ARC Review: An American Duchess

Title: An American Duchess

Author: Caroline Fyffe

Source: NetGalley

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

When Beranger Northcott arrives to take his rightful place as Duke of Brightshire, the entire household is turned on its head by his new wife, Emma. Emma is an American from Colorado. Overnight, she’s gone from working on a ranch to being a duchess. Although she wants to do her best to fit into society and with Beranger’s family, she finds no welcome from his stepmother and stepsister. Instead, she befriends an orphaned girl named Charlotte, who’s taking her cousin’s place in as a scullery maid until her cousin is well again. They quickly become close, which is a solace to Emma as she finds the household more and more unfriendly as time goes on. Will Emma ever feel at home in England, or was marrying a duke and sailing away from her family a mistake?

I wanted to like this book, and for the first half, I was enjoying it. I liked Emma and Charlotte a lot. They both had interesting personalities and inner lives. I liked the way Charlotte was unfailingly polite and gracious when people were cruel to her–and they often were. I also liked Emma’s relationship with Beranger. You could really see the love and why she’d made the choices that she had.

The problem was, about halfway through, it just seemed too many unbelievable things happened. Without going into too much detail, it was all a little too contrived. I also didn’t like the resolutions to either mystery that crops up in the story. The writing also kind of unraveled and the characters became a little samey sounding. It just felt silly and pointless and by the end, I was irritated and glad to be done.

The strength of this novel are the characters and their relationships with each other, but the events and plot are very thin and ultimately not very enjoyable.