(review copy was a personal purchase)
In DUKE OF A GILDED AGE by S.G. Rogers, her hero, Wesley, is something of a young scamp; he cares for his mother’s well-being and his friends, and that’s really about it. Then news comes from England that Wesley’s uncle—the Ninth Duke of Mansbury—died, leaving his father a fortune. Unfortunately, Wesley’s father too has passed leaving Wesley the only remaining candidate to become the next Duke of Mansbury. While he’d rather stay in New York with the friends and life he loves, when Miss Annabelle Oakhurst and her father show up announcing this blessing, he has no choice but to return to England with them and take the position. They board a ship for England, make friends of the people on board, and step into an adventure none of them could’ve seen coming. And that’s even before their ship docks in British waters.
Belle doesn’t know what to make of the Duke who sports more black eyes and bruises than lordly airs. She only came along for the trip to put some breathing room between she and her eager fiancé. Her first sight of Wesley tells her she and her father have their work cut out for them. But even without a cultured upbringing, something about Wesley screams as much about honor as it does charm. Added to their voyage is a charming assortment of fellow passengers, as well as a little intrigue, a daring rescue, and close quarters and how could Belle and Wesley not come to be friends or a little more? And all this before Wesley ever sees the estate he has inherited—or Belle’s intended.
Just like Wesley’s bruised exterior, DUKE OF A GILDED AGE is charming, and holds more than at first meets the eye. Ms. S.G. Rogers’ first foray into the Gilded Age of 1890s New York was a bit of a risk, but she, as ever, proves herself to the task. If you are a fan of historical fiction or any storytelling set in the last decade of the 19th century-first of the 20th DUKE OF A GILDED AGE may be right up your alley.
By the way, Duke of a Gilded Age has been finalist winner of several awards: The Rone awards, The Reader’s Crown, and it was a Top Pick at The Romance Reviews. (woohoo, Suzanne!)
If you’d like to read it for yourself DUKE OF A GILDED AGE is available for Kindle at Amazon.