The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean is the third book in the Scandal & Scoundrels series. This second chance historical romance features Sera and Malcolm, and if you’ve read the other books in this series, this is the payoff for which you’ve been waiting.
The Duchess has her Day
I read this historical romance based on gushing recommendations from one of my online book groups. But while I heard quite a bit of praise, I heard a LOT of disdain for this book. I want to get this right up front.
This historical second chance romance deals with infidelity and infertility issues.
I have three things to say on this.
- Love is messy and complicated. I think the true nature of love is reflected in Sera and Malcolm’s story. Historical romance readers looking for the pristine love story common in the romance genre will not find it here.
- There is infidelity in this book. While it may be a trigger issue for some, it serves to raise the stakes for the main characters. Please proceed according to your own wishes.
- I read this in a review, and it got me thinking: why does the woman who is supposed to be barren suddenly find herself having babies at the end of the story? I was unable to have human children, so this comment struck me. Why is it that the woman suddenly gets a miracle at the end of the story? While I didn’t mind it happening in this book because by the end of this wrenching, grovel fest, you want someone to be happy, it did make me think.
Now About the Book…
Sera is one of the Dangerous Daughters whose father obtains his title by winning it in a hand of cards. He made his wealth in mining, and while they are titled and rich, the sisters are scorned by society. Sera traps Malcolm into marriage. She becomes pregnant and loses the child. Malcolm’s mother pays her off to leave. Sera runs to America.
And that’s just the set up.
We haven’t even talked about the characters yet.
Sera is a Duchess…For Now
Sera wants a divorce so she can take ownership of her tavern in London where she sings. A married woman cannot own property, and Sera believes that if she gets a divorce and is able to own the tavern, she will be free from her past.
Malcolm loves Sera and wanted to rebuild their life together after they lose their daughter, but Sera runs before he can tell her. He then proposes an elaborate plan to have Sera choose his new bride when in fact he’s plotting to win her back.
These characters are messy, folks. Like really messy. Get out the mop and bucket, because there’s major clean up on aisle 5.
The Day the Duchess Comes Into Her Own
This is one of those historical romance novels where I find myself yelling at the book a lot. This historical romance was so complex and twisted I could believe the infidelity and the numerous times the heroine runs away. These were all normal human behaviors, and it wasn’t surprising to see it play out on the page.
This serves to really nurture the pay off. The pay off is big and is accompanied by a grand gesture. Who doesn’t love a grand gesture? So while you may find yourself truly upset with the main characters, I advise you – stick with it.
This historical romance book was tough to get through. I’m not going to sugar coat that. But again, it speaks to the very real, messy nature of the story. If you’re looking for historical romance with a little more meat, The Day of the Duchess is your book.