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The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel Book 3) Kindle Edition
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Romance novelist Sarah MacLean has reignited the genre with a bolder edge ― New Yorker
Do yourself a favor and discover the compelling magic of Sarah MacLean -- Amanda Quick
Smart, sexy and always romantic -- Julia Quinn
This book was deeply emotional, kept me up far too late/early, and is Sarah MacLean's most feminist, powerful, beautifully written book to date ― Heroes and Heartbreakers
MacLean delivers a dense, richly woven tale of betrayal and grief and family loyalty. A thrilling story of love reborn ― Kirkus Reviews
Witty banter, entertaining secondary characters, and a poignant use of Greek myth are the delicious icing on this lovely, romantic story ― Starred Bookpage (Top Pick in Romance!)
Stunning descriptions (an underwater ballroom is breathtaking), enlightening historical detail that tempts further research, and brilliant use of the constellations make this smart historical romance another classic from the matchless MacLean ― Library Journal
Smart, strong, sensual scandalous and wondrous - don't miss this one! ― RT Book Reviews
I'm unabashedly obsessed with all of Sarah MacLean's books, but in The Day of the Duchess she has outdone herself . . . my favorite book I've read so far this year ― That's Normal --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B010PHIWM0
- Publisher : Piatkus (27 June 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 1840 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 405 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 9,000 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Duke Mal has done everything petty and spiteful to pay his wife back for tricking him into marriage. Sera has hidden from Mal for years and only surfaces because she wants a divorce. The chasm of bitterness and pain between them is irredeemable, it seems.
But cheating Mal wants Sera back. We all have friends with hurtful partner, and like Sera’s four sisters, we want to see them with someone better. So for most of this book I was hoping Sera would escape her painful marriage. But Mal is determined, luring Sera to act as his hostess while he chooses his second wife. This part is the funniest as young women line up to be selected by the Duke, only to find its the duchess Sera who is the best company. Along with her courageous sisters, Sera defies social norms in her quest to be happy.
Sera and her sisters are the best thing about this book- they have wonderful one liners. The relationship between Sera and Mal is just gripping. There is a real tug of war between the pain of their marriage and the attraction that first bought them together. As for the book’s faults? I just can’t think of anything I don’t like about this emotional witty novel.
Top reviews from other countries
Forward three years, and we discover just what went so terribly wrong with Sera and Malcolm's marriage; the story is told in a series of flashbacks, which add to the poignancy. It is extremely emotional, heart-wrenching, moving and saddening. This part was so well written - a couple who tore each other apart, hurt each other, and said things which could never be forgotten, despite loving one another. Throughout this book, they almost spoke honestly to each other several times, but each time shied away from discussing their feelings; naturally we have to wait until the end for the happy-ever-after. Strangely, it was Malcolm who elicited the greatest sympathy from me. Brought up by a social-climbing mother, and a father who obviously loathed the way he had been tricked into marrying her, which he took out on his son, it was hardly surprising that Malcolm had little or no expectation of a loving, happy marriage. He was expounding this theory to his friend when he first met Sera and almost instantly fell in love with her.
The first jarring note for me was Sera's preparedness to be complicit in her mother's plan, in which she arranges, in company with Malcolm's mother, to 'discover' the pair together thus forcing the wedding. Malcolm's mother has great plans for a high-born wife for her ducal son, so their marriage is doomed from the start. Sera was not a young, naive, ingenue - I think she was about 26 at the time - and we had been shown a young woman unafraid to speak her mind, and unfazed by ducal titles. For her NOT to realise the enormity of what she was doing beggars belief - even if she had confided in him beforehand, given him the option of offering marriage in any case. or possibly not - she would have known exactly where she stood; wanting the man and pretending he didn't come with other baggage and responsibilities was just unbelievable.
Malcolm came up with his ridiculous plan to woo his wife while she is choosing her replacement - and during the entire time the poor man wore a hair shirt, showed her in innumerable ways that he loved her, grieved for their lost child, hated and dismissed his mother after Sera ran away, looked for her half way around the world, etc. - and she never cut him any slack, never accepted that it was her initial actions that had set this terrible chain of events in motion, never gave him any credit for his attempts to put things right. She harped on about gaining her freedom, and granting him his - despite knowing that he really didn't want freedom from her.
The other thing that jerks me out of total immersion in a story is the use of Americanisms. I know, I understand, that the author is American, but given how much research she does, and does well, I would expect a bit more authenticity for the period. Language irritates - 'passel', etc., and the most obvious - 'ass'. To land a Duke on his ass, in English, he would have landed on his donkey! Some social situations referred to in the book would simply not have existed or arisen in that period; the idea of a duchess, even one awaiting divorce, singing in a tavern, simply wouldn't have happened.
And after all that, I loved the emotion in this book. I was rooting for the couple from the outset, and I liked Sophie's interventions and comments, which came closer to home than any by her other sisters. This is the sort of writing that I have been waiting for from Sarah Maclean for some time. I loved some of her 'Love by Numbers' series, and the some of the 'Rules for Scoundrels' series but I cannot truthfully say that I like everything she has written. When she is good, she is very very good, and I will continue to read anything she writes.
The Day of the Duchess is the third in a series called Scandal and Scoundrel - 'scoundrel' being the heroes (obviously!) and 'scandal' being the disaster the heroine has usually embroiled herself in. Now, usually this is the part where I say that the book works well as a stand alone and it doesn't matter if you haven't read the others in the series, but this time it really is of benefit if The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal and Scoundrel #1), is read first. You will get to see exactly what the hero did that was so unforgivably awful, rather than hearing about it second-hand.
Our heroine is Sera, one of the scandalous daughters of the Earl of Wight, who won his title in a card game with the Prince of Wales. Now incredibly wealthy, the Earl started life as a coal miner. No matter how hard they try, his daughters have never been accepted by the aristocracy, so they've given up - and delight in being shocking. When Sera meets the Duke of Haven and falls in love, no one seriously believes he'll marry her. So her mother stages an intervention; the couple have no choice in the matter and their marriage is doomed from the start.
Basically this story is about two people who fall in love, betray each other, hate each other, do their best to destroy each other - and are now at the 'can't live with, can't live without' stage of their relationship. Helping/hindering in a possibly reconciliation are Sera's forthright sisters and her business partner - the incredibly loyal and rather gorgeous Caleb.
I would recommend this to fans of the more modern style of historical romance, who are perhaps looking for something a little bit different from 'rake falls for debutante'. I found it very romantic, particularly the ballroom scene, and was almost in tears by the ending (and I'm usually as hard as nails, so that takes a lot!). I am so looking forward to the next in the series, although it is hard to see how Sarah MacLean will be able to top this one!
For the past two years and seven months, Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has searched the world for his estranged wife, Seraphina, without success. There has never been a single moment in all that time when he has not regretted everything he said and did that caused her to leave.
Would there ever be a time when he stopped thinking of her? Ever a date that did not remind him of her? Of the time that had stretched like an eternity since she’d left?
He longs to find her. To win her back. To start afresh.
It is the last day of the Parliamentary session and, as soon as he leaves the House, he intends to continue his search, because no matter how long it takes, he will find her. Then, there she is standing boldly before the assembled lords announcing…
“I am Seraphina Bevingstoke, Duchess of Haven. And I require a divorce.”
Seraphina is no longer the frightened, broken girl who fled, but a strong woman with a purpose. She has forged a new life for herself but, to secure that future, she requires a divorce from her husband.
Malcolm has no intention of granting Seraphina a divorce but needs time in which to woo her back. On the spur of the moment, he comes up with a mad plan – he will agree to a divorce as long as Seraphina agrees to spend six weeks at his country estate, Highley, to find him a replacement for her. Seraphina is reluctant but, if this is the only way to obtain her divorce, so be it. After all, she will not be alone. She has reinforcements in the form of her formidable sisters, who hate Malcolm as much as she does!
This book had such a profound emotional impact on me. I lived every moment of Mal and Sera’s heart-rending story – the regret, the anger, the guilt, the pain and the shattered dreams. It was hard to imagine that they would ever find each other again. This is why I love second-chance stories because, however difficult the journey, I know that there will be a happy-ever-after and it will be all the more rewarding.
I like how Ms. MacLean uses flashback chapters in the early part of the book, gradually revealing the events that led up to their marriage falling apart. She makes Mal and Sera seem very human. I think we have all made mistakes in our lives which we later come to regret. So, it was easy to relate to Mal and Sera, however misguided their decisions, which were to have terrible consequences. Despite everything that happened, I could feel their deep yearning for each other.
I know that many reviewers had already formed a very negative opinion of Mal from events that occurred at the beginning of A Rogue Not Taken, the first book in the series. I think that not having read that book myself was an advantage because it allowed me to judge Mal more objectively. He had seen first-hand his parents’ disastrous marriage (his own mother had trapped his father into marriage) and I could understand him lashing out at Sera, believing that she had never cared for him, only his title. That does not mean I can excuse his words and actions but I felt Mal’s pain, remorse and shame, knowing that he had been so blinded by his feelings of betrayal and anger that he had shattered everything between them. Mal redeemed himself in my eyes because of his willingness to admit his mistakes, his enduring love for Sera and his determination to fight for her, even though he fears she no longer feels the same about him.
He had left her because he’d thought she cared for his dukedom more than she cared for him.
By the time he’d discovered that it mattered not a bit why she’d landed him – only that she’d landed him at all – she’d been gone.
It was heart-breaking to see Sera so alone and broken when she left. All she ever wanted was Mal, not his title but, unwisely, she listened to her mother’s advice. Now, she is like a Phoenix risen from the ashes – stronger, wiser and determined to live her own independent life. She soon realises that, despite everything that had happened between them, she has never stopped loving Mal but is afraid that she will never be enough for him.
I love the scene in the underwater ballroom (yes, there really is one at Whitley Park in Surrey) where Mal draws a parallel between himself and Sera and the story of the Pleiades, as a way of conveying his own feelings for Sera. It was so romantic and I felt so much sympathy for Mal. The love scene that follows carries all the years of longing and is beautifully written that it bought tears to my eyes, because Sera is too afraid to believe there is a future for them.
The scene in the little garden when Sera sees the stone angel, dedicated to their daughter, is so moving and, for the first time, they are able to speak openly and honestly about the past and mourn their loss together.
I love Mal for recognising that he needed to give Sera the freedom to choose and his grand gesture is just so sigh-worthy…
“Yes, love. I’m through chasing you. I shall have to be happy with finding you in the stars, at night.” He paused, and she gasped, realizing what he was about to do. “There will never be another for me. But it is not my choice that matters; it is yours.
and the Epilogue left me with a lovely warm glow, seeing Mal and Sera deliriously happy after so much heartache.
I adore the Talbot sisters (aka the Soiled Sisters) who care nothing for Society’s censure. Outrageous, forthright, loyal, dramatic and convivial, they bring some welcome humour to the story. I love the scene where they are all piled into a carriage, accompanying Sera to Highley. The dialogue between them is so funny. Another hilarious scene, involving the sisters, is the lawn bowls in which they team up with Mal’s prospective brides. I was intrigued by the interactions between Sesily, Sera’s unmarried sister, and Caleb Calhoun, Sera’s American friend, and I believe they will be getting their own book in due course. That promises to be an interesting pairing.
MY VERDICT: If you enjoy a superbly written, compelling, angst-filled romance with unforgettable characters, then I can definitely recommend this book.
I LOVEEEDD THIS SO MUCH!!!
What’s it about: Seraphina, Duchess of Haven left her husband Malcom the Duke of Haven two years, seven months ago. She left without a trace and Malcom has spent this time searching for her, hating himself. Sera after losing the man she loved and then the only thing that connected him to her left her family and went to America. While Malcom spent the last years going over the past again and again. Sera was thinking of the future and she’s back in England, asking Malcom for a divorce. Malcom doesn’t want a divorce he wants his wife back so he decides to woo her back by asking her to pick her successor (really Malcom?! the man was desperate though).
“Past is prologue, Angel. I think of it every day” ~ Malcom, Duke of Haven.
I honestly wasn’t expecting much from Malcom, I know it’s sad since he’s the hero but after his behaviour in the first book of this series Rogue Not Taken. I had pretty much written him off and read this only because I wanted to see Sera get her happy ending so I was very surprised (in a good way) that he turned out to be more than expected and that he had loved Sera from the start (how can anyone not fall in love with Sera though?? She’s amazing) and his behaviour while heartbreaking and disappointing came from a place of betrayal and it was understandable (I’m not absolving him from what he did but I did understand the why of it). I already loved Sera and this book made me love her even more, she took what was offered and become stronger and more independent. Now the only thing standing between her and the future she wants is Malcom.
As though years had never passed, and they were here, in love, once more. ~Seraphina, Duchess of Haven
I really loved them both. They were adorable, heartbreaking, frustrating and so much in love. I have so many favourite scenes/lines from this book. Their relationship wasn’t easy, it was messy and heartbreaking but also beautiful. They were prefect for each other from they the moment they had met and I loved it that Malcom realised from that moment that she would be his duchess. Falling in love was easier than dealing with the aftermath of said love when Malcom who thought Sera had loved him for the man he was instead of his title and feels betrayed when he finds that might not have been the case while Seraphina pays a huge price for finally asking something/someone for herself and ends up losing what she had with Malcom. Their reunion was also extremely satisfying, I loved the underwater scene and gahh it just made so happy to see them happy and I loved it when they finally got back together and that epilogue man heart eyes for days!!
He’d ached for her years. She filled him, stifled him, stole his breath, marking his chest with her lilting, sad song, as surely as if she’d extracted a blade and carved it herself, drawing blood like a siren. ~ Malcom, Duke of Haven.
We get to see flashbacks of how they fell in love and how everything went wrong and it’s was very heartbreaking. I cried a lot while reading this (and while re-reading it!!) We get to see both their sides of the events that followed and why they made the decisions they did. I think that’s what it made it so great because you see how much they had loved each other (and still did). Malcom is so desperate, he hadn’t realised before she got hurt that it didn’t matter what had happened he couldn’t loose her and still loved her but it was too late for Sera, who decides to leave. I loved that we saw Malcom trying to woo her again (even though his plan needed a lot of work) apologising for his mistakes and his behaviour. It makes me immensely happy to see good grovel done by men who wronged their significant others. I loved it that Seraphina didn’t back down but gave as good as she got and I really loved her. She loved so much, her family, her husband, her child and when it all came crashing down she decides to what she wants which was singing. Instead of doing what she had done in the past living her life and behaving a certain way for her family and then later for her husband.
“I am yours….Shepherd, duke, rat catcher…whatever you wish”~ Seraphina, Duchess of Haven.
It was also great seeing Seraphina’s sisters, their antics are as always hilarious and they are just a bunch of lovely, unique to the time period women who you can’t help but love and I can’t wait to read ”the American” and Sesily’s story!
This is coming from her person who hates reading about a cheating in any way I usually avoid those book like the plague so for me to love this book so much was a welcome surprise and I don’t regret giving this one a shot at all.
Wrapping it up, I went into this just caring for Sera because I wasn’t a fan of Malcom at all but Sarah MacLean did an excellent job at redeeming him and making their relationship work. I ended up really loving both of them together and was immensely happy that they got their HEA. <3 <3 <3 A favourite of 2017 for sure!!! It’s a fantastic story of second chance love filled with passion, love, heart break and it’s beautifully written!