I have read many period romances in my day and My American Duchess falls squarely in the middle of them. The main difference between this story and so many others is that the leading lady is an out-spoken American from Boston who, despite being brought up by an English governess, is far from the perfect English lady.
Merry is brought to England in search of a husband after she has broken off two prior engagements in America. If she doesn’t find a suitable husband here then she will need to return to America and live as a spinster. But love finds Merry in the form of Cedric Allardyce, second son of a duke – although Merry is too naive to see that Cedric only wants her funds. She agrees to marry him anyway but soon finds that she is deeply attracted to the hardnosed Duke of Trent, her fiancé’s twin brother. Trent is hard where Cedric is soft, responsible where Cedric is not, and deeply in love with Merry. But he has had a hard life for a number of reasons and has vowed never to love another. Through a series of situations and manipulations Trent ends of married to Merry and is content to slake his lust with her but refuses to express his love although Merry does quite easily. That is precisely what he fears, that his wife is merely in love with the idea of love. As is so often the case in these stories there comes a day when Trent is in danger of Merry losing her life and that is when he speaks of his long repressed emotions.
The story moves slowly at first but picks up speed until it comes to a satisfactory conclusion. There are several colorful characters – Mrs. Pondmeadow, George and Snowdrop (two dogs), and of course the pineapple situation is not to be missed. And let’s not forget Lady Caroline who has had her eye on marriage to the Duke of Trent from the outset. Merry’s dressing down of Lady Caroline will have the reading saying ” Yessss!”.
Altogether a light-hearted read that will keep you entertained.
Rating: M M M M