Review – His Three Day Duchess by Laurie Benson

About the Book:

He’s claimed his title

Could he inherit a bride, too?

The Duchess of Skeffington retreats to the estate that was her refuge during her cruel marriage. She’s shocked to come face-to-face with the distant heir, now newly inherited duke, adventurous Simon Alexander. When Elizabeth is robbed, it’s up to them both to find the thief. But traveling together would attract too much gossip… Unless they pose as husband and wife.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                        His Three-Day Duchess (The Sommersby Brides Book 3)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

The widowed Duchess of Skeffington, Elizabeth, is waiting impatiently for the heir to her late husband’s title to arrive for the reading of his will.  Lizzy is anxious to find out her financial status, and whether she inherits the one property she desires, Stonehaven.  Lizzy was coerced into marrying the elderly duke twelve years ago when she was only seventeen, and those years have been miserable.  Now, finally free, she just longs to move on, and live her own life.

Simon Alexander is a distant cousin to the deceased duke, and certainly never expected to inherit the title.  He spent ten years of his life as a soldier, and now he travels the world, treasure hunting for items for museums and collectors.  It’s a life he likes, and doesn’t intend to give up.  His intention is to spend as little time in England as possible, assure himself that his managers are capably handling  his estates, and return to his latest excavation.

Sparks immediately fly between Lizzy and Simon, as she chastises him for being late, while he’s abrupt and definitely not charming to her.  The situation becomes worse when Lizzy learns that the money she’s bequeathed is far less than she expected, and worst of all, she’s allowed to live the remainder of her life in a dreary distant estate – not her beloved Stonehaven.  Since Simon doesn’t plan to stay in England, Lizzy tries to bargain with him to trade estates, but he’s not having it.

Lizzy boldly decides to take her annual holiday at Stonehaven anyway, figuring that the servants will never turn her away.  She arrives, with trunks and Aunt Clara in tow, only to find Simon in residence, and he’s not happy to see her in the slightest.  He’s very blunt about telling Lizzy she is not welcome, and insists that she leave immediately, after a brief tea.  A message had arrived from Lizzy’s businessman, informing her that her inheritance, which she left in the London townhouse has been stolen.  Now penniless, and about to be cast out of the home she loves, Lizzy is devastated.

Surprisingly, Simon steps up, feeling responsible because the theft occurred in his home.  He offers to take Lizzy back to town with him, and promises to find the thief and have her funds returned to her.  Their journey back to town brings a whole new intimacy to their relationship, and a better understanding of each other.  There’s also that attraction that’s been simmering beneath all their sniping with each other.

I like Simon, and I felt that his initial rudeness was in retaliation for the reception he received from Lizzy.  He’s carrying some baggage from a sad childhood, where he was unwanted, and passed from relative to relative.  I had a harder time liking Lizzy, especially from her conduct in ONE WEEK TO WED, where I first met her in her sister, Charlotte’s book.  (This book can be read without reading ONE WEEK TO WED, but Lizzy does play a prominent role, and much of her character is revealed there.)  I recognize that her parents forced her into an unwanted marriage, and that her husband was not a good man, but I didn’t like her haughtiness and sense of entitlement.

HIS THREE DAY DUCHESS takes us along on the journey where Lizzy and Simon have to sometimes pose as a married couple, and their attraction bubbles over into passion.  I loved seeing Simon become more considerate and tender, while Lizzy lost some of her pompousness and arrogance.  Their previous less than stellar behavior was actually due to their insecurities and pain, and their developing romance brought out the best in both of them, turning them into a couple I really liked and wanted to see happy forever.  HIS THREE DAY DUCHESS is a warm and satisfying story, one I think readers who enjoy seeing substantial character growth will particularly appreciate.    ~Rose

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