Hope Hillburn was born to a life of servitude and never once questioned her role in society. As a lady's maid to Noelle Parrish, she had everything she wanted out of life; a secure and honorable post, a decent room to call her own, and ample time to write fantastical tales of winsome creatures while her mistress, Lady Noelle, attended the various society events offered by the ton.
Lady Noelle Parrish knew that her father was anxious to see her wed but she never imagined he'd go behind her back and arrange for her to marry against her will, to a duke with a questionable reputation no less. Disheartened by the prospect of marrying a man she's never met and the possibility of foregoing a lifetime of love, Noelle makes the impulsive decision to flee England with an American gentleman she's only just met.
There's only one problem...
Lady Noelle's father, the Earl of Brattondale, would never permit her to marry an untitled American, nor was he willing to go back on his word to the duke. In her desperation, Lady Noelle convinces Hope to take her place after noticing an uncanny resemblance between them both.
Against her own better judgment, Hope agrees to take Noelle's place when she realizes there's no other way for Noelle to flee to America without causing her family disgrace. Thrown into a life she has only ever viewed from the outside, Hope must convince everyone that she is a lady lest her farce be discovered. She is confident that she can handle society's strict rules of propriety but she soon learns that guarding her heart from falling in love with an incredibly handsome, self assured duke with a penchant for snarling isn't going to be quite as easy.
Deceiving the Duke of Kerrington
It is obvious that the writer did not do enough research about the mores of the historical time period. For example, Noelle would never have gone with the Duke to look at the desk without her servant present. There were other shortcomings in editing as well. A case in point is the past tense of drag, which is not ‘drug’ but ‘dragged.’ The plural of breath is ‘breaths’ not ‘breathes’ and I think the author meant that the duke looked ‘warily’ at Noelle instead of ‘wearily.’
I found the storyline a little implausible. Why would Soren assume that Noelle would be poorly dressed and in an inn when knowing her character, he should have figured out that she would have gone home. However, the dialogue was fairly good and there were some funny moments. It was also clean without strong sexual content. I would give this book three stars.