Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Tour for The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Fans of historical romances will find themselves drawn to this tale riddled with misunderstandings and past hurts and memorably crafted to keep readers watching the tug of war with bated breath.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean, along with my impressions of it, then learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this third installment in the Scandal and Scoundrel series make sure to fill out the form for the chance for US readers to win print copies of the first two installments in this series too!

The one woman he will never forget...
Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.
The one man she will never forgive...
After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.
A love that neither can deny...
The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day...


Chapter 1
August 19, 1836
House of Lords, Parliament
She’d left him two years, seven months ago, exactly.
Malcolm Marcus Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven looked to the tiny wooden calendar wheels inlaid into the blotter on his desk in his private office above the House of Lords.
August the nineteenth, 1836. The last day of the parliamentary session, filled with pomp and idle. And lingering memory. He spun the wheel with the six embossed upon it. Five. Four. He took a deep breath.
Get out. He heard his own words, cold and angry with betrayal, echoing with quiet menace. Don’t ever return.
He touched the wheel again. August became July. May. March.
January the nineteenth, 1834. The day she left.
His fingers moved without thought, finding comfort in the familiar click of the wheels.
April the seventeenth, 1833.
The way I feel about you . . . Her words now—soft and full of temptation. I’ve never felt anything like this.
He hadn’t, either. As though light and breath and hope had flooded the room, filling all the dark spaces. Filling his lungs and heart. And all because of her.
Until he’d discovered the truth. The truth, which had mattered so much until it hadn’t mattered at all.
Where had she gone?
The clock in the corner of the room ticked and tocked, counting the seconds until Haven was due in his seat in the hallowed main chamber of the House of Lords, where men of higher purpose and passion had sat before him for generations. His fingers played the little calendar like a virtuoso, as though they’d done this dance a hundred times before. A thousand.
And they had.
March the first, 1833. The day they met.
So, they let simply anyone become a duke, do they? No deference. Teasing and charm and pure, unadulterated beauty.
If you think dukes are bad, imagine what they accept from duchesses?
That smile. As though she’d never met another man. As though she’d never wanted to. He’d been hers the moment he’d seen that smile. Before that. Imagine, indeed.
And then it had fallen apart. He’d lost everything, and then lost her. Or perhaps it had been the reverse. Or perhaps it was all the same.
Would there ever be a time when he stopped thinking of her? Ever a date that did not remind him of her? Of the time that had stretched like an eternity since she’d left?
Where had she gone?
The clock struck eleven, heavy chimes sounding in the room, echoed by a dozen others sounding down the long, oaken corridor beyond, summoning men of longstanding name to the duty that had been theirs before they drew breath.
Haven spun the calendar wheels with force, leaving them as they lay. November the thirty-seventh, 3842. A fine date—one on which he had absolutely no chance of thinking of her.





When it comes to historical romances readers can always count on Ms. MacLean for a tale that's fresh and unique in the actions of its characters and the themes dealt with.  Her newest release sets itself apart from other Regency-fueled romances because of its strong-willed heroine fighting for her right to be happy and the once-arrogant duke humbled by love and discovering the lengths he'll go to to prove his love.  It's a story with witty dialogue, empowering words and deeds, and an ending that will leave readers cheering.

Malcolm Bevingstoke is a much sought-after duke who doesn't believe in love as he's been taught to doubt its power by witnessing his parent's unhappy marriage.  His mother's duplicitous plan to ensnare his father in marriage, and the anger directed at him by both of them because of their mutual unhappiness, has tainted him and has him seeing the worst in women.  The moment he meets Seraphina though his world and all his long-held beliefs are turned upside down. Crackling interactions, and her finding his dukedom unimportant, has him feeling loved for the first time and acting recklessly as never before.  Just as he sees their HEA within reach meddling mothers destroy all he believed about Sera which has him saying harsh words he can never take back.  Years of loneliness and regret become his constant companion and with the return of his wife he's given a chance to make amends and reignite her love for him. Malcolm's the typical arrogant duke at the start of the story, thinking badly of women and casting aspersions on the notion of love.  His parents taught him that his only value was being a duke and the loneliness of that belief had me feeling sympathetic towards him.  Sera tested him, debated his preconceived notions, and set him on fire in interactions that were thoroughly entertaining. Once he realized his mistake in letting Sera go he was fully committed in getting her back and wore his heart on his sleeve in earning her love once again.  Every sweet word and deed, his big Grand Gesture, endeared him to me and loving the evolution love brought to his life.

Seraphina Talbot's family has always been looked down on as they won their newfound title in a card game.  Their father worked in coal and Society never let them forget their lowly beginnings.  Society saw the five sisters as classless and grasping, ripe to be ruined.  Sera's definitely not interested in what Society thinks though.  Sera's only interested in Malcolm, in the combustible connection that they have from the moment they meet.  She's outspoken early on, challenging, and truly cares for Malcolm for the man he is.  Her mother's harsh comments and doubts fuel an act that irrevocably harms the once bright HEA brewing between her and Malcolm and ultimately has her running away from the pain.  Returning to London with a supportive friend in tow shows an even stronger-willed woman, a woman burned and disillusioned by love and promises, who demands a bold decision to set her free to start over.  Her plan doesn't go smoothly though as Malcolm's still a temptation, her feelings for him just as strong, and him forcing her into close quarters leaves her conflicted. Sera's a bold woman, in words and deeds, and her interactions with Malcolm feel like a tug of war.  Just as he wants to be seen for himself, so too does she in wanting to have her own money and be fulfilled in singing.  She's a modern woman stuck in a past where women are seen as demure and acquiescing chattel.  I enjoyed and admired her acts and it made her romance with Malcolm even more sensual and powerful.

While I enjoyed Sera's modern personality, her bold and brash nature, it felt a bit unrealistic compared to what I know about history.  Her asking Parliament for a divorce also seemed unrealistic and far too simplistic.  Even with those quibbles I enjoyed Sera and her sisters, their tight connection and unconditional support.  Each sister is chaotic and larger than life, colorful in their words and deeds, and each brought a smile to my face whenever they stood up for one another.  Sera's American protector, Caleb Calhoun, also captivated me.  He's strong and sexy, bruised by his own lost love, and is clearly only brotherly in his feelings for Sera.  His goading of Malcolm was entertaining and subtly aided in Sera and Malcolm's reuniting.  He oozed sensuality and the sexual tension between him and the flirty and outspoken Sesily Talbot has me excited for the next installment in this series.  Though some aspects of this story felt a bit too modern I still found myself captivated by this romance.  The dialogue was bold, witty, and crackling.  The women were outspoken and empowering and I enjoyed the solidarity they had when it came to pointing out Malcolm's faults. From start to finish Ms. MacLean has once again crafted an unforgettable romance and I recommend it to all those wanting to see the true power of love over adversity.

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.
Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on's Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her "gracefully furious." A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.


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1 comment:

  1. thank you for hosting today - gaele for Tasty Book Tours