Monday, June 17, 2019

Review - Duchess by Design

Title:   Duchess by Design
Author:  Maya Rodale
Series:  The Gilded Age Girls Club #1
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:   Avon
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  384
Date of Publication:  October 23, 2018
My Rating:  4 Stars

In the first novel of Maya Rodale's enthralling new series, an English duke vows to make an American seamstress his duchess...

In Gilded Age Manhattan, anything can happen...

Seeking a wealthy American bride who can save his family's estate, Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston, is a rogue determined to do the right thing. But his search for an heiress goes deliciously awry when an enchanting seamstress tumbles into his arms instead.

...and true love is always in fashion

Miss Adeline Black aspires to be a fashionable dressmaker—not a duchess—and not even an impossibly seductive duke will distract her. But Kingston makes an offer she can't refuse: join him at society events to display her gowns and advise him on which heiresses are duchess material. It's the perfect plan—as long as they resist temptation, avoid a scandal, and above all do not lose their hearts.


Duchess by Design is the first book in a new series in which I read of The 400. The 400 of New York during the Gilded Age in the 1890s, was an elite society of famous and affluent people. In this book, Miss Adeline Black has aspirations of becoming a fashionable dressmaker. Coming from a well-to-do family, and living in the time she did, it was just not the thing to be done.

When Adeline meets Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston, visiting New York from England, he makes it known right away that he is in the country seeking a duchess, an heiress that can save his family's estate. Kingston thinks that Adeline is actually an heiress, and this helps him think that he just might have had a stroke of good fortune when Adeline seems incredibly perfect for him.

Adeline is not only definitely not what Kingston thinks he is looking for, what she dreams of will never suit with being a duchess. For Kingston to think that he is correct on both points is something that Adeline hopes to disillusion him. When Kingston makes her an offer - help him find a bride, and he will help her display her dresses. Adeline takes the deal. Can they spend time together without letting their attraction show and developing feelings for one another?

I enjoyed watching Adeline at work. She designed the most amazing dresses and had such a forward opinion. Women's rights during that time in history were raised more than once. Adeline played well off of Kingston, since he was so determined to marry rich. This is a terrific book that start a new series. Immediately upon completing this book, I read the next book in the series, Some Like it Scandalous.


Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author of numerous smart and sassy romance novels. A champion of the genre and its readers, she is also the author of the non-fiction book Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation Of Romance Novels, Explained and a frequent contributor to NPR Books, The Huffington Post, Bustle and more. Maya lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

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