My American Duchess

My American Duchess

4.5 42
by Eloisa James

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The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford—an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.

But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have


The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford—an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.

But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.

The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear:

All is fair in love and war.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Bobbi Dumas
Romance novels often quietly advance the idea that women deserve to be accepted for who they are, and this amusing and heart-wrenching story offers a perfect example of a character who fights for the life and love she wants, not once but twice.
Publishers Weekly
James (Four Nights with the Duke) enlivens a series of classic romance clichés with congenial characters and historical tidbits in this light Regency. In 1803, American heiress Merry has already broken two engagements. She is relieved by a proposal from English aristocrat Cedric before meeting his attractive twin, the Duke of Trent, without realizing Trent’s identity or rank. Trent, admiring her straightforwardness, instantly desires to marry her himself. Too late, Trent discovers Merry is already engaged to his brother—and he learns that Cedric only wants Merry for her money. Merry, meanwhile, is beginning to realize that she and the fashionable, hidebound Cedric are less suited to each other than she believed. The resulting triangular conflict escalates before resolving abruptly into a country idyll focusing on the slow and awkward development of Trent and Merry’s relationship. Afraid he’s incapable of romantic love, Trent doubts his emotions until he is forced to confront his hypocrisy. Though it has a well-trodden conflict, this romance is still gratifying. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, Inkwell Management Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Aware that word of her two broken engagements has followed her to England, American heiress Merry Pelford knows that, despite her wealth, her chances of fitting in with the ton and making a good match are less than ideal. When dashing Lord Cedric Allardyce suddenly proposes, she is overwhelmed and accepts. But Cedric's elder twin, the Duke of Trent, is not so thrilled. Not only is he captivated by the outspoken American, but he knows the disreputable truth about his brother and will do anything to save Merry from disaster. VERDICT With lively banter, sly wit, and elegant prose, James cleverly guides a stubborn American heiress and an arrogant duke to the altar in a seductive late-Georgian romp that is graced with fascinating historical detail and well-placed Shakespearean references. James (Four Nights with the Duke) lives in the New York City area.
Kirkus Reviews
Merry, an American heiress in Regency England, meets her perfect match, the Duke of Trent; unfortunately, she has a reputation as a runaway fiancee, and she's betrothed to his twin brother. After two ill-fated engagements, Merry Pelford has come to England to find a husband. Swept off her feet by the handsome and charming Lord Cedric Allardyce, she agrees to be his wife just moments before she meets a mysterious, compelling stranger who she soon discovers is her brother-in-law-to-be, the Duke of Trent. Trent and Cedric are obviously not on the best of terms, and Merry misinterprets the duke's quiet warnings about his brother's drinking and profligate ways as nothing more than competitive sour grapes—and tries to ignore the blazing chemistry she shares with him. But once the engagement is established, Cedric begins to pick at nearly every aspect of Merry's person and personality, while the duke clearly wants her just as she is, which is confusing and attractive. Merry is a bright fish-out-of-water who isn't intimidated by anyone and is unafraid to speak her mind, a situation that attracts Trent, embarrasses Cedric, and alternately fascinates and irritates the British aristocracy. At first Trent suppresses his interest in Cedric's intended, but the more Merry is made to feel inadequate and unworthy, the more determined he becomes to have her for himself. Merry knows that jilting Cedric will ruin her completely, but when a social misstep humiliates a friendly hostess, Trent comes to the rescue and seals their fate in a surprising way. However, her supposedly fickle nature and his mistrust of tender emotions may prove potent obstacles to a happy-ever-after. James' newest historical starts slowly, but ultimately the nontraditional plot provides an interesting and moving take on courtship and marriage, plus an engaging American's view of Regency England. A gratifyingly lush, vibrant, and emotional romance.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.50(d)

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Meet the Author

Eloisa James is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at

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My American Duchess 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really liked that this plot had a lot to do with their life after the alter. A bit of a jumbled mess here and there where the plot is hurried along, but overall pretty darn satisfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is good, not the best I've ever read but entertaining in parts. It is slow to get started, but begins to pick up stream, then peters out,and limps to the finish .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. There's not much more I can say about it except you must must read this one!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Eloisa James' for a long time, and My American Duchess did not disappoint. It had interesting characters and a unique plot. It is the type of book that I read quickly and then reread for the subtle details. Another great addition to her novels. PSP
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delightful romance that will ltouch your heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of her best
Anonymous 25 days ago
Positive story. We didn't have to wait until the last chapter for a happy ending
Anonymous 9 months ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
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BookPlusHeart More than 1 year ago
Clever, Witty and Steamy! Perfect Eloisa James knocked this one out of the park. ​I couldn’t put it down. I was engrossed the whole time. What I enjoyed about this story is from the moment Trent and Merry meet one another you can tell there is strong chemistry surrounding them. They have so many similarities that the readers can see. I just wanted to shake the both of them to wake up and see how right they were for one another. The story line moves at a steady pace. I didn’t feel anything was dragging on or jumped into too quickly. Trent and Merry’s growth in overcoming their personal fears and prejudice moves at a reasonable rate. Now don’t worry about romance and steam scenes. There are plenty of those to go around. The question is though is Merry having relationships with Cedric her fiancé or Trent the brooding Duke? You must read to find out. ​ There is some crazy twist and unexpected turning points in this story; and, I am not going to share them because that would take all the fun out of reading it. Full Review available at
julieford More than 1 year ago
Eloisa James is one of my favorite authors because she always creates books that can run the gamut of emotions. This book is another prime example. Merry is an heiress from America who was engaged twice before coming to London. She is now engaged to Cedric but meets a stranger on a balcony. Trent meets a feisty American on the balcony and decides she is the one he will marry until he finds out she is engaged to his brother. While both are fighting their attraction some entertaining and embarrassing scenes occur to cause Merry to rethink her third engagement. When Cedric blackmails Merry into going through with marriage it is not Cedric but Trent at the altar. Their life begins but they must overcome their insecurities to discover their love to last a lifetime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From start to finish I just loved this book!
heathercm2001 More than 1 year ago
Eloisa James' books are always perfect in my eyes. I've never been disappointed, and My American Duchess is one of my favorites. There was amazing chemistry between Merry and Trent, right from the beginning. Not only was it great to see the sparks fly between them, but it was just as awesome to see them dance around that chemistry. The differences between Cedric and Trent added a very interesting element to the story. I almost feel bad for enjoying their bickering and feuding, but I really couldn't help myself. It was phenomenal. Merry was definitely a shining star for me in this book. She was fun, smart, and didn't take any crap. She made her own way in society, and I was rooting for her through the whole book. I don't want to forget to mention the cuddly puppies in this book either. Adorable! The only thing bad about this book was that it had to end, but honestly, I thought the ending was marvelous too!
skelley55 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, I prefer more spice to the verbal interactions than quite as much sex. All in all a good book, not as much fun as Four nights with a Duke
LucyPrl9 More than 1 year ago
Excellent book - very entertaining read
tiffanyupperman More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I love stories just like this. It was humorous, intriguing, an amazing heroine, a wonderfully sexy hero, and a twist that will make you squeal! Seriously one of the best books I have read this year!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book started out with an interesting plot but once Merry and Trent married, it became a mundane, overly sexed trash novel. Why must the reader be subjected to pages and pages of every position of sex over and over?? Enough already. Some sex is great but it shouldn't be crammed down our throats (no pun intended!) every few pages! A fun, page turning plot would have been nice. Merry should have actually marred Cedric. He would have given the story some spice!!
CDoland More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down! I did however think that Cedric was going to have a bigger roll then he did. He kind of fell off the planet midway through the book. Would like to have read an exchange between him and Trent on the reasons why he ended up leaving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
London - 1803 Miss Merry Pelford is a lovely, young American woman. Having lost her parents at a young age, she has been brought up in Boston by her loving aunt and uncle. A wealthy young woman, she has now come to London in search of a husband. She has been engaged twice before, but both relationships ended quickly. It appears that Merry realized that she just did not truly love these men. The Duke of Trent inherited his title some years when his parents were killed in a carriage accident. His dedication to duty and running of his estates consumes his time. While he realizes that one day he will have to marry, he is in no hurry to do so. He knows that he has yet to meet the perfect woman who will challenge him intelligently instead of the usual retinue of missish young ladies he encounters at soirees. He is also quite concerned about his younger twin brother, Cedric. The man spends too much money and is, quite simply, a drunk. He is good at concealing it from the public. He acts rather normal when out in society, but becomes very drunk when he returns home every night. Trent has no patience with Cedric’s heavy alcohol consumption as his father had been drinking when he was driving the carriage when their fatal accident occurred. Just now, Lord Cedric Allardyce has asked for Merry Pelford's hand in marriage. The man is quite handsome, well dressed, and full of flowery language but she is unaware of the person he really is. He realizes that she is a very rich heiress and he lusts after her money. Merry is quite smitten with him and accepts. But before the engagement can be announced, Merry meets another man the same evening with whom she has a delightful conversation and to whom she is attracted. He is none other than the Duke of Trent. They don’t know one another’s names at the time they converse. The Duke is so taken with Merry that he decides he wants to learn her name and is sure that she is the one he wants to marry. When he sees her later, he is shocked to find that she had earlier agreed to marry Cedric and she realizes that once again, she has been very foolish and said yes to a proposal when she shouldn’t have. We see how the attraction between Merry and Trent has caught fire and just cannot be denied. But Cedric shows his true colors with the threats he makes to Merry if she tries to call off the engagement. She has no other choice but to go through with the wedding. How can Merry stand to live with a man as evil as Cedric? This is where is story gets interesting. I liked Merry very much. Her American ways and her intelligence are refreshing and fun. Trent has not known any love from his parents in his life so he doesn’t know what love is. How can he find happiness in his life? Cedric is portrayed perfectly as the evil, jealous twin. However, I can’t help but hope he has a comeuppance in his future that will help him mend his ways. Trent was hard to like. I felt like Merry gives it all in the story and Trent just takes. But maybe I’m wrong. Do read this book and be sure to write a review with your opinion.
JensReadingObsession More than 1 year ago
Trent and Merry seemed like the perfect match from the moment they met. Of course, she was engaged to his twin brother Cedric at the time, but neither knew each other's identity. As Merry moves forward with wedding plans, she discovers that she is not really in love with Cedric. With two broken engagements behind her, she does not want to end engagement to Cedric, but she cannot also get married to a man that she does not love and is not the man she thought he was. Trent tried to stay away from Merry, but he cannot help but want her for himself. I don't want to spoil anything, but things get complicated and Trent and Merry get a chance to explore their feelings. What starts out as a friendship between them ends up being more than either of them bargained for. I loved this couple and the progress of their relationship. There was a bit of humor and heartbreak that had me glued to my e-reader from the moment I started. Cedric was a bit hateful, but by the end I was hoping that he will get him own story. Highly recommended to historical romance lovers. I received an ARC via Edelweiss for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.