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.
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About the Author
Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother's insistence. She is now the bestselling and award-winning author of smart and sassy romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In a letter from the author, Rodale explains her research and the few changes that she made to incorporate the very real issues of the day pertaining to activism in terms of female empowerment and choices: from snippets of speeches to the very real “Dollar Duchess’ phenomenon, to a society that provided options heretofore unknown to women for their own self-determination. And each of these moments played an important part in this story and in the progression of Adeline on the way to making her dream a reality. Born on the wrong side of ‘acceptable’ yet never actually taking that as her only option, Adeline’s biggest dream is to own a dress shop and design fashion for women that everyone will and can wear. Watching her mother exist through a series of bad marriages because she had no other option, she started working at a dress shop, learning and perfecting her skills and supporting herself. A huge step forward in her experience, as she is able to afford a place to live and has money for food, clothing and isn’t beholden to any man, or forced to forego her own sense of propriety. Due to her employer’s illness, she is sent to a client’s final fitting at the city’s most prominent hotel. Excited to mention (and offer) some of her own suggestions and design ideas that have repeatedly been shot down by her boss. Meeting Harriett Burnett, heiress, could be the move that starts to change everything for her. But first… Brandon, Duke of Kingston is in New York at the suggestion of his cousin/best friend Freddie, a second son and married to an American heiress himself. Inheriting a title with no funds, mountains of debt and a mother who can’t pass up any excuse for new and ‘fashionable’ clothing and accessories and two sisters without dowries- he’s in a tight spot. Never expecting that he would marry for love – he’s willing to forego his own choices and happiness to give his sisters a chance at love, and to keep his mother happy. Landing in New York – the papers are all atwitter with his arrival, and the lobby is crammed with people, guests and not, looking to glimpse the rich and beautiful. A full-body collision with Adeline on the way to her meeting is seared into his brain. Her beauty, her seeming disregard of his title (which never happens in Britain) and the gentle flirtation that, from her side, seems to be a way of ‘appeasing him’ is one he can’t forget. And seeing her enter the suite next to his – he’s certain she’s the women perfect for his duchess. With Adeline finding new opportunities through her connection to the Ladies of Liberty Club, she’s got her own shop with her best friends and other women in need of proper work unavailable to them – the only problem is they aren’t getting much work. Kingston arrives, determined to get her out into society and get her name known. He’s realizing (slowly) that his attraction to her has created unknown levels of difficulty, and his being a Duke – while utterly cowing in England, means little to anyone other than marriage-minded mamas in search of a title for their daughter. A deal where Adeline’s designs will be shown, and he’ll be certain to mention her shop is launched, and all for Adeline helping to steer him in the right direction in his hunt for a Duchess. Until a masquerade ball where he leaves his soon-to-be betrothed woman’s side to chase after Adeline, there with the women from the club, and all the fury falls on Adeline and her shop. Oh this was fun –
Brandon Fiennes, Duke of Kingston, inherited poverty due to his father and needs a wealthy bride to help his sisters and estates. As many in England are in the same boat, he goes to New York to find a wealthy woman. In his hotel lobby he bumps into Adeline Black, who works for a dressmaker but hopes to design dresses someday. He likes her immediately and thinks she’s staying at the hotel. She is there for a client’s fitting and he sees her entering a suite and assumes it’s hers. She sees him a few times and then is fired from her job. Some of her clients are willing to help her get a shop as they like her designs. Her plan is to design beautiful dresses with pockets as women never have any place to put things. Brandon discovers she is not rich, and she tries to help him meet heiresses. Brandon meets some wealthy men that are willing to make him a partner, so they will have a HEA. I liked this original story very much.
I won a copy of this book from Goodreads giveaways, I was not required to give a favorable review. I have read other books from Maya and I have enjoyed each of them that I have read. I liked that I got in on the beginning of this series. I love the stories told about the time when old English families were looking at wealthy American women to marry because they needed the money to bring their families out of the loss of funds in the family coffers. This one is great because the young woman assisting the Duke was a seamstress trying to make her career take off with all of the society women. Can they keep their relationship platonic or will it be more. Loved it.
Fun. Light. Typical Maya Rodale. This was just what was needed after a long week of non stop mishaps. The first book in this series was a yes, yes, for me. I very much enjoyed watching as Brandon and Adeline fought the attraction that was every present between them. The hilarious events that occur during their not-courtship was just what I have come to appreciate about Rodale's writing. She brings to life the fun that could have been had during the romance era of England and America. This time she serves it up on the Gilded Age New York City.
I received an ARC of this book to read from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for a fair review. Duchess By Design is the first book in Maya Rodale’s exciting new series The Gilded Age Girls Club. Adeline Black is a seamstress for a fashionable dressmaker with dreams of having her own shop one day and wonderful ideas such as dresses with pockets. When she bumps into Brandon Fiennes, Duke of Kingston on her way to a client fitting it changes both of their lives immeasurably. The Duke has inherited a title and property and a mountain of obligations and debt, so in time honoured fashion he has arrived in New York with intentions of marrying money. Duchess By Design is a Cinderella story with a twist... yes she has a fairy godmother but her plan is not to go to the ball and be saved by the prince but to save herself and others so that they are not dependent on princes for security. I loved that Cinderella saves the prince by opening his eyes and his mind and I really want one of those dresses with pockets. Medium Steam. Publishing Date October 23, 2018 #DuchessByDesign #TheGildedAgeGirlsClub #AvonBooks #MayaRodale #Edelweissplus
White’s Club, London - 1895 Brandon Alexander Fiennes has just become the fifth Duke of Kingston. The man is broke and needs to marry a wealthy woman. When his father died, Kingston was left with huge debts, estates needing monetary support, his large ancestral home, Lyon House, his widowed mother, and two sisters. With him at White’s is his cousin, Freddie, Lord Hewitt. The two had grown up together are best friends. Now, Freddie is suggesting that Kingston consider a marriage of convenience, but rich heiresses are rare. That that are available do not appeal to Kingston. So, at Freddie’s suggestion, he decides to go to America and search for a rich American bride. New York City - 1895 Miss Adeline Black is in a hurry to visit a client, Miss Harriet Burnett, who is staying at he Fifth Avenue Hotel. In her rush to get through the crowded lobby, she bumps right into Kingston. Excusing herself, she heads for the lift and Miss Burnett’s room. Kingston is quite taken with the exuberant young woman. Thinking that she must be wealthy to stay at this hotel, he strikes up a conversation with her in the lift and sees her go into Miss Burnett’s room which is right next door to his room. Adeline works as a seamstress for Madame Chalfort and has come for a fitting for Miss Burnett. The young prefers comfortable clothes that look nice and have pockets which is Adeline’s specialty. With Adeline’s suggestions for achieving that goal, Miss Burnett decides to order an entire wardrobe of clothes. Intent on completing this large order, she is surprised when she receives a letter from Kingston inviting her to go for a walk. He thinks that she is Miss Burnett whom he heard has just inherited a fortune. As Kingston is feted by Mrs. Astor and other extremely wealthy Americans, he finds some of the young women to be quite bold. But where is Miss Burnett among these wealthy Americans? When Kingston finally realizes that Adeline is a dressmaker, he can’t keep himself from falling in love with her. But, he needs a rich heiress. Oh, what shall he do now? This story has a clever plot and some some scenes that I am sure readers will enjoy and even make them swoon. Copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.