A Good Day to Marry a Duke
By Betina Krahn
Release Date: November 28, 2017
Reviewed by Janga
Daisy Bumgarten was pleased with herself when she rode astride, jumped six fences, and led the pack at the Bellington Hunt, but she is humiliated and angry when she realizes her triumph means social disaster for her mother and sisters. Mrs. John Jacob Astor herself has declared that “that Bumgarten tart,” Nevada silver heiress though she be, is not to be welcomed in New York society. Two years later, Daisy, with a bit of Paris polish, an enviable Worth wardrobe, and the sponsorship of the Countess of Kew, has joined the “dollar princesses” invading London in search of a titled husband. The high-spirited Daisy believes that Arthur Graham, Duke of Meridian, may be just the one she needs to force Mrs. Astor to stifle her objections to the Bumgartens.
Lord Ashton Graham, younger brother of the Duke of Meridian, is quite taken with Daisy’s spirit and with her curves when they meet after he has eavesdropped on a scolding she receives from the countess. When his pompous relatives approach him with their plan that he employ his well-practiced rakish skills to seduce the American heiress and thereby prevent her from interfering with their plans for the duke, he cannot refuse. Not only does he need the funds with which they bribe him, but he is also genuinely fond of his bookish older brother and doesn’t like the idea of Arthur’s being married for his title.
When the Graham family gives Daisy two weeks to prove that she is descended from royal blood, she and Ashton are thrown in each other’s company as they approach the task of researching Daisy’s heritage with conflicting goals. In addition to a mutual attraction that grows more intense with each meeting, the two discover how much they have in common. But when Arthur becomes interested in Daisy too, the situation become complicated, particularly with the scheming relatives still on the scene. Which brother will claim Daisy’s heart? Which one will claim her hand?
It has been a long time—eight years, I believe—since readers have had a historical romance from Betina Krahn. A Good Day to Marry a Duke introduces her Sin and Sensibility trilogy with wit and a light-hearted appeal that should prompt many readers to make this a must-read series. I suspect that response to this book will be significantly determined by how much readers like Daisy. I’m a fan of the nonconforming heroine and of the American in London trope, so I loved her. Her name made me think of another American heroine who clashed with European culture, Henry James’s Daisy Miller. The glove incident in the beginning made me remember one of my favorite fictional rebels, Louisa May Alcott’s Jo March, and I saw traces of Molly Brown in Daisy’s personality. Ashton, a perfect blend of charm, sexiness, and depth, is sure to steal hearts. The villains are rather one-dimensional, but Arthur is a dear, Daisy’s sisters are promising, and Reynard Boulton, “the Fox” is intriguing. And I thought it a delightful coincidence that the week this book was released also saw the engagement announcement of a great-great grandson of one of those “dollar princesses” to an American actress.
If you like historical romance that sparkles with laughter and charm, I recommend this one. If you like it as much as I did, you will be pleased to note that Frankie Bumgarten’s book, The Girl with the Sweetest Secret, will be released late next year.