The Duchess Takes a Husband
by Harper St. George
The Gilded Age Heiresses - Book 4
Release Date: May 23, 2023
Reviewed by PJ
Despite her illustrious title, Camille, Duchess of Hereford, remains what she has always been—a pariah. Though her title means she’s technically accepted by London Society, the rebellious widow with her burgeoning interest in the suffrage movement and her American ways isn’t exactly high on every hostess’s guest list. But Camille starts to wonder if being an outcast is not without its perks when the tantalizing answer to her secret fear appears in the shape of Jacob Thorne, the illegitimate son of an earl and co-owner of London’s infamous Montague Club.
Jacob is used to making deals with his club members—he’s just not accustomed to them being beautiful women. Nor have the terms ever been so sweetly seductive as Camille’s shocking proposition. To finally buy his own club and gain the crucial backing of investors, Camille offers Jacob the respectability of a fake engagement with a duchess. In return, the tempting widow has one condition: she wants Jacob to show her if it’s possible for her to experience pleasure in bed.
The lure of such a bargain proves too delicious to resist, drawing the enterprising rogue and the wallflower duchess into a scandalous game and an even more dangerous gamble of the heart.
I've been hoping for a happily ever after for Camille since the first book of this series. I am so happy St. George decided to write a story for her and delighted with how it all played out.
Where the first two books of this series featured American heiresses finding their happy endings with a British peer, Camille's journey took a darker turn. Basically sold by her wealthy American parents in exchange for a title, she endured a miserable, abusive marriage, and the enmity of the ton, until her much older husband finally had the decency to die. Now a widow, Camille's book chronicles her journey to love, to the sexual satisfaction she's never known, and most importantly, to the restoration of her self-worth and agency.
I appreciated the time and care St. George took with Camille and Jacob, as both had emotional obstacles to overcome. I loved how patient Jacob was with Camille, how he allowed her to call the shots in their physical relationship, encouraging her and supporting her throughout the process. Their chemistry was combustible and it was evident early on that both of their hearts were involved, even though it took one of them much longer to acknowledge that fact.
While her sexual awakening was a large part of Camille's evolution, and a very visible, and essential, part of this book, I equally enjoyed the growth she experienced apart from her relationship with Jacob. It was satisfying to see her confront important matters that affected her personally - such as her finances and her relationship with her mother - as well as those that affected all women of the time. She slowly grew into a confident, forthright woman ready to stand side-by-side with a man worthy of her love and her trust. I cheered her on the entire way.
This steamy, heart-tugging story brings Harper St. George's Gilded Age Heiresses series to a conclusion. I have thoroughly enjoyed all four books in the series and while it's not absolutely necessary to read the books in order, I do believe you'll have a better understanding of the characters, and greater overall enjoyment of the stories if you do.
Have you read any Harper St. George books?
Do you enjoy Gilded Age stories? Do you prefer the ones set in the UK or the USA? Or do you only look for a good story, regardless of setting?
This book is on the steamy side. Do you have a preferred heat level in the romances you read?
One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, May 26 will receive a print copy of The Duchess Takes a Husband.
*Must be 18
Thanks to Berkley Romance for today's giveaway.