How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke

how to lose a duke in 10 days

  • Title:  How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days
  • Series:  An American Heiress in London, #2
  • Author:  Laura Lee Guhrke
  • Genre:  Historical Romance
  • Published:  April 2014 – Avon
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:   They had a deal… From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she’s delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent. But deals are made to be broken… By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family’s enormous debts, and Edie’s terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it’s time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart? (publisher)

My take:  Ok, so it’s only May but this may be my favorite historical romance so far this year. Laura Lee Guhrke had me from page one. I loved Edie and Stuart and I loved Guhrke’s handling of the marriage-of-convenience trope.

After being ruined in America Edie simply wants to find a titled man in England who needs her money and will agree to leave her alone once they marry. Stuart, the Duke of Margrave, is just the man and since he wants to go back to Africa he’s happy to take her offer. Stuart is used to getting his way – either by pure charm or because he’s the Duke. When he returns five years later it’s as a wounded man who needs someone to care for him. Definitely not what Edie signed up for! She refuses to accept him as her husband and threatens divorce or at least separation. He gets her to agree to give him ten days to convince her to stay in the marriage. He has no idea how difficult this challenge will be.

Along the way we find out how Edie was ruined and the effect it has had on her life. She slowly reveals the details to Stuart which only increases his resolve that he and Edie should be together. He also reveals what brought him back from Africa. That scene was so well-done and evoked a lot of emotion which is part of the reason I loved this book. Another part is the epilogue. Not your average “oh look, they have a baby” epilogue. One of the story lines is wrapped up beautifully. That’s all I’ll say about it.

This is the second book in the An American Heiress in London series. I didn’t read the first book but, given my enjoyment of this book, I don’t think it was necessary. Still, I look forward to reading the first: When the Marquess Met His Match.

Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke

Title:  Trouble at the Wedding

Author:  Laura Lee Guhrke

Genre:  Historical Romance (series)

Published:  December 2011 – Avon

About:  (back of the book) Annabel is about to marry the perfect man… The last thing Miss Annabel Wheaton desires is true love. She learned the hard way that love makes a woman foolish and leads only to heartache. That’s why she agreed to marry an earl who needs her money. He’s got a pedigree and a country estate, and he won’t ever break her heart. There’s only one problem…

Christian isn’t about to let her marry that pompous prig… Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarborough, thinks the stubborn heiress is about to make the biggest mistake of her life, and he’s determined to stop her. Tempting beautiful women is Christian’s forte, after all. When her family offers him a nice sum of money to stop the wedding, he’s happy to accept. Falling in love with Annabel was never supposed to be part of the bargain…

My take:  Trouble at the Wedding is the third book in the Abandoned at the Altar series. If you haven’t read the first two books don’t worry – this can be a stand alone novel. The primary characters are all new. I do recommend you read the other books just because they are so good.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I love the 1904 time period and it was fun reading a historical romance with an American heroine. Annabel is beautiful and has a strength of spirit and will that charms the reader. That said, she does suffer from the wish to be accepted by old money New Yorkers. She’s a “new money, Mississippi nobody” – and they don’t let her forget it. So when she has a chance to move up in the social world by marrying an English earl she grabs it. She doesn’t want to marry for love anyway. Her father never loved her mother which made her mother miserable. Annabel refuses to make that mistake. What she didn’t count on was meeting Christian…

Laura Lee Guhrke has a gift for creating strong yet flawed characters. I enjoyed how Christian and Annabel worked through their challenges. There are a few scenes that made me laugh out loud and one or two that were quite emotional. It’s a historical romance so you know there’s a HEA. The fun is in how they get there.

Recommended to fans of historical romance and the author. I look forward to reading more of Laura Lee Guhrke’s books.

Source:  Avon

Disclaimer:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke

Title: Scandal of the Year

Author: Laura Lee Guhrke

Genre: Historical Romance

About: (Pub. synopsis) Being jilted. It’s awful for a guy. Especially if you’re a duke, and your fiancée left you for that other duke, the one who came back from Egypt just before your wedding. Humiliating, right?  But what if you managed to recover, got engaged to another girl, and then got jilted again, this time because of a notorious woman, a lot of champagne, and a mome…more

My thoughts: When the first book (Wedding of the Season) of this series ended I wondered about a couple of the characters:  Why did Aidan give up so easily; Would Julia find happiness?  I hoped my questions would be answered in the second book and was happy to find that Scandal of the Year is the story of Aidan and Julia.

As you would expect, Laura Lee Guhrke’s main characters are more fully developed than they were in the first book.  I came to appreciate the reasons for their actions as the author let us in on their lives. There is a lot of push and pull between Aidan and Julia.  Aidan is a true gentleman – honorable and quite devoted once his trust is gained.  Julia has hidden behind a bold and happy facade for many years.  She doesn’t want anyone to know how frightened she has been and how horrible and abusive her marriage was.

Ms.Guhrke brings Aidan and Julia together slowly.  I was glad about that.  In book one they seemed to abhor each other but in this book we find they have a history and there were reasons for their previous behavior.  If you’re an impatient reader you may get frustrated and wonder if things will work out for these two.  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Recommend? If you enjoy historical romance I think you’ll like this series!

Rating: 4/5 stars

Source: HarperCollins/Avon via NetGalley

Wedding of the Season by Laura Lee Guhrke

Title: Wedding of the Season

Author: Laura Lee Guhrke

Genre: Historical Romance

About: (Pub. synopsis) Lady Beatrix Danbury has always known she would marry William Mallory. She’d loved him forever, and she’d never doubted he loved her, too. But when she made him choose between their life together and his lifelong dream, Will chose the latter, and left two weeks before their wedding.

Will has no illusions that Beatrix will welcome him back with open arms, but six years has not diminished his love or his desire for her. The only problem is that she’s about to marry someone else. Someone safe and predictable… the complete opposite of Will. But can he stop the wedding of the season and win Beatrix back, or is it just too late?

My thoughts: I think what I  liked most about this novel is the era – early 1900s England.  There are Daimler motorcars and women might wear trousers while driving.  In fact, some women are pushing the limits that society has placed on them regarding such things as smoking, drinking or having a job.  Beatrix is a bit of a modern woman but she still feels the pull of family responsibilities and expectations.

Will, however, was tired of family demands and decided to follow his own dreams of archeology in Egypt.  When Beatrix refused to marry him if it meant leaving England, Will left without her.  Six years passed and Will returned to find Beatrix planning her wedding to another man.

There are  misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and bitterness about the past but (this isn’t a spoiler because it’s a historical romance) Guhrke’s characters eventually find their way to a happy ending.  Although the novel wrapped up neatly, it left me wondering about a couple of characters.  I think the next book in the series may answer my questions.

Source: HarperCollins/Avon via NetGalley

Rating: 3.5/5 stars