3.5 stars, rounded up!
An American railroad heiress, an English duke in need of funds, and an arranged marriage with a lot angst and chemistry than anyone is expecting.
August Crenshaw is the oldest daughter of an American railroad tycoon. She's got a head for figures and enough ambition to hold her own... and yet. When her parents give her and her younger sister, Violet, the ultimatum that one of them must marry a duke in England... August can't believe it. Will she have to compromise on her autonomy and freedom sooner than she planned?
Evan Sterling, the Duke of Rothschild, is up to his ears debt thanks to his father. Evan never planned on being the duke of the family and he certainly never planned on having to save his family from ruin, but here he is. When the Crenshaw family shows up in England in need of a title, Evan sees a way out. But then he meets August in an underground brawl in Whitechapel and one fated kiss will forever change the outcome...
As August and Evan navigate the tangled landscape of England's Society, her parents expectations, and Evan's desire to win August on his own merit and not for his title, they find they might be in for more than they bargained for.
I thoroughly enjoyed this debut. It had some refreshing twists on some old tropes and I LOVED how August's fierce need for independence shown through as both a positive trait AND a negative one. I know how bizarre that sounds, but hear me out—she's stubborn to the point of ignoring her own desires and the facts around her, and to be honest that bites her in the butt. I liked the realism of that, and how it made her character more human and less "perfect protagonist."
There's also the perfect set up for the next novel, of course, with August's younger sister Violet in need of a duke of her own...
Looking forward to reading that one too!
Thank you to Berkley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Amy Imogene Reads
Just someone looking for her own door into Wonderland.