2018 Book #90 – Duchess by Design by Maya Rodale

51JSvzJkfVLTitle: Duchess by Design
Author: Maya Rodale
Date finished: 11/12/18
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: The Gilded Age Girls Club series Book #1
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

In the first novel of Maya Rodale’s enthralling new series, an English duke vows to make an American seamstress his duchess…

In Gilded Age Manhattan, anything can happen…

Seeking a wealthy American bride who can save his family’s estate, Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston, is a rogue determined to do the right thing. But his search for an heiress goes deliciously awry when an enchanting seamstress tumbles into his arms instead.

…and true love is always in fashion

Miss Adeline Black aspires to be a fashionable dressmaker—not a duchess—and not even an impossibly seductive duke will distract her. But Kingston makes an offer she can’t refuse: join him at society events to display her gowns and advise him on which heiresses are duchess material. It’s the perfect plan—as long as they resist temptation, avoid a scandal, and above all do not lose their hearts.

My rating:  3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was really drawn to the cover on this book and I’ve heard good things about this author so I decided to check it out.

I didn’t end up loving this book. And it was definitely just because of personal opinions but I wasn’t a huge fan of the plot line, it just didn’t click for me. It just felt like a no-win situation. And while, yes in relationships you have to compromise for each other, it just felt like both the hero and heroine their whole thing on what they were working towards, they each decided to kind of give up a little in the end on that. Like Adeline – what happened to the people in her New York shop that she was employing? Did they find other jobs? I just was left feeling slightly unhappy I guess and it didn’t sit right. I never loved the hero to start I think was also part of the problem. Again – was totally a personal thing but I just didn’t click with him. And (again, personal) I don’t love that the American and English sides were mixed, for some reason in my mind they do better when they’re separate. These are really weird things that feel very nit-picky for me to complain about, which is why I’d still definitely encourage people to read it. I think it was a good book it just wasn’t a great fit for me personally. I did like the “feminist” kind of message included in the book and that one of the main points was the advancement of women in the workforce and as business owners.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2014 – Book #39



The thirty-ninth book I read in 2014 was The Dream Dress by Janice Thompson. This was the third book in the Weddings by Bella series but was the first book I’ve read by this author.  I finished this book on 5/16/14. I rated this book 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about Gabi Delgado and Jordan Singer. Gabi is an alterations girl in the most renowned wedding gown salon in Galveston, TX. She secretly designs wedding gowns at night and on the weekends though. Jordan Singer is a reporter who comes in to do an article on one of the brides who is buying a dress from Gabi’s boss.

Overall I found this story very hard to connect with. The characters in the story were all nice all the time except for the one villain of course, but even he came around in the end. There was one scene where the four girls are all sitting around talking and the three girls that are currently in relationships start talking about how amazing their significant other is and they get all teary-eyed thinking about how wonderful their husbands/boyfriends are. WHO DOES THAT. The answer is no one. No one actually does that in real life. Ever. And while I like to read about romance novels because I like the happy endings, this book was just too far fetched for me.

Another piece of this book that was difficult for me to relate to was the overwhelming topic of God in this book. To be honest this book felt like it was more about Gabi finding God than about Gabi finding Jordan. Which is fine, I certainly have no problem with God. But did it really have to come up in every single conversation? And (**SPOILER ALERT**) in the end Gabi ends up this super successful wedding designer and she’s going to design a dress for someone to wear to the Academy Awards all because she prayed to God? That isn’t really how it works. I just couldn’t relate to that at all and I found it almost insulting in its lack of feasibility.

Overall I was not a fan of this book (obviously) not only because of the reasons already listed but also because I just couldn’t get into the book. The characters weren’t developed very deeply and the conversations all felt forced, awkward, and choppy. Just wasn’t my type of book I guess.

Link to author website: http://janiceathompson.com/blog/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Dress-The-Weddings-Design/dp/0800721543/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400245606&sr=8-1&keywords=the+dream+dress