How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by
Series: An American Heiress in London #2
Published by on April 29, 2014
Genres: , ,
Pages: 371
Source: ,
Goodreads
three-half-stars

From USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke comes the story of a bargain, a marriage of convenience...and the chance for love to last a lifetime.

They had a deal...

From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she's delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent.

But deals are made to be broken...

By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family's enormous debts, and Edie's terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it's time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart?

So this review has taken me months to write. This is not a good sign.
First off, the title hints at witty Rom Com fun. There is none. Secondly, this book should include a trigger warning for rape. It doesn’t, but my review does.
TW for rape
I almost DNF’d it because I couldn’t stand the heroine Edie. I feel like even though we know what she went through almost immediately (not in detail, but enough to sympathize), I still couldn’t like her. I found her mean, cold and unnecessarily harsh. In my original review:

“ 3.5

I’ll admit I didn’t like the heroine Edie at first, even though I knew what she was going through.
I will also admit that I’m glad I finished it because about halfway through I changed my mind :)”

I said about halfway through I changed my mind, because Edie warmed up. A lot of why this review was hard for me to write, si that I feel Edie basically became a different person halfway through. I guess it’s personal growth for the character, but to be honest, I just felt like I had a different heroine halfway through. She could have still been distant to the hero without being mean or rude. She could have still made her points without being a jerk. I genuinely didn’t like Edie.

If the entire book could have featured the second-half Edie, I would have devoured it. I would have rated it a 5. But that first half Edie was just not relateable nor was she likeable.

Quick summary:
Edie was ruined in New York and even though her father is stinkin’ rich, he wasn’t part of the Knickerbocker set. Of course, the jerk who did the “ruining” (ie raping) went on his merry way of ruining the ladies of New York.

Edie goes to London to marry to clear her name. She sees a gorgeous man at a ball who she knows needs money and she proposes. Her one condition is that he goes back to Africa and never returns. She gets to manage his estates (he doesn’t want to, he wants to be free), and she gets the title and respectability. Stuart gets the money and gets to bail on all that dreaded responsibility. She says that she’ll consummate the marriage, but reeeeeaaaaallllyyyy doesn’t want to. He’s all “I get to run off to adventure! Wheee!”

But about 5 years later, he’s almost killed by a lion attack, and he realizes that he really likes his wife and he’d like to go back and start a family with her.

Yeah.

He comes home and Edie literally runs from him. She takes one look at him and runs to her carriage, telling her driver not to wait for his grace. Right.

Of course Stuart follows, it’s his home too after all.
This is where he makes the bargain. Give me 10 days, you’ll kiss me and we’ll live happily ever after ,but if you don’t, I’ll leave, divorce you, etc.

Of course she’s so traumatized still so she doesn’t even want to try to like him. Once she realizes she does like him, she is even more determined to win. Even though she wants him, she can’t imagine ever enjoying sex. So her solution is for them to separate. Of course.

The ending for Edie and Stuart was good, the ending for the villain was a cop out.

I loved the Edie who softened up a bit and relaxed. I just don’t understand why she was so giving and compassionate to her younger sister and every single person, but when she was around Stuart she was just a horrible person. The 2 Edies didn’t fit. I feel like we have 2 separate heroines.

Now, many others have given this 5 shining stars, so this could be me, but there are a lot of 1 stars too. I guess either you love it or hate it. I just happened to do both.

***ARC courtesy of Avon Addicts

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three-half-stars