HOW TO LOSE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS – Laura Leigh Guhrke
An American Heiress in London , Book 2
Five years ago two people made what must be the ultimate in marriages of convenience. They met at a Society ball and, before the night was over, they struck a bargain. They were wed a few weeks later. Miss Edie Ann Jewell had had only a very short time before she needed return to her father's home in New York City; her visit to England had failed. She very much hated the thought of returning to the scene of her disgrace and running into the man who betrayed her so cruelly. So when the tall handsome man caught her attention and she heard he had inherited huge debts along with his title, she followed him outside and made him a proposition.
Stuart, Duke of Margrave never much liked being a duke; his dream of a life of adventure and discovery led him to accept the not beautiful but interesting young lady's offer. She would pay all his debts, give him a huge income, take care of his hapless relatives, and manage his many estates. All he would have to do was marry her and leave England forever. He spent the most of the next five years exploring Africa where he made a name for himself.
Meanwhile, Edie enjoyed her independence, improving the lands and buildings in her charge, and raising her younger sister Joanna, fifteen years old and ready for finishing school. Her carefree days are over now, however. Her husband had come a breath away from dying in Africa, and suddenly he knew it was time to go home. Just as Edie was seeing Joanna onto the train, her husband showed up on the platform.
When the bargain was first made, Stuart and Edie were slightly drawn to each other, but neither acknowledged it. Edie would not even admit it to herself. Now Stuart expects to convince Edie they should get to know each other and have a real marriage…even start a family. He has no idea how or why that terrifies her—she demands he stick to their bargain.
What follows is a serious campaign on Stuart's part, and a just as determined mind-set on Edie's. Let the games begin!
While most of the action and conflict surround Stuart and Edie, other characters add to the story. Joanna has as much of a mind of her own as her older sister it seems. Then there are servants and neighbors, some old school friends of the duke, and the off stage villain of the piece.
Ms. Guhrke does a good job of keeping interest in the ongoing relationship between two such strong willed and complex individuals. I think you'll like them both.
Check out Jani's review of the first book in the series: http://www.romrevtoday.com/Author Pages/Guhrke, Laura Lee/When The Marquess Met His Match.htm .