The Heiress Gets a Duke

Berkley. (Gilded Age Heiresses, Bk. 1). Jan. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780593197202. pap. $7.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
The Duke of Rothschild, Evan Sterling, needs a wealthy bride to rid his family of the ruinous debt his late father amassed. August Crenshaw, American heiress to a railway fortune, believes her parents would never stoop to an arranged marriage, until they auction her dutiful younger sister to the duke. Using unladylike antics to block Evan from courting her sister, August consequently gains the duke’s interest. Initially indifferent to August’s reluctance, Evan eventually strives to gain her respect. Though Evan doesn’t always act the hero, his character’s growth redeems him, and August is a heroine to cheer for: a woman who stands on her own, protects her sister at all costs, and refuses to be wed without bargaining for her rights.
VERDICT St. George (Falling for Her Viking Captive) heartrendingly depicts Victorian women bartered away for wealth and status, but the deep affection and witty dialog August and Evan share outshines a grim if realistic beginning. Fans of Courtney Milan and Scarlett Peckham will enjoy this “The Gilded Age Heiresses” series opener.
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