January 26, 2016

Blog Tour Book Review: My American Duchess by Eloisa James

at 1/26/2016 12:00:00 AM


Eloisa James
Releasing on January 26, 2016
Avon Books

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.
A large hand curled around her waist, neatly spinning her about and bringing her up against him.
Sensations skittered through her at the press of a hard male chest against hers. Miss Fairfax would have been appalled. Yet rather than pull away, Merry froze, looking up at him with her heart pounding in her ears.
“Who groped you?” he demanded.
“Who had made you so angry before you came onto the balcony?” she countered. What—or who—on earth would make a man like this so enraged?
“My fool of a brother. And now I’d like to you to answer my question.”
She had already forgotten what he had asked. His gaze was so intense that she felt confused and flushed. She would never allow a man—a complete stranger—to kiss her, if that’s what he was contemplating.
“What was your question?” she asked, wincing inwardly when her voice came out as breathless as a siren’s.
“Who groped you?” he repeated.
He had that warrior look in his eyes that Merry found absurdly compelling. She came out with the truth before she could think better of it. “Lord Malmsbury…Lord Malmsbury lets his hands stray where they shouldn’t.”
“Stay away from him,” he ordered, scowling.
“I appreciate your concern,” Merry said with dignity as she pulled free and stepped back, “but there’s no call to order me about. I have already decided to avoid his lordship—not that he has shown the slightest inclination to deepen our acquaintance, thanks to my hatpin.”
“Between your weapon and his boils, I doubt he will risk further encounters.” His smile reappeared. “I trust that after we are formally introduced, I may request a dance, if I promise not to grope you.”
It occurred to Merry that she would rather like to be groped by this man. It was a appalling realization. She was betrothed.
He executed a perfect bow.
She dropped a curtsy, and this time did Miss Fairfax’s instruction proud, nearly grazing the ground with her knee.
Merry walked back into the ballroom without looking back; no matter what her governess thought, she possessed self-control. Plenty of it.
She had almost reached the other side of the room before she turned her head and looked back.
He was nowhere in sight.
She took a seat along the wall and gave herself a good talking-to. What on earth was she thinking? Was she truly as fickle as the gossips back home believed? She may have made mistakes choosing her first two fiancés, but she had never been truly capricious.
She had truly believed that she was in love with both Bertie and Dermot. She had never flirted with a man while betrothed to another.
Not that she had precisely flirted with this man.
All right, she had flirted.Merry groaned silently. Why hadn’t she slapped him when he caught around her waist, or at the least announced her status as a soon-to-be married woman. 

Instead, she had just looked up at him like a silly widgeon waiting to be kissed.
Eloisa James was one of the major historical romance authors that I like during my initial historical romance phase in high school and college. So much happened in this story so let's get to it. Merry Pelford is an American heiress who has jilted two fiances, despite her intentions to wed. The Duke of Trent inherited his title as a young man after the tragic death of his parents. After being slight by his twin brother, Cedric, Trent steps onto the balcony and is enchanted by the curvaceous little American. The chemistry between Merry and Trent makes them a good match, especially their flirtatious banter. Trent might not have known the identity of his American, but he certainly wants to make her his wife. Little did they know that they'll be introduced pretty soon. *SPOILER* [Merry is already engaged to Cedric.] Yup, Trent's brother. You can imagine the embarrassment from both parties. Let me be clear, there's no love triangle between a girl and two brothers. Merry is engaged and "in love" with the younger twin, while being very attracted to the Duke. This is obviously a love story between Trent and Merry, but how to make the brother disappear? 

Let me clarify why Merry is "in love" with Cedric. Merry was "in love" with her two previous suitors as well, but after some time, changed her mind and broke off the engagements. With a pattern of infatuation that dissipated after some time, Merry was determined to see this engagement through. By doing so, Merry saw Cedric through rose-colored glasses and in some cases, excessively giving him the benefit of the doubt. Right off the bat, I thought Cedric was an ass. Everything he said was like a back-handed compliment. I was confident that Merry would eventually see Cedric for the type of person. Back to Merry and Trent, these two compliment each other, in that they don't exactly follow the molds that London society dictates. Each accepts the other as is and appreciates the other as a person. Merry and Trent started off as friends and eventually fell in love with each other. I appreciated the slow burn of a friendship turned romance. There's certainly nothing lacking in the romance department, but the wrench in their relationship is Trent's disposition that love is worthless and only wanted a friends with benefits relationship with Merry. This causes Merry much heartache because *SPOILER* [she actually, truly fell in love with him and he dismisses it for a passing fancy.] Given her previous reputation for jilting two fiances, it's logical and practical to assume that when Merry can be flighty, but things are different with Trent.

I loved all of the marriage moments between Trent and Merry and how they wade through married life together. There's definitely room for a continuation with a story for Cedric. He was a jerkface in the beginning and middle, but surprisingly redeemed himself enough to warrant his own story; probably a novella. I definitely enjoyed reading this book and will be reading Eloisa's newest books.

5 STARS!!!

A New York Times bestselling author, Eloisa James is a professor

of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but who can

sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. (Her husband is a honest to goodness

Italian knight!) Eloisa’s website offers short stories, extra chapters, and

even a guide to shopping in Florence. Visit her at www.eloisajames.com.

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