Series: An American Heiress in London #2
Genres: Historical, Romance, Victorian
From USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke comes the story of a bargain, a marriage of convenience...and the chance for love to last a lifetime.
They had a deal...
From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she's delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent.
But deals are made to be broken...
By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family's enormous debts, and Edie's terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it's time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart?
Stuart should’ve learned to embrace masturbation.
Thoughts on How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days. The reconciliation trope, while not a favorite, is definitely fun — there’s always a delicious tension between the characters because of their shared history, whatever it is.
In the case of Stuart and Edie, their shared history is… well, a straight marriage of convenience. Stuart and Edie both got what they wanted, then Stuart left, never to return. Turns out, never is five years. Stuart’s back and determined to win Edie.
So, you know, yay Stuart! I mean, yes, Edie wanted him never to return, but she’s so stubborn about it that you want to smack her and cheer for him. (Which is sad, because I think knowing her reasons before we see her be so obstinate about Stuart would have made her character more sympathetic. In the early parts of this book, I could never tell if she was exaggerating what happened back in New York or if something truly traumatic happened, and that was rather vital for me to know in order to cheer her character.)
But that doesn’t mean I’m wholly enamored of Stuart either. At least two different spots in the story — which I won’t talk about because THINGS HAPPEN and SPOILERS — where I felt like masturbation would have been a much better option than what he did. Need physical release? Just pump it a few times. You don’t always need to shove it in a body to get that. We know it’s better that way, but it messes things up.
I liked the bet between Stuart and Edie, and I loved to see him attempt to woo her. It wasn’t just a seduction — in some ways, he had to teach her to love herself, which, I think, is a theme many of us can relate to. Edie needed someone to believe in her and see her for the amazing woman she was.
I do feel like the ending was… rushed? Like the ten days were going really well, then this THING HAPPENED, and they separated for a while, and when we cut back to Edie, they were ready to reconcile. It was like there was more tension between the two that was needed to be ready to accept the reconciliation, even though that’s exactly what I wanted as a reader.