchess. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this. It was fun story with a feisty heroine, a brooding hero, and an unexpected romance.
“I need a marriage, he needs money, and we don’t need to make matrimony last.”
Zoe Gifford is not your average woman of the 1920’s. She’s outspoken, she’s spunky and stubborn. She knows what she wants and she goes after it. Right now, what she needs is a husband. For financial reasons only. To help her mother, Zoe needs access to her trust. To get that, she must be married. Zoe travels from America to England to meet up with her potential husband and the Duke’s younger brother, Sebastian. Things don’t go quite as planned…
When the Duke of Langford meets Zoe, he doesn’t know what to think. Women do not behave like her. She’s much too modern for his taste. And he doesn’t agree with her plan to marry Sebastian only to give him a settlement and divorce him later. The Duke, aka Nigel, doesn’t know what to expect with this relationship. He never expects to be enamored with Zoe. And thats exactly what happens. It must be true when they say opposites attract, because Zoe and Nigel find themselves drawn to one another. The sexual tension between the two of them is sizzling. Nigel has never felt this way before. He feels different with Zoe. Alive. For the first time since he came home from the war a scarred man, he feels something else.
She made him forget he was a duke. She made him forget he was supposed to be as hard as steel, as unyielding as rock, as emotionless as a block of lead.
She made him feel alive.
I absolutely adored Nigel and Zoe together. Especially the first half of the story. The back and forth banner between them, the way Zoe was with his family. I was never so happy when Zoe and Sebastian realized it would be best for them not to get married and she and Nigel decided to try a real marriage. Who would have thought the distinguished duke would marry a flighty American like her? It was so refreshing to read about a heroine from that time period that was fun and outspoken and wasn’t afraid to tell it like it is.
Nigel is so different than Zoe in many ways. He is a scarred and damaged man. Zoe brings out some lightness in him. He’s never going to be the fun and carefree guy, but he is different with her. Things in the second half of the story change. Big things change them as individuals and change many aspects of their relationship. There were times I wanted to scream at them both, but I had a lot of sympathy for the things they were going through.
I honestly never thought this fun read would turn into something so serious and emotional. Dealing with after effects of a war, and loss on many different levels isn’t easy.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. The last 10-15% I wasn’t crazy about. There were some things that just seemed a little off to me. But the very end, I did like a lot. The writing was great, it was fast paced and had an easy flow. I liked both of the main characters a lot. This was a good read for me and one I would recommend to readers of historical romance. If you’re not a huge fan of this genre, you still may enjoy it like I did. There is a lot of romance, some heat, humor and even some serious parts. A solid 4 star read for me.