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My American Duchess by Eloisa James

My American Duchess (2016)

by Eloisa James

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A sweet, light historical romance, set in 1803. Very good fluff, perfect for a beach read.
1 vote GanneC | Mar 2, 2017 |
Very good book. Merry is an American heiress who has come to London to find a husband. She was engaged twice back home in Boston, but ended both of those engagements. She has just become engaged to Lord Cedric, who seems to be the perfect choice. He's romantic and attentive and she is determined to make it all the way to the altar this time.

Trent has avoided marriage so far, but knows he will have to marry soon. He's looking for a woman who will fit perfectly into his life, looking only for respect and friendship, and avoiding messy emotions. He doesn't expect to run into an American woman who immediately attracts and fascinates him.

I loved their first meeting at the ball. Merry had gone outside for some fresh air, a short time after Cedric's proposal. Her peace is interrupted by Trent's arrival. He's angry and frustrated with his brother and is trying to get under control. Merry first mistakes him for another American, certainly not as one of the highest ranked of the aristocrats. I loved their conversation, with Merry being her usual forthright self, and Trent stunned by his immediate fascination with her. In spite of his usual antipathy toward Americans, he is determined to find out who she is and claim her for himself. He's dismayed to discover that she's his future sister-in-law.

I really enjoyed seeing that he was so smitten, even though he didn't admit that to himself. He was immediately protective of Merry. He had several confrontations with his brother, who he felt was not treating her properly. He tries hard to do the right thing and stay away, as she belongs to his brother, but he just can't do it.

I really didn't like Cedric at all. He was selfish, snobby and mean-spirited. He only proposed to her because of her fortune, and immediately started to change who she was. I hated the way that he was constantly putting her down. It all came to a head during the "pineapple incident" and I wanted to shove him in a fountain. I liked seeing Merry finally stand up to him and see the truth.

I liked seeing the relationship that grew between Trent and Merry. Trent doesn't believe in romantic love, has seen too many times when it just disappears. This feeling is reinforced by Merry's three engagements, where she swore she "loved" each of those men. He would rather base a relationship on respect and friendship. Merry has given up on love because her history has shown her that she's no good at it. I liked Trent's support of Merry after the pineapple incident and how he was determined to claim her for himself. The way he went about it could have turned out very badly, but Merry forgave him pretty quickly.

Once they got to Trent's estate, the fun really began. I liked seeing them get to know each other. Trent's appreciation of Merry's intelligence was great. I loved seeing them debate issues over their meals. They also discovered that the attraction between them was intense. They spent a lot of time exploring that. I also liked the way that Merry learned more about what made Trent the man he was. Merry was the first to realize that she had fallen in love with him, and of course, had to speak out. His reaction was not unexpected, but I hurt for her. The next parts were emotional as she suffered through all his rebuttals. I was so frustrated with him, because it was so obvious that he loved her, too, but he couldn't see it. I liked her reactions and what she she does to try to wait him out. Even more satisfying is his reaction. I loved how he finally realized the truth, and then had to deal with being on the other side of the equation. I loved his big moment at the end, with the nod to what had brought them together. The epilogue was great, with a surprise twist involving Cedric. I hope there will be a story for him. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Jul 21, 2016 |
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. ( )
  AuthorMarion | Apr 16, 2016 |
It's so odd that I have spent the day absorbed in this story, and I am finding that I don't have much to say about it other than... I loved it. [a:Eloisa James|86778|Eloisa James|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1375996000p2/86778.jpg] is a master at her craft, and I really need to work my way through the rest of her published works. I haven't read one that I didn't like so far. Hopefully I can work my way through the Desperate Duchesses and Essex Sisters this year.

I will start with the heroine, Merry Pelford who is known in America as Mary Mary Quite Contrary for her seemingly fickle nature with betrothals. After her second failed engagement, Merry's aunt and uncle spirit her off to London for a season in the hopes of finding a husband that might stick. But all those snotty nobs in London look on America with disdain. The members of the bon ton are constantly putting down her country, and/or delivering veiled insults to and about Merry and her family. I really liked this heroine. Merry didn't put on airs and treated everyone cordially and with respect no matter their station in society. She was plain-speaking and intelligent. I loved her random factoids about any and everything.

The hero, Octavius Mortimer John Allardyce, Sixth Duke of Trent, was a closed-off fellow. He doesn't believe in romantic love as he sees it as fickle and fleeting. After the death of his parents in a drunk phaeton driving accident, he despairs over the habitual imbibing of his twin brother, Cedric. In the first encounter between Trent and Merry, there is an instant spark between them. They converse and flirt with ease, and Trent likes Merry for all of the ways she is unlike other English ladies.

One of the things I liked best about this book is how the romance was laid out. Don't get me wrong, I like stories where the whole book is about the build-up and the couple gets their HEA and it's The End. However, I always wonder what happens to those couples once their lives have joined together. In [b:My American Duchess|25817386|My American Duchess|Eloisa James|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1438663336s/25817386.jpg|43190270], you get the best of both worlds. You have the build up of the relationship for the first half of the book, but then you have married life in the last half. I loved that. I liked seeing Merry and Trent draw closer together in their relationship and work through marital issues. It was also great to see Merry as a duchess and how she won over the duchy tenants with her un-duchess-like behavior. I had a great emotional connection to her character, and may have even shed a few tears on Merry's behalf when she thought her husband may not be capable of love.

My American Duchess starts out as a forbidden attraction, moves on to a bittersweet romance, and ends as a heartwarming love story. I received an advanced copy of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars / 3 flames. ( )
  Bambi_Unbridled | Mar 19, 2016 |
What to say about My American Duchess......let's see yes it's an age old tale, an American Heiress and an English Duke...but that's where the "same old" ended for me. Personally I love those tales, I love seeing how an American with our attitudes even back then you know we had to have had attitudes, otherwise we'd still be under English rule. So I love when authors create a romance with a strong willed American and a "stuffy" Englishman. It makes me smile every-time. The author, Eloisa James, makes this one extremely fun. I loved the idea that Merry is just "loving and leaving" men. I sit her laughing as I write that, because it sounds worse than it is. But I can just "hear" the rumors of just that going round the drawing rooms and balls. I loved Trent finding himself in a very awkward situation.....falling in love with the woman betrothed to his brother. There are some scenes that will forever change how you look at everyday items, most notably the Pineapple scene, you'll never pass a pineapple again without thinking about it....Fans of Eloisa James will adores these characters and be eager to turn pages while at the same time be a little reluctant to reach the end. If you are new to Eloisa James be prepared you'll be ready to find all her back-list after reading this one. MY AMERICAN DUCHESS is a perfect read if you are looking a fun, light, engaging, well written historical romance. I can't wait for the next one! ( )
  WendyK | Mar 8, 2016 |
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April 6, 1803
Lady Portmeadow's ball in honor of the East End Charity Hospital
15 Golden Square

At 9 pm sharp, Lord Cedric Allardyce gracefully fell to his knees, signaling his intent to request Miss Merry Pelford's hand in marriage.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062389432, Mass Market Paperback)

The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford— an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.

But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.

The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear:

All is fair in love and war.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 31 Aug 2015 05:27:35 -0400)

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