Book Review-My American Duchess by Eloisa James

Book Review-My American Duchess by Eloisa James

Book Review-My American Duchess by Eloisa JamesMy American Duchess by Eloisa James
Published by Avon on January 26th 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: Avon
ISBN: 0062389432
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The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford— an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.
But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.
The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear:
All is fair in love and war.

My Review

Summary 

Merry Pelford, is an American Heiress and has come to England to find a man to marry. It is expected of her, but she is hoping to find a man that she can love. When  Lord Cedric, starts courting her, she finds herself intrigued and she begins to feel affection for him. When he proposes with flair and plenty of poetry, Merry believes that she does care for him. But on the eve of accepting Lord Cedric’s proposal, she meets a man in the dark and out on the balcony. A man that is definitely an aristrocrat, has the arrogance and the appeal. But Merry finds herself drawn to his aura, his laugh and his inquisitive questions that seem more curious than anything else. The Duke of Trent, is content with his life and trying to keep his brother out of trouble. When he meets a mysterious american woman that makes him think of nights on silk sheets of passion and desire, he wants her. He is drawn to her honesty and openess. But when he learns that she is engaged to his brother Cedric, he is appalled that he has feelings of lust for his future sister in law. But through various events, he sees the true Merry and he wants her for his own.

The Hero 

The Duke of Trent, has always known his duties and responsibilities. Despite being a twin, he and his brother Cedric have always been at odds except when they were children. Trent grew up in a home, where his mother favored her attentions on his brother and couldn’t be bothered to show any affection for him not even as a child. His father was a drunk and he has always stayed away from drinking. His parents were killed in an accident because his father was drinking. He sees his brother going the same way that his father did and is doing everyting in his power to keep him from killing himself from drinking. What I liked most about this hero, was pretty much everything. He doesn’t believe in love, he feels its temporary and not worth the hassle or the pain. Considering how his mother rejected him, it was very understandable. He is practical, but isn’t your average duke. He doesn’t have his hair styled in the usual way, he likes to stay physically active ( I totally approve), and loves to help out the tenants with their farms and improve his estates. He is loyal and honorable and very stubborn when it comes to emotional sentiment.

The Heroine My American Duchess

Merry Pelford, grew up in America, she was raised by her aunt and uncle. After having to jilt two previous men, her aunt and uncle thought it best to come to England, have a fresh start and get away from the gossip and find Merry a titled man. Merry isn’t ashamed of her heritage, she is proud to be American, especially since coming to England. She finds her American ways to be a lot more simple and easier in many respects. What I really liked about Merry was her openess and honesty and boy is she smart and doesn’t seek to hide her intelligence. I was worried that this heroine would seem a bit contemporary, but I didn’t feel that at all which I was pretty glad about. I really enjoyed seeing how she balanced out who she is, with trying to conform with British society which isn’t easy at all. I admired her tenacity and her easy going charm. She does try to go with the Ton, but in all honesty, she is way too intelligent to fit right in. She isn’t ashamed of who she is, but she does attempt to make concessions which I admired the ways that she goes about it. Her character was fresh and I really liked her.

Plot and Story Line 

My American Duchess is the newest book from Eloisa James. And this author has always been a personal favorite of mine. She writes simply wonderful regency romances, and this one won me over from the first chapter. I was a bit anxious to read this one, because I noticed the rating and reviews weren’t as high as I was expecting. So I was expecting a story that I would have difficulty read…but not I had a difficult time putting this down at times. I just wanted more of the Duke and his American lady. The first half of the book, we have the conflict of seeing the chemistry between them, however nothing can happen because Merry is engaged to the brother of our hero. We see how much that they try to deny what is happening between them. And at first they are successful. But circumstances lead them to discover true emotion with each other.

What I enjoyed was seeing the fun interactions between Merry and the Duke and even the brother Cedric—he was quite a hoot! I had a ball of fun with his character. He was so funny at times, (I am not sure if the author meant him to be) but boy did I have fun with him and he entertained me so much. Even though technically you could see this as a love triangle trope—I never got that feeling from this story at all. Because quite frankly, Cedric just wants money and wealth and Merry is an heiress. He doesn’t really see any other qualities to make her his wife other than that. I feel like this is more “forbidden romance” theme. We have two people that desire to be together but are unable to due to certain obligations. The second half of the book, we see these two try to balance out a new type of relationship. They have ended up married, and now have to work out through some issues. At first, there is plenty of sexy sensuality between them, and we see how well they do together on a physical level. But on an emotional level…it takes work. It isn’t for them to find their HEA, and it does take a while for them to reach a point, where they are willing to be fully open and honest with each other. A couple of misunderstanding’s do occur, but I didn’t feel it detracted from the story…I felt like it only made the moment where they both admit their true feelings to each other, a more satisfying end and we are left with a bit of a teaser about the brother. I am hoping that Eloisa James will write his book so we can see his journey.

The Cover 

I do adore this cover. I loved both of the covers that were chosen. The first cover, (after reading this) I felt suits the heroine way more. It has a more garden like background, and she is more open and free in that cover. So I will admit I like the first cover because it suits the story best. But this cover, I do admire quite a bit….it’s classy and elegant. I love her sparkling dress and the staircase behind her. And the stepback cover is simply gorgeous.

Overall View 

My American Duchess is a enjoyable and sensual regency romance that is like a breath of fresh air. An unrequited love story that will keep you laughing and entertained from beginning to end.

About Eloisa James

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa's very first book that she "found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"; later People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is an associate professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her "double life" is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she's written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women's magazines such as More to writers' journals such as the Romance Writers' Report.

  • Great review! This sounds really good. I normally wouldn’t go for the brother angle but it sounds like it wasn’t really too big of a deal in the story since there was no real love between Merry and Cedric. I do need to read more Eloisa James!

    • Yes you should. James is a fantastic writer and I feel she has only improved since she started writing.

  • Karen

    I usually love James but there was one book (can’t remember the name) where I HATED the hero so I’m been afraid to jump in again lol

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

    • yeah I haven’t loved everything from her, but most of what I have read has been really wonderful. But I would recommend this one, the hero is pretty great.

  • Can you believe that I have never read Eloisa James before! I know! I have been hesitant to read this because of the whole love triangle but I’ve been hearing it really isn’t too bad. Glad you enjoyed this.

    I just love this cover. Her dress is gorgeous and I love how it sparkles and stands out on the cover.

    • oh really??!! You definitely should, she is quite wonderful. You know while I was reading this, I never felt the whole “love triangle” at all. Its more of a “forbidden romance” set up not really love triangle although it does seem that way. The focus of the book is Merry and Trent. The brother Cedric, is more in the background. But I think you would like this. And you are right about the cover….I love the sparkles and it looks so great with the background they chose.

  • Pretty cover 🙂

  • Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve not read EJames although I’ve one-clicked her a couple of times. 😉 (yes, I have a problem *ha*) I like the setup for this one. I can see where misunderstandings might occur between Merry and the Duke. And I can see where humor could be injected what with 2 brothers fighting for the same woman. 😉 I’m happy you enjoyed this one so well! I’ll have to unearth my EJames books. 😀

  • L.

    I actually declined the invite to review this title as I am not the biggest fan of James. Yet, I enjoyed your review and I think I will give it a chance on my own time one weekend. As always great reviews, love reading your thoughts!

  • I enjoyed this, but the misunderstandings at the end kinda threw me off. I loved both main characters and found Cedric to be amusing as well. I’m glad you liked this!