American-born James Cavendish is a simple man who has spent his life breeding horses and raising his three sisters. When he receives word that he has inherited the title of Duke of Durham, he reluctantly agrees to travel to England with his sisters. But before he arrives in London and accepts his new role and responsibilities he seeks a last night of pleasure in the arms of a beautiful stranger at a coaching inn.
Meredith Green is on the way back to London from a visit with her ailing mother and chooses to overnight at the same inn where James Cavendish is spending his last untitled night. Upon her return to London, Meredith will resume her position as companion to the dowager duchess of Durham who places Meredith in charge of transforming her colonial charges into a proper English duke and duke’s sisters. Knowing what lies ahead of her, she succumbs to flirtation and a night of passion in the arms of a man she knows only as Just James. Imagine her shock and dismay the very next afternoon to learn that Just James is the new Duke of Durham and the student she will be teaching about English rules and traditions.
The new duke only has eyes for Meredith, in whose company he is at ease. He doesn’t wish to choose a bride from the “suitable” ladies he’s introduced to but understands his duty to do so. Meredith knows she is far removed from His Grace in ranking so she watches him from afar while her heart breaks. Will the American duke come to his senses and break the rules of class distinction?
I love this story! The open and forthright manner of the Americans stands in direct counterpoint to the staid and stodgy members of the haute ton. The mingling of the two cultures, different yet so very much alike, provides a refreshing look at this genre. This is the first Maya Rodale book I’ve read but it won’t be the last – especially since there are three other books in this series.
Rating: 4.5 stars