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How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days: An American Heiress in London

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days: An American Heiress in London

Written by Laura Lee Guhrke

Narrated by Susan Ericksen


How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days: An American Heiress in London

Written by Laura Lee Guhrke

Narrated by Susan Ericksen

ratings:
4/5 (15 ratings)
Length:
11 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 29, 2014
ISBN:
9780062348029
Format:
Audiobook

Description

From USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke comes the story of a bargain, a marriage of convenience . . . and the chance for love to last a lifetime

They had a deal . . .

From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she's delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent.

But deals are made to be broken . . .

By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family's enormous debts, and Edie's terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it's time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart?

Publisher:
Released:
Apr 29, 2014
ISBN:
9780062348029
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Laura Lee Guhrke spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing novels was more fun.  A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Laura has penned over twenty-five historical romances. Her books have received many award nominations, and she is a two-time recipient of romance fiction’s highest honor: the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. She lives in the Northwest with her husband and two diva cats. Laura loves hearing from readers, and you can contact her via her website: www.lauraleeguhrke.com.

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4.0
15 ratings / 9 Reviews
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  • (5/5)
    TW: Rape. The heroine wasn't just ruined before she came to England; she was raped. You figure this out early on, and you really feel for the OTP. This couple adores each other but have been separated for five years and have no idea that they really feel the way they do. Watching them find each other is beautiful, and he is so careful with her, your heart breaks a little. I definitely cried on and off because between her emotional injuries and his physical ones, there is a lot of pain in this novel. They definitely deserve their HEA.
  • (4/5)
    GREAT traumatized heroine! I really liked this - Edie's trauma and healing are the focus of the book, which I enjoy. This really nails the struggles of survivors and I am so glad she had Stuart to help her heal!!!
  • (2/5)
    I bought this book as the plot sounded good: Duke abroad for 5 yrs comes home to win his Duchess over. SOO much potential! It started out pretty good.. then it began to focus too much on her past and how she couldn't seem to get past it. Instead of the humour and efforts to win his wife, which I had hoped for, the story just seemed to get more serious and focused on the incident that happened. I lost interest, sadly.

    I thought the first in the series was better.. I have only read the two books from this author. I will give her another chance, perhaps with some of her older stuff.
  • (5/5)
    Very good book. Edie had come to England five years earlier, escaping a bad situation back in New York. Unfortunately, she hadn't found a husband during the season which meant returning to America, something she really didn't want to do. When she discovered that Stuart needed a rich wife, she proposed a marriage of convenience - she would pay the debts, care for his estates, and provide him with the funds he needed to return to Africa, as long as he stayed there. Stuart is more than happy to take the deal, as it gets him exactly what he wants. He spends the next five years busily exploring various parts of Africa, leading safaris, and even discovering a new species of butterfly. But when a close encounter with a lioness nearly results in his death, Stuart decides it is time to go home. He's spent a lot of time over the years thinking about Edie, and he's ready to make something different of his life.Edie is horrified when Stuart shows up, expressing his intention to make their marriage a real one. He makes his case quite eloquently, but Edie is blunt in her statement that she has no desire to live with him or have a family. She likes her independence, her charitable works, and raising her younger sister. The thought of living with him sends her into a panic. Consulting with a lawyer gives her only one option that is acceptable to her - a legal separation, leaving them married but living apart.Stuart is surprised by the feelings of desperation he gets from her whenever he tries to talk to her about their marriage. He's certain he can win her over if she will just give him a chance. So he makes a bargain with her that he can get her to willingly give him a kiss within ten days. If he succeeds, she will give up on the idea of a separation. If he loses, he will grant her request. But she has to give him a fighting chance.I loved Stuart. He really is a very nice guy, who just wants a chance at the marriage he thinks he can have. He starts out quite gently, wooing her with picnics and conversation, and some mild flirtation. He senses that there is passion under the cold attitude, so he begins a subtle form of seduction. But Edie's resistance is strong, and eventually he figures out why. I loved his reaction and how angry he was on her behalf. He became even more determined to show her that what she experienced isn't the way it should be.I was a bit frustrated with Edie at the beginning. She was so determined to keep Stuart away from her that she wouldn't listen to what he was asking for. For a woman who had been so independent and good at what she was doing, seeing her run away just didn't seem to fit. But as her fears were revealed, I felt more sympathy for her, and couldn't wait to see how Stuart was going to overcome them.There were some pretty amusing scenes as Edie used her prescribed time with him. I loved tea with the vicar, and how much amusement Edie got from Stuart's discomfort. Of course, Stuart would get his revenge by using his time to tell her all the things he wants to do to her. I loved seeing the effect it had on her as she slowly began to look forward to their encounters. There is a scene at the end where it looks like it's all going to work, until a flashback ruins it. I loved Stuart's reaction and what he does with his time while he gives her the time she needs. When he returns to her, though the time for their bet is up, I loved seeing how he made his case for their future. He really bares his soul to her, showing her his deepest vulnerabilities. Even more satisfying was Edie's reaction to his return. She was able to speak of her own feelings in ways she never had before. I loved the realistic view of her expectations for the future. The epilogue was fantastic, and a wonderful lead in to the next book.
  • (5/5)
    A truly swoon-worthy classic Historical Romance, creatively and cleverly plotted, with unforgettable characters and heart-wrenching conflicts. Favorite line: "...I need to know that there is one person in the world who needs me, whose life is better because I am in it. I want that one person to be you."
  • (5/5)
    Stuart made a arrangement with Edie, to leave England once they married and her fortune paid his family's debts and that he would never return. So its been five years, and Stuart has been in Africa, but when a lioness attacks him and he almost dies, there is one face that kept him alive, his wife Edie. So he has a new purpose in life, to return to England and win her heart. Edie left America to escape a scandal that was forced on her, and when she first saw Stuart she knew he was the way to get her independence, but knew she could never be intimate with him. Its been five years, and she has managed all of his estates, and dealt with his distant relatives, and trying to send her younger sister to school. Then he shows up right in front of her, and she can't believe that her husband is in England, when she didn't expect to ever see him again. Stuart knows he has a battle to win with Edie, and he forms a agreement with her, if he can get her to kiss him in ten days then she will stay in England and be his wife, but if he can't get her to kiss him then he will sign separation forms. So Stuart begins a slow seduction of his wife, wanting to coax her into opening to him, to trust him with a secret that he knows she is hiding, and make her believe that he loves her and will anything to keep her in his life, the battle is on!!How To Lose A Duke In Ten Days is the second book in the latest series by Laura Lee Gurhke. For some reason I don't think I have read the first book, which is strange considering how much I adore this author, I will read anything she writes. Ever since I read "Marriage Bed" I was fascinated with this author, and I have enjoyed every book she has written, so its not surprise I fell in love with Stuart and Edie. Before I had a chance to read this, I read some fantastic reviews on this story, and I was very excited to start it. This is a story that is one of my favorite set ups in regency romance. A injured hero, needing reconciliation with his wife, and a slow seduction--oh boy, did I love these two. Edie is stubborn and almost leaves England before really talking with Stuart, she is a fighter, and wants her independence and freedom, and at first you think she seems a bit high handed and eccentric. Who runs from a handsome scoundrel of a husband that wants her body and soul right? When you realize the secret that Edie has kept secret, and to herself, you start to understand her in a different light. Stuart is a delectable hero of this story. I just loved him from the beginning, you see how much he is willing to do to gain Edie's trust. He is a bit injured, and I loved how he handles his injury, and the way he forms a bond with Edie, and their chemistry is slow but strong and it was a very stimulating experience seeing these two come together.There was so many beautiful and tender scenes that wrung my emotions, and I did need a tissue or two. The steam level in this book is under "warm", passionate but not over kill and I felt like it the whipping cream on the most tasty treat. What really got to me was the growth of their relationship emotionally. Especially the later half of the story, I could barely keep a grip on my emotions, I was all over the place. When these two start to develop a trusting relationship, and desire flares, that is when things get heated and highly involved and what a variety of spices and flavors of passion and love. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves a tender love story, endearing characters, and rich in emotion and drama...A DELIGHTFUL TREAT TO WARM YOU ALL OVER!!!
  • (3/5)
    How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days
    3.5 Stars

    After a brush with death in Africa, Stuart Kendrick, Duke of Margrave, regrets the marriage of convenience he entered into with Edie Jewell and returns home to reclaim him wife. Unfortunately, Edie has enjoyed her five years of freedom from wedded bliss and has no intention of succumbing to her husband's skillful seduction … or so she thinks…

    While Edie's fears and reservations regarding marriage are understandable given the circumstances, the fact that she is not as forthright with Stuart as he is with her makes it difficult to empathize with her. Moreover, her passivity in the relationship and her preference for running away rather than facing her fears make her less than appealing.

    In contrast, Stuart's unreserved acceptance, caring consideration and determination to win Edie back (not to mention his fury and desire for vengeance on her behalf) make him a particularly engaging hero.

    The romance is well written with just the right balance of chemistry, drama and humor. Edie's sister, Joanna, is charmingly precocious and her obvious attempts at matchmaking are entertaining. The ending is quite satisfying, but it would have been even better if Edie had gone after Stuart to London rather than waiting for him to return home.

    All in all, a sweet second chances romance and the irresistible hero makes up for the less likable heroine.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Laura Lee Guhrke continues her American Heiress in London series with another delightful love story, How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days. This story of an arranged marriage that turns into a true love match follows When the Marquess Met His Match (see my review). This time a rich American heiress with a soiled reputation offers a marriage of convenience to a up-to-his-eyeballs-in-debt duke who just wants to leave behind his mooching family and explore Africa. They both agree to present a happy front for a while before going their separate ways--he to Africa and she to a life of her choosing as an English duchess.But five years later things have changed as Edie, the Duchess of Margrave, soon discovers. At the train station where she is putting her 15-year-old sister Joanna on the train to finishing school, her husband who just arrived calls out to her. His life-changing experience in Africa has brought him back to England for good. The reunion does not go well, to say the least. Edie is shocked and hurries home, leaving her husband Stuart on the platform. This is where Stuart meets Joanna. She has escaped the train. She doesn't want to go to finishing school. Before they head back home she asks him how he is going to win Edie now that he's back for good. They come to an understanding--she'll help him with Edie and he'll help her with avoiding finishing school. Now that Stuart is back for good Edie wants a legal separation, but she needs Stuart's consent. Her past experience with men has her running from his desire (and her own as well) to make their marriage real. But Stuart gambles that he can win her over. She thinks that she has a safe bet when she gives him ten days in which to persuade her to kiss him. If he fails, she gets her legal separation. If she succumbs, they both get the opportunity for the love of a lifetime.I enjoyed watching these two damaged people overcome their psychological and physical hurts, learn to love each other, and claim their happy-ever-after.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    Where I got the book: review copy supplied by the publisher. My feature article on this and two similar romances appears on the Historical Novel Society website.I’m not a big reader of romances nowadays. My formative reading years were strongly influenced by the huge box of Mills & Boone and Barbara Cartland romances that my Gran (who lived with us) kept in a box under her bed, but in adulthood my reading tastes turned to stronger stuff, although I still think a novel’s just not complete without a good romance complicated by some pretty tricky obstacles. So when the call came to review three recent historical romances from Avon, naturally I jumped at the chance. After all, a reader (and writer) should be willing to explore a neglected genre, right?Oh all right, I’ll admit it. Being asked to review romances is like a marathon runner being asked to run a 5K race—SO much easier on the (mental) muscles than I’m used to. And yet I’m not saying that I think romances are easy to write. Far from it. Yes, there’s a formula—you get the hero and heroine together right at the beginning of the novel and you keep them together, you alternate points of view, and you provide the reader with a Happily Ever After—but just because you’re writing along well-proven lines doesn’t mean it’s easy to do. But for the reader, devouring a historical romance is like sinking into a big, fluffy cushion. It’s a happy place because you know that the ultimate goal is fulfillment and delight, so you can work your way through the obstacles to true love in the sure knowledge that things will work out for the best, somehow. It’s optimistic fiction that makes the reader a promise—true love will win the day despite all of the world’s efforts to the contrary.And I found How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days to be a great example of why historical romances are enjoyable reading. The scene is set in Kenya, where Stuart, Duke of Margrave, hovers near death and thinks of Edie, the American heiress who persuaded him into marriage because she was ‘ruined’ and needed to marry in order to hush the scandal. In return, Edie has picked up the tab for his debts, is taking care of his properties and providing an allowance for his freeloading relatives, as long as he stays as far away from her as possible. As the story begins, Stuart’s brush with death has made him realize that a wasted life is not what he wants, and he heads for home to find out if he can woo his beautiful bride into a real marriage.This very nice setup is further intensified by a ten-day timespan during which Stuart vows either to win a kiss or agree to a legal separation. Which means he has every reason for doing some pretty intensive wooing, and he rises to the occasion (literally—his hard arousal is a, ahem, prominent player in the action). After a somewhat confusing beginning—this novel is part of a series, and some of the references at the beginning may have more meaning to regular followers of the genre than they did to me—How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days settles down to a steady focus on the winning over of a woman scarred by her past. To my relief, Stuart makes some mistakes—he’s far from the perfect hero, being physically crippled and at times a little crass and insensitive—but, of course, in the end his genuine commitment to the relationship wins out over Edie’s fear of taking risks.As a non-romance reader, there were many points at which I thought, “Yeah, right.” The nebulous historical setting, the relentless pursuit of the heroine by the hero—of course she is not entirely unwilling—and the reduction of a relationship to the physical expression of love—because let’s face it, romance novels are all about getting to fourth base—deprive historical romances of depth, to say the least. But they are enjoyable, and in my opinion the writers of many historical novels I’ve read could learn from that. And yet things appear to have changed since my grandmother’s day. There’s definitely more emphasis on what the woman wants, and on her fulfillment as opposed to a passive acceptance of male desire. The unfairness of the nineteenth-century worldview is highlighted as a bad thing, and not taken for granted by either hero or heroine—presentism, maybe, but I can’t help seeing it as an advance on earlier decades. Naturally, the sex is more frankly described than it used to be, although in How to Lose a Duke the emphasis was more on wooing than on bedroom scenes. And again, the woman’s need for a strong finish is taken into account, and I definitely don’t remember that being the case in Mills & Boone’s past.On the whole, I’m rather pleased at the way the romance novel has evolved. How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days is evidently a good example of an evolving genre, set in a pleasant fantasy world that takes in just enough historical detail to keep the reader entertained with details of corsets and petticoats while not burdening her (or him) with overmuch setting. The hard facts of a woman’s life—the fragility of reputation and the powerlessness of the unmarried woman—are there to keep the plot interesting, but in the end it is the male’s power to manipulate events that wins out. Perhaps one day we’ll see the historical romance heroine taking events into her own hands, as I’m sure women did more often than we realize—I sometimes wonder to what extent a woman’s lack of power in the nineteenth century was a myth in which we all, for some twisted reason, like to believe.