This almost felt like two different books in one. The first half deals with an American heiress, betrothed to the wrong man. I didn’t enjoy this half very much. The book is called My American Duchess, so it’s no big leap to realize that Merry’s engagement to the Duke’s brother isn’t the way the story is going to end. In fact, when she meets the Duke of Trent that very same night, it’s obvious that he is the better match. There’s a great spark between them, that sits completely unattended for more than 150 pages.
That’s a long time to wait. A long time without a single kiss. A long time without even so much as an acknowledgement between them that there is… well, anything, except a future as in laws. Meanwhile, we watch Merry contort herself into what she thinks would be an acceptable spouse for Trent’s brother, Cedric. I should mention that Cedric has virtually no redeeming qualities. He is a drunk. He is marrying Merry for her money. And he constantly berates her.
No, I didn’t enjoy the first half of this book at all. Merry is a secure, intelligent woman, belittled over and over by the man she is supposedly in love with, for the very things that make her interesting. I loathed Cedric. But the fact that Merry stayed with him made me like her less. Her personality is bold and fun. But she is also emotionally immature and her grand love for Cedric made this even more apparent. The only character that I could respect was Trent.
The second half of the book is the actual romance between Merry and Trent. I liked this half much more, simply because we made it to the romance part. It’s clear that Trent and Merry are a good match. It’s obvious to the reader that they love each other, even if it takes Trent a bit longer to catch on that what he’s feeling actually has a name. I felt like the conflict over the word “love” was a little contrived. But the spark was good between the hero and heroine. The love scenes were sexy. And I wanted these two to make it work, so it was satisfying when they finally did.
Unfortunately, it just took too long to get to the part of the storyline that I cared about. And when we did get there, there just wasn’t enough substantial development to overcome the first half. Maybe if there was a conflict beyond Merry’s fickle heart and Trent’s fear… but, alas, there was not.
Not the best I have read from this author.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
My American Duchess
by Eloisa James
Release Date: January 26, 2016