The unexpected duchess
Archibald Salisbury, son of a viscount, war hero, and proficient in the proper ways of aristocratic society, has received orders for his most challenging mission: Genevieve, Duchess of Blakesley. How she inherited a duchy isn’t his problem. Turning her into a perfect duchess is. But how can he keep his mind on business when her beauty entices him toward pleasure?
It was impossible, unprecedented…and undeniably true. Genevieve is now a “duke”, or, rather, a duchess. So what is she to do when the ton eyes her every move, hoping she’ll make a mistake? Genevieve knows she has brains and has sometimes been told she has beauty, but, out of her depth, she calls on an expert. And what an expert, with shoulders broad enough to lean on, and a wit that matches her own. Archie is supposed to teach her to be a lady and run her estate, but what she really wants to do is unladylike—run into his arms.
wonderful series of twists, turns and a few shocking moments
Flipping convention on its ear, Megan Frampton gives us a woman that inherits a ducal title, a woman who is wholly unprepared for dealing with the social aspects of the title. Genevieve is very clever, in fact, she’s more than perfectly well-equipped to handle the business side of things, it is just the social end that she is completely (blissfully) unprepared for. See, it’s never really your title that gets you through the tonne, and Genevieve has a solid one, but the navigation of the pitfalls in society and the gatherings…. And the fact that a titled female, without the protection of a husband or being a widow –and things get interesting. Fortunately for Genevieve, she has her Aunt Sophia to rely on.
Knowing her niece’s predicament, her aunt is more than willing to provide help, in the form of her steward, Archibald Salisbury, third son of a Viscount, most recently out of the army, and well-versed in both how not to run a large estate (from the poor examples of his family) and the social pitfalls and expectations. He’s horrified at the prospect of “building a proper Duchess”, but being bidden by Sophia to make this work, he is off to work with and for the new Duchess.
The interplay between these two is clever: class differences, plain spoken Genevieve against the rather cultured Archie, and the undeniable attraction between the two makes for a fun read. There is a bit of repetition that bandies about the class differences, and while it does serve to reinforce what was important to the aristocracy at the time, the moments often served to separate the two, despite their obvious attraction. She is determined to make people recognize her as a Duchess, and not with whispers and denigration: he’s determined to complete the task assigned to him, and go back to his quiet and fulfilling life as a steward.
Fun and light, even with the many changes both experience through the story, Genevieve’s growth and quick wit impress Archie, her willingness to speak plainly to his desires, and her refusal to take the easy route to acceptance strike at his heart, and make the story come alive. A wonderful series of twists, turns and a few shocking moments keep readers engaged and enjoying this story, a wonderful installment in the series.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Loved the role reversal!
Loved the role reversal! It is unheard of a female inheriting a title, but I loved that is was different from all other historical romances. Genevieve and Archie have a slow build to their romance, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t plenty of “bad” behavior going on. I think I had a smile on my face almost the entire time I read the book, except of course when it seemed impossible they could have a happy ending. Loved the letters they wrote to each other with things they couldn’t actually say or even send them, but we got to read. I wish there would have been an epilogue to see what their future looked like.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.