Duchess by Design Review
Title: Duchess by Design (The Gilded Age Girls Club, #1)
Author: Maya Rodale
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
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.
I enjoyed this story. The characters were well thought out and had a lot of dimension. However, I was not all that enthralled with the book. I found myself sort of skimming through some parts. It felt more like a love story to women's rights than anything else. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it but it just lacked a certain something to me.
In the beginning I was highlighting so much because it resonated with me. It was like an ode to women everywhere. A lot of the problems Adeline faces are problems women still face today- I loved her fight for pockets!!! Her fight for her independence and desires to be her own woman were admirable and echoed my own feelings. I really loved the feminist calling in it- at first, but it just got to be a little overdone.
Kingston's character arc was just superb. He went from a spoiled Duke to an understanding Duke. He was able to see the world from Adeline's point of view and grow as a person. I really enjoyed his character and thought he was a great leading man. He changed with the times and became a "modern" 19th century man.
This review may seem a little back and forth and that's because my feelings for this book are still a little undecided. I WANTED to love it but I just didn't. There was nothing overtly wrong with it nor anything spectacular about it. I will say this, I will read future books in this series, because I love Rodale and her work, but I won't be impatiently waiting for them.