Release Date: Jan 26, 2021
Series: The Gilded Age Heiresses
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: Penguin Group
August Crenshaw, an American heiress, wants nothing more than to continue working for the family business, Crenshaw Iron Works. She uses her head for business and numbers to help her father make many critical business decisions and believes herself to be an integral part of the company. Her parents want to expand into new markets, and they believe the best way to do this is with an advantageous marriage to a peer of the realm. Unfortunately, everyone knows that August will not attract the attentions of a high-born lord because of her intense personality. Violet, the wholesome, sweet, and biddable daughter, will catch a husband, but what Violet’s parents do not realize is that Violet has already found what she believes to be true love at home in America. August will do whatever it takes to protect her sister from the fortune hunting members of the Ton, and to assist her in returning to her beau in America when all is said and done.
“Everyone knew that Violet was the desirable one, while August was the bluestocking. The one who, while pretty enough, would only marry when she found a man who could overlook her many shortcomings. She was too opinionated. Too intelligent. Too mannish. Too cold. It was the last one that had haunted her the most. What if she was too cold for any man to want?”
Enter Evan Sterling, the Duke of Rothschild, an impoverished lord who has taken to prize fighting to keep his family afloat from their crippling debt. Evan feels that the debts are caving in on his family, their lands, and his tenants who rely on him to make improvements to his estate to keep their farms profitable. He needs money, and he needs it fast. The answer to his prayers comes in the form of the Crenshaw sisters. His mother pushes a match between Evan and the biddable Violet. August, who is aware of her sister’s feelings on this match, pressures the Duke at every turn to leave her sister alone. August’s intensity and fire catch Evan’s attention, and instead he chooses her for his bride wanting that fire for himself. What happens next is an emotional battle of wills between a Duke who needs an heiress and the heiress who abhors the idea of being married for money.
If you like a book that packs a punch with a heroine who is feisty, smart as a whip, and unapologetically herself then this book is for you. August has a fiery attitude, fierce opinions, and a quick wit. Evan was multi-dimensional, and the many different sides of his personality perfectly balanced out August’s passionate personality. It was a refreshing addition to this book to have such a strong heroine, but also to have a hero who can let down his guard and show that he is overwhelmed by the difficult things that have happened in his life. There are many times where the reader can applaud Evan throughout the book.
Even though this book is lower on the steam side, there was loads of chemistry and sexual tension between the characters. August wanted Evan despite her better judgement, and in those moments where she is compelled to act on her desire, sparks fly between them. The more she saw the real person behind the title the more she realized that she had misjudged him and his intentions. This allowed her to let down her guard that she kept up to protect herself, and with this the possibility of true and lasting love between them.
Fans of Loretta Chase’s strong heroines and Vivienne Lorret’s witty and entertaining banter should give this a try.