Calling all lords and ladies! This enemies-to-lovers tale is one part cheeky, one part scandalous, and one part sweet.
Good to know
First in series
American heiress August Crenshaw has aspirations. But unlike her peers, it isn't some stuffy British Lord she wants wrapped around her finger—it's Crenshaw Iron Works, the family business. When it's clear that August's outrageously progressive ways render her unsuitible for a respectable match, her parents offer up her younger sister to the highest entitled bidder instead. This simply will not do. August refuses to leave her sister to the mercy of a loveless marriage.
Evan Sterling, the Duke of Rothschild, has no intention of walking away from the marriage. He's recently inherited the title only to find his coffers empty, and with countless lives depending on him, he can't walk away from the fortune a Crenshaw heiress would bring him. But after meeting her fiery sister, he realizes Violet isn't the heiress he wants. He wants August, and he always gets what he wants.
But August won't go peacefully to her fate. She decides to show Rothschild that she's no typical London wallflower. Little does she realize that every stunt she pulls to make him call off the wedding only makes him like her even more.
The Heiress Gets a Duke
I feel sure that no girl would go to the altar if she knew all. —Queen Victoria
New York CitySeptember 1874
A feminine wail floated through the crowded ballroom of the Bridwells’ newly built Fifth Avenue mansion. The soft cry hovered beneath the notes of the waltz, its ghostly fingers touching everything it passed. The efforts of an army of musicians did nothing to drown out the sorrow inherent in the sound. It settled like a fog of despair over the glamorous evening, dusting it with melancholy. August Crenshaw shivered as if the icy fingers had stroked down her spine.
Before her eyes, the engagement party continued in full swing, not the least bit concerned with the rather unremarkable fact that the bride-to-be was not a willing participant in the festivities. There was a momentary hitch in the happy amusement—a brief pause in conversation, a minute hesitation in the steps of a few of the couples twirling on the dance floor—but not one of them stopped. No one appeared willing to acknowledge the cry. In fact, they all seemed livelier, propelled forward by a new purpose to appear as joyful as possible with the intention of hiding the depth of the sadness upstairs.
August glanced up at the frescoed ceiling as if she could see Camille in her bedroom, but instead a bright-eyed cherub stared back at her, a silent witness to the atrocity that was about to occur. The champagne went flat on her tongue and slid down her throat to settle heavy in her belly.
Why I love it
Author, A Rogue of One's Own
Before I started writing romance, I consumed a few hundred romance novels a year. Harper St. George was one of the first authors I ever put on auto-buy after I had stumbled across her debut Viking romance and promptly fell in love with her voice. For those reasons I was delighted when Book of the Month asked whether I would tell their readers about The Heiress Gets a Duke.
The novel is set during America’s Gilded Age, when so-called dollar princesses flocked from the States to London every season in the hope of marrying a titled man. August Crenshaw is one such heiress, but she is a free spirit keen on a role in her father’s business empire rather than acquiring a ring on her finger. Only when her unwilling sister is put on the line does she put herself forward. But perhaps marrying the Duke of Rothschild, who happens to be the very opposite of a fusty aristocrat, isn’t the sacrifice she first thinks it is…
Harper has a way with words that never fails to capture me. I was hooked on this book from the rather harrowing opening lines and was carried along by the effortlessly flowing prose until I found myself turning the last page with a huge smile on my face. Both August and Rothschild are compelling characters, individually as well as a couple, and Harper negotiated the potential pitfalls of their semi-arranged marriage brilliantly. The sparks between August and her duke were red-hot from the moment she first sees him in a boxing ring. A duke who boxes—yes please, sign me up!
Member ratings (7,697)
I love a good slowly fall in love storyline. August is such a strong character and her growth throughout was incredible. I’ll be impatiently waiting for the next in the series to come out in Sep! ❤️❤️
Albion , NY
I’ve meant to start this book for months, but never did. Even carried it out of state on a vacation or two, but didn’t crack the cover until now. Engaging, satisfying & naughty! Couldn’t put it down!!
Grand Forks, ND
I loved this book! Such an interesting time in history, and August’s and Evan’s chemistry is delicious. I love that August can hold her own at a time when women were supposed to be demure. A must read
August doesn’t need Evan to stand on her own and she fights him at every moment to prove that. But their chemistry can’t be ignored and that’s one thing I definitely loved about this book. Read it!
What starts off corny really gains some steam about a third of the way through the book. Honestly it’s full of tropes but just the best kind. Marriage contracts, gilded era decorum and drama, so good.