on June 27, 2017
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Also in this series: The Rogue Not Taken
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 The Day of the Duchess.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
Never dismiss Sarah MacLean as “merely” a writer of humorous romances. Yes, she can write clever dialogue that leaves you chuckling, and she sometimes puts her characters in situations that will make you laugh out loud. But she can also slay you with deep, heartfelt emotion: pain, passion, grief, loyalty, hopeless love, and the glorious, triumphant joy of true love returned.
MacLean does all of the above in The Day of the Duchess, the third book in her Scandal and Scoundrel series. At one point, the pain felt by both Sera and Mal was so intense and so well-written, I had to put the book down for a few days… yet eventually I had to pick it up again to see how their situation would be resolved. And of course I knew it would be resolved, and they would get their happy-ever-after eventually, because I trust MacLean to honor the unspoken promise between romance writer and romance reader. But to be honest, I couldn’t really see how.
There are plenty of funny moments, and several scenes that made me want to cheer for one character or another—not always the main characters; Sera’s sisters are amazing and delightful, and some of the young women Mal summons as potential brides deserve books and heroes of their own. (I’ve also got my fingers crossed for Sera’s American friend Caleb and… well, I’ll let you figure it out.)
But there were as many scenes that wrenched my heart or brought me to tears—or more. And yet I loved the book: loved the characters, loved Mal’s slow recognition of his own faults, loved Sera’s determination to remain true to herself and set both of them free, loved Mal’s final grand gesture in the battle they’re waging over their marriage. If I have any complaint, it’s only that the singer in me desperately wants the music to the song Sera sings about a girl “born that day in the heart of a boy.”
Like The Rogue Not Taken before it, The Day of the Duchess easily earns a place on my list of best romances of the year. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a considerable MacLean backlist to catch up on…
Wonderful review Lark, and I agree MacLean makes you connect and feel for her characters.
kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Dead Sky Morning by Karina Halle
Thank you! She’s rapidly becoming one of my must-read historical romance authors.
Rita @ Paging Through Books
Wow– to earn this rating from you it must have been really special! I occasionally dip into historical romance and now I want to pick up a Sarah MacLean, but I should start with book 1, Rogue Not Taken. Thanks for the glowing review!
Rita @ Paging Through Books recently posted…Weekly Book News- 8/27/17
You’re right that I rarely give 5-star reviews! But this is certainly one of the best historical romances I’ve read recently, and that’s saying quite a bit. I hope you enjoy the series. I need to read the middle book, A Scot in the Dark.
Cyn @ Bookmunchies
I was so happy for this resolution! Definitely an emotional ride haha. Glad you loved it, too! Great review, Lark!
Cyn @ Bookmunchies recently posted…Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Aleen @ Lampshade Reader
Glad to know that this one was good. I enjoyed book #2. I enjoy her writing style. Great review. 🙂
Aleen @ Lampshade Reader recently posted…Top 7 Summer Reads of 2017
She’s amazing. I’m going to have to go back and read all her older books that I missed. I’ve only read about three of her books so far.
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
This sounds wonderful! My first Sarah MacLean was The Rogue Not Taken and I was impressed with her ability to infuse the book with emotion. I’ve been really looking forward to this one and now really can’t wait! I can see how it could get too much though. I may have to mix a nice happy murder book in with this to keep the feels down a bit!
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…This Week in Reading – September 3
I had to laugh over “a nice happy murder book,” but I know what you mean. The intensity of emotion in this book is pretty high. A cozy mystery would have been a good break. (Instead, I binge-read a fairy-tale retelling series by Dennis McKiernan.)