A love that neither can deny…
THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS
Scandal & Scoundrel #3
Releasing June 27, 2017
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 is a beautifully written romance with many-layered characters and a complex story line of redemption and forgiveness. I heard the refrains of Pat Benatar's Love Is A Battlefield through a lot of this book. Haven and Sera were a couple basking in their new love and then whoosh! It was gone. In the aftermath was anger and pain over the next few years. You first meet the couple in the first book of the series, A ROGUE NOT TAKEN and let's face it, the Duke didn't come out looking too well before or after Sera's sister Sophie accidently knocks Haven into a fish pond. While the first story had a lighter feel, Sera's tale really upped it on the emotional scale.
This story takes place three years after Haven told Sera to get out of his life just when she needed him most. Ms Maclean doesn't write wimpy and needy heroines and Sera is one of her strongest heroines yet. Heartbroken, she left and became successful in a man's world. Now she has returned and demands a divorce. Haven sees his chance to try to win back his wife, so he makes a deal with her. He will set her free after she finds a woman to become her replacement, a duke needs an heir you know. Malcolm betrayed Sera and she doesn't make things too easy for him while he tries to win her back. Neither do her sisters. Some of their actions and their banter are hysterical.
On the other side of the coin, you see a man who truly realizes what he has absurdly tossed away. I remember how much I disliked him in the first book. The growth and change in him is something to behold as he tries to win back his wife. Neither Sera or her sisters made things easy for him, but he took things like a man and I felt his sincerity in his pursuit of Sera. There are a few moments between them as they piece together what went wrong that really wrench at your heart. I don't want to give anything away, but you should keep some tissues handy.
I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite books of the year so far and I am fussy when it comes to reading historical romance. This story has so much depth and heart. I loved Sera's strength and I felt her pain and anguish after her marriage fell apart. I also admired how the talented Ms MacLean redeemed the now repentant Haven. Add Sera's protective sisters and some reluctant replacement wife candidates to the mix and you have a colorfully written romance that will end up on a lot of reader's Keeper shelves. My only problem with the series...is the wait for the next story.
DESERTED DUKE DISAVOWED!
August 19, 1836
House of Lords, Parliament
She’d left him two years, seven months ago, exactly.
Malcolm Marcus Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven looked to the tiny wooden calendar wheels inlaid into the blotter on his desk in his private office above the House of Lords.
August the nineteenth, 1836. The last day of the parliamentary session, filled with pomp and idle. And lingering memory. He spun the wheel with the six embossed upon it. Five. Four. He took a deep breath.
Get out. He heard his own words, cold and angry with betrayal, echoing with quiet menace. Don’t ever return.
He touched the wheel again. August became July. May. March.
January the nineteenth, 1834. The day she left.
His fingers moved without thought, finding comfort in the familiar click of the wheels.
April the seventeenth, 1833.
The way I feel about you . . . Her words now—soft and full of temptation. I’ve never felt anything like this.
He hadn’t, either. As though light and breath and hope had flooded the room, filling all the dark spaces. Filling his lungs and heart. And all because of her.
Until he’d discovered the truth. The truth, which had mattered so much until it hadn’t mattered at all.
Where had she gone?
The clock in the corner of the room ticked and tocked, counting the seconds until Haven was due in his seat in the hallowed main chamber of the House of Lords, where men of higher purpose and passion had sat before him for generations. His fingers played the little calendar like a virtuoso, as though they’d done this dance a hundred times before. A thousand.
And they had.
March the first, 1833. The day they met.
So, they let simply anyone become a duke, do they? No deference. Teasing and charm and pure, unadulterated beauty.
If you think dukes are bad, imagine what they accept from duchesses?
That smile. As though she’d never met another man. As though she’d never wanted to. He’d been hers the moment he’d seen that smile. Before that. Imagine, indeed.
And then it had fallen apart. He’d lost everything, and then lost her. Or perhaps it had been the reverse. Or perhaps it was all the same.
Would there ever be a time when he stopped thinking of her? Ever a date that did not remind him of her? Of the time that had stretched like an eternity since she’d left?
Where had she gone?
The clock struck eleven, heavy chimes sounding in the room, echoed by a dozen others sounding down the long, oaken corridor beyond, summoning men of longstanding name to the duty that had been theirs before they drew breath.
Haven spun the calendar wheels with force, leaving them as they lay. November the thirty-seventh, 3842. A fine date—one on which he had absolutely no chance of thinking of her.
New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.
Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com's Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her "gracefully furious." A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.