No Hot House Flower: MY AMERICAN DUCHESS by Eloisa James

My American Duchess

my_american_duchess_ coverby Eloisa James
On Sale: 01/26/2016
Mass Market Paperback & E-Book: Pages: 432
Unabridged Audiobook | Narrated by: Kate Reading | Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins

Paperback provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. He wouldn’t even consider Merry Pelford, a madcap heiress who has made herself infamous by jilting two fiancés.

Besides, Merry is in love with his dissolute younger brother—and this time, the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar.

But as Trent and Merry discover, love has a way of complicating their perfect plans…

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.


My Take Oblong

In her afterword, Eloisa James discloses how she played with history to create this story, particularly in the way wealthy, young American women were taken to England to trade wealth for title. I was momentarily confused because I know about the the young American women searching for title husbands later in the 19th century, and I kept thinking about the upcoming war of 1812.    I was confused, but Eloisa gets a lot of leeway because she crafts such wildly romantic, heart and flowers hotness that makes me want to jump into the pages, or jump my husband. Plus, I knew that she does meticulous research, so I assumed there was a reason.

I found the horticultural and landscape design aspects of the book fascinating and wrote about them earlier this month in  It’s A History Thing: Pineapples.

Of a newly birthed country, which broke free of the very country in which she is shopping, Merry is seen as too outspoken and too rough for the Ton. I loved that the heroine is an American from a very new country and how much the culture has diverged from the British.  I just loved that the woman is an American — silly me, it helps me feel like part of the story! 

While we might look at some to what are considered gaffes in Merry’s behavior and think they’re silly, Eloisa takes the time to explain how and why some of the Ton’s protocols make sense and protect people like hostesses.  But, she also shows up the rules that were just silly.

Eloisa’s books almost always include a terrible argument, a split — even if it is just emotional.  This story has that, but marriage was a lot harder to get out of then than it is now. And, Merry, having already cancelled two engagements is all too aware that a screwed up marriage will not help her reputation.   I did not see how Eloisa would get her heroine out of her predicament. It was very inventive!

So, Eloise admits she took artistic license with history,  but the wild romance and gardening make up for it.  I always enjoy a romance from Eloisa and hope you will as well.

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