Title: An American Duchess
Author: Sharon Page
The Boyfriend Bookmark: ★★★★
About An American Duchess
Set on a crumbling English manor estate during the height of the Roaring Twenties, an American duchess must decide how much she’s willing to risk for the life she truly desires…
It’s 1922, and New York heiress Zoe Gifford longs for the freedoms promised by the Jazz Age. Headstrong and brazen, but bound by her father’s will to marry before she can access his fortune, Zoe arranges for a brief marriage to Sebastian Hazelton, whose aristocratic British family sorely needs a benefactor.
Once in England, her foolproof plan to wed, inherit and divorce proves more complicated than Zoe had anticipated. Nigel Hazelton, Duke of Langford and Sebastian’s older brother, is as austere and imposing as the family’s ancestral estate. Still reeling from the Great War, Nigel is now staging a one-man battle against a rapidly changing world—and the outspoken Zoe represents everything he’s fighting against.
When circumstances compel Zoe to marry Nigel rather than Sebastian, their heated quarrelling begets passion of another sort. But with Nigel unwilling to change with the times, will Zoe be forced to choose between her husband and her dreams?
I am not typically one for historical romance reads, however, there was something completely captivating about this one. Set in the 20’s, Zoe is a new kind of woman. She is free spirited and full of life. There is one love that she isn’t quite ready to let go of and that is her fiancé. But he is gone and he isn’t coming back. He died and now she has to learn to live again. Which leads her to England. She needs to help her mother out of a financial pickle. But the only way she can do that is to marry. Once she marries, she has access to her trust fund that her father left behind. Now, if only marrying was that easy.
But Zoe is determined. She knows what she wants and she knows how to make it mutually beneficial to the man that has agreed to marry her. She needs the money to save her mother, Sebastian wants the money to save his family. But when push comes to shove, Sebastian wants more to cover up who he is and to have his family avoid scandal. Zoe knows this is wrong and she knows that it will ultimately end in divorce. But that is what she wants. She just needs the money.
Sebastian needs more than just the money. Sure, the money will help save his family from financial ruin that the war left behind, but there is more to what a marriage will do for Sebastian. It will prove that he is not who he knows he is. Now, he just needs to get Zoe on board. But, when Zoe shows up at his family’s estate, something changes. She meets Nigel, the Duke. But she is set to marry Sebastian.
There is something dark and mysterious about Nigel though. She quickly learns that though they are complete opposites in every way, she can’t seem to not want to be around him. She is drawn to him and despite his best efforts, he is so incredibly attracted to her. But Nigel has his own problems. He can never be what Zoe could ever want. He could never be as brave or as full of life as she is. He could never want someone like her because ultimately would only lead to scandal for his family.
Yes, Zoe holds a lot of power here. She has two men that want her for very different reasons. One to hide who he is and one to protect him from who he is.
This is a very beautiful love story. Zoe has everything once she marries. She can take care of her mother’s financial situation. She can get a divorce, which is now common place in America where she is from. She makes the call. But when emotions get involved in her business proposition, all things change. Love and money collide, but so does the battle between right and wrong.
I love that even though this story is set in a time of uncertainty, Zoe holds so much power as a woman. She is strong, full of life and doesn’t mind taking the big risks. I love how much she can control the situations in front of her. In the time of this story, women didn’t hold a lot of power, they were just coming into their own and I think that makes her that much more heroic. She is fearless. But when it comes to matters of the heart, she must do what is right despite her newly gained freedom and independence as a woman.
I really was not Sebastian. He was playing a different game all together. Zoe was honest with him from the beginning about what to expect when they were married, but Sebastian had such different plans. He needed to prove to everyone that there was so much more to him than the awaiting scandal.
I absolutely loved Nigel. He was a jerk in the beginning, but that left so much room for growth. He learned how to live again, he learned how to love again and he still held so many of the cards in his hand. He was stronger than he gave himself credit for and even though in the 20’s PTSD was not a documented medical condition, he struggled every day with the demons from the war. He fought against them and tried to push his feelings for Zoe aside because he couldn’t subject her to his nightmare.
This book was touching and emotionally beautiful and I truly enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would have. Sometimes taking the chances give us the best rewards. This book was exactly that for me. A great read with a touching love story.
ABOUT SHARON PAGE
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Sharon Page sold her first book, an erotic romance novel A GENTLEMAN SEDUCED, in 2004. Since then, she has published more than 20 novels and novellas, both traditionally through NY publishers (Kensington, Random House, Harlequin), and on her own through self-publishing.
Historical romantic women’s fiction (AN AMERICAN DUCHESS)
Erotic historical romance (SIN, DEEPLY IN YOU)
Erotic paranormal romance (BLOOD RED, BLOOD CURSE)
Sensual historical romance (THE CLUB, ENGAGED IN SIN)
New adult contemporary erotic romance (The Yardley College Chronicles series).
Sharon’s books have won many awards including two RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Awards, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Colorado Award of Romance, and the Golden Quill. Sharon was nominated by RT Book Reviews in 2013 for Career Achievement in Erotic Romance.
She graduated with a degree in Industrial Design (School of Engineering) and worked for years in the structural engineering field. Married, with two children, Sharon now writes almost full time.