The third book in Sarah MacLean's witty and romantic Scandal & Scoundrel series featuring a ravishing heroine and the man, desperately in love, who now has to make amends.
The one woman he will never forget…
Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.
The one man she will never forgive…
After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.
A love that neither can deny…
The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day the Day of the Duchess.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Sarah MacLean's third Scandal and Scoundrel novel is heavy on conflict and angst, which only makes this tale of reconciliation sweeter. After tragedy and lies turn their love match bitter, Seraphina Talbot flees her marriage to Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven. Now she's back to demand a divorce, while Malcolm is determined to win her back. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreaking, The Day of the Duchess is an emotionally deep and supremely satisfying read.
MacLean's clever explanation of the scandal at the heart of her previous Regency romance, The Rogue Not Taken, will impress readers who found Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, entirely insufferable in the earlier book. Malcolm plans to woo back his wife, Seraphina, whom he sent away shortly after their wedding because she had deceived him. Instead, to his shock, she returns and announces she wants a divorce. In order to buy some time to change her mind, Malcolm agrees to the divorce but asks her to live with him for six weeks and help him find another wife. Seraphina wants her freedom so she can circumvent the British law that a woman's property belongs to her husband, but living with Malcolm soon reminds her what first attracted her to him. Passion is reignited, but she fears that they can't overcome their past, which results in wishy-washy behavior. The chase grows tiring, but readers will empathize with the redeemed Malcolm. Seraphina's sisters keep things lively, and new characters are just as spirited. The saucy setup for another love match will have readers eager for the next in the series.
Grab a chair and prepare yourself for a ride!
A few things to know before diving into this book (or any book by Sarah MacLean). You have to enjoy drama: from full blown productions with characters who won’t let go to little moments of temper-fueled outbursts, usually brought on by one of the characters acting to type, or diverting from it. Appreciating female characters that are a bit more modern than one would expect: no shrinking violets these, they have thoughts, dreams, and desires and are not afraid to take a chance to grab that joy. Men who aren’t ever quite sure what hit them, especially after they find themselves unable to forget her, and even those who are aware enough to recognize their own missteps. And when that is boxed together with a family that wasn’t born to society and gives even less credence to the expectations of same – you get this. Grab a chair and prepare yourself for a ride!
Malcolm, Duke of Haven has retreated from society – he’s ashamed of his behavior and the scenes he caused in a very ‘un-duke-like’ manner. Now, the decisions and his bad behavior have come to a head: he needs an heir, thus he needs a willing wife. Problem is – he has one, and she doesn’t want him. Left him without a trace nearly three years back, and with her unforeseen return comes yet another blow: she wants a divorce and to never see him again.
Seraphina spent the early years of her marriage being denigrated and feeling “less than” her husband. A stickler for propriety, he was shamed by her family and the scandal that surrounds them. What she doesn’t know is that during the time, Malcolm had searched for her, reviewed every moment of their marriage, revisited every interaction and knows now that he was more than harsh, and she is the woman he wants above all others. But, he’s got to convince her, and to convince her that he has changed he comes up with a plan. Sophie knows that Malcolm needs an heir, but she’s not volunteering for that job. So, when she’s faced with a marriage she doesn’t want, or her freedom in exchange for finding a ‘suitable’ replacement for Malcolm. What she doesn’t realize is that Malcolm has decided that he will use every moment he can to convince her to come home. Permanently.
Oh poor Sophie: she really did love Malcolm, and his behavior cut her to the quick. Now, she’s determined that he won’t get another chance to hurt her again….but he’s so…..
Together these two are everything: adorable together with a wonderful banter: but this was no simple connection. Too much history and Malcolm’s inability to ask the questions he so desperately needs answers for kept them in the back and forth: him trying to show he’s changed his perspective and Sophie desperately trying to guard her heart – the one he shattered into little pieces with his cutting words and behavior. I didn’t actually think that they would actually hit that point of honest emotion where they could trust in one another to share openly, but slowly the cracks in the façade broke, and they both are struggling with the missteps of the past, as Sophie finally finds her own voice and makes her own choices without first considering her family’s or her husband’s wishes. Oh her growth was wonderful – and Malcolm: a good grovel never hurts and he is truly feeling it – something that the very fair-minded (and just a little in love) Sophie can’t help but see. With a wonderful reunion and informative epilogue – their story comes with bows, smiles, tears and big hearts.
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.
I really enjoy these characters and the world of the series, but the three books that make up the collection are practically copies of one another. Of course, details change but it’s the same story arc with the lovers playing a predictable game of cat and mouse. By the last book I was skimming pages to get through. I also have to say that the love scenes got worse as the series went along, with this third offering being downright boring, despite two characters that seemed to have some sizzle.
The day of the duchess
I laughed and I cried as I was carried away by wonderful storytelling. May true love triumph!