cover image My American Duchess

My American Duchess

Eloisa James. Avon, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-238943-5

James (Four Nights with the Duke) enlivens a series of classic romance clichés with congenial characters and historical tidbits in this light Regency. In 1803, American heiress Merry has already broken two engagements. She is relieved by a proposal from English aristocrat Cedric before meeting his attractive twin, the Duke of Trent, without realizing Trent’s identity or rank. Trent, admiring her straightforwardness, instantly desires to marry her himself. Too late, Trent discovers Merry is already engaged to his brother—and he learns that Cedric only wants Merry for her money. Merry, meanwhile, is beginning to realize that she and the fashionable, hidebound Cedric are less suited to each other than she believed. The resulting triangular conflict escalates before resolving abruptly into a country idyll focusing on the slow and awkward development of Trent and Merry’s relationship. Afraid he’s incapable of romantic love, Trent doubts his emotions until he is forced to confront his hypocrisy. Though it has a well-trodden conflict, this romance is still gratifying. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, Inkwell Management Literary Agency. (Jan.)