Duchess by Design

  • Author Maya Rodale
  • Release Date October 23, 2018
  • Publisher Avon
  • ISBN/ASIN 978-0062838803
  • Our Rating
  • Reviewed by B. Nakia Garner

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Our Review

The growing trend for English royalty that have fallen on hard economic times is to travel to the United States to find a woman who comes from old money. Such is the fate of Brandon Fiennes, the Duke of Kingston. 

“Kingston” travels to New York, and news of his arrival prompts every well-off woman to parade her daughter in front of him. Many of the young women are clamoring for the opportunity to hold the title of Duchess.

Before he can meet the first eligible bachelorette, Kingston literally bumps into Adeline Black and is immediately smitten. He believes his quest is over as he is enchanted by her beauty and her self-assured speech. His dreams are dashed when he discovers she is an aspiring dressmaker hoping to one day open her own shop.

Though Kingston knows he can’t possibly be with a woman with no wealth, he can’t seem to stay away from Adeline. He comes up with the idea to have Adeline escort him to New York high society events so she can show off her dress designs while guiding him to women who can give him what he needs.

The flow of DUCHESS BY DESIGN lags in some places but overall it is entertaining. As readers, you will cheer as both the male and female leads glean new knowledge from each other and a greater appreciation of each other’s goals and dreams. 

The characters are openly curious about the world around them, and the author masterfully exposes their vulnerability when it comes to balancing what they want with what they need.

Readers will get a bird’s eye view of what it means to be an unmarried woman in the 19th century and the struggle to do something as simple as walk on the street next to a man. This is a story of hope, tenacity, and finding support in the most unlikely of places.

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