Title: The Day of the Duchess
Author: Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Pub Date: June 27th, 2017
My Copy: Courtesy of Edelweiss and Avon for Review
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.
Malcom and Seraphina are two people who find out that the past is something that you can’t escape. It also happens that both Malcom and Seraphina want very different things. She wants one thing, a divorce and he wants her back.
I really love how this book started, with Seraphina going into Parliament and demanding a divorce. Seraphim definitely is not what you call timid. She literally is doing something that most people at the time would have never done, ask for a divorce. The only way to get a divorce is by an act of Parliament and most times, woman had to prove that they were going to die or proof of being beaten. So keep this in mind. Of course Malcom is there when Seraphina walks into Parliament and this causes him to have some words with his wife in private after she makes quite the scene and somewhat of a scandal by doing this. So Malcolm and Seraphina haven’t seen one another. This is the first time they have seen one another and this causes some friction.
Malcom wants his wife back. She wants freedom to pursue her own interests and have her own business. In those days, woman who owned their business were not considered to be owners, because their property or business could be their husbands as women were considered the property of their husband. So you can understand why Seraphina wants one, but she doesn’t tell Malcom her reasons. So they come to an agreement, and it turns out to be something much more.
Malcom has a plan to win her back. Seraphina really doesn’t want to go back to a bad place. One of the things this book does well is that it really explores what happened and why they are in this place where nothing is good between them. Malcolm wants her back, Seraphina doesn’t want the past, but go on with her life and do something else as an independent woman. The fact that she has lost a child, and told that she will never have another one is also something she can’t give Malcom, an heir. Dukes need heirs to continue the family line. This causes a big rift. You really for both of these individuals pain.
I also like how they make a deal. She and him propose this deal for two very different purposes. Seraphina, proposes to find him suitable young women to become his new duchess. He agrees to this, but really has no desire and instead is going to use this opportunity to win her back. What ensues is anything but something easier. There are a lot of conflicts in this book. Also the fact that we add a third person to this equation is interesting. I really like the dynamic of trying to move on and forgive is important.
As this book progresses, you get to see how important that the past affects the present. The way they talk to one another and how Seraphina sisters are there as well for backup and moral support. We get to see how Caleb gets involved and Malcom gets very jealous and has dangerous thoughts about how to get rid of him. You feel like you understand Malcom’s point about him being an interloper.
This book takes on some interesting twists and turns. Ultimately they do get back together after some tumultuous conversations and fights. What happens is they learn sometimes things happen beyond your control. These things can either tear you apart or bring you back together and get a happy ending. Which both of our characters find with each other and get a far happier ending and a few happy surprises that neither of them were expecting. I totally enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would.