Thursday, June 29, 2017

Blog Tour: The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel #3) by Sarah MacLean {Review + Excerpt}

Release date: June 27, 2017
Author info: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 400
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google |iTunes | Kobo
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...
From the beginning, I was so excited to read The Day of the Duchess. Almost all romance novels focus on the start and flourishing of a relationship, so after being introduced to Haven and Sera in such an interesting manner in The Rogue Not Taken (if you don't recall or haven't read it, Sera's sister, Sophie, shoves Haven into a fountain after finding him cheating on his pregnant wife), I knew the road to their happiness might not be a terribly happy one, but it would be worth the experience--and it was!

Certainly, making Haven into a sympathetic character was hard. All we've seen of him is his cheating and his pushing Seraphina away, but as we see moments from his point of view, while his actions are still not the best decisions, we can see more of his motivation. And what's more, his journey to understanding of Sera's feelings is wonderful. It's endearing to see him trying so hard to win her back, to see him truly fight for her, but it's even better to see him realize why he hasn't convinced her to be with him and make a change for her.

And Seraphina! Even through all of her heartbreak, she is made of steel, fighting through the pain to make a life for herself. In situations when other people would give up, let themselves go with the flow and let life take them down, she pushes back. But, what's even better is how much of the Soiled S's we're treated to! The sisters are truly one of the best parts of this series, and their loyalty to and love for one another is a joy over and over again.

I think what's most striking about this book, though, is how it covers how different people deal with grief. Even though the event is far enough past, the grief plays a huge part in forming who Sera and Haven have become and how their relationship reforms. Their emotional arc is more than a little heartbreaking, but it's also completely wonderful.

I've really enjoyed the Scandal & Scoundrel series so far, but The Day of the Duchess is by far my favorite of the series! It's a story with real emotional heft, yet there are also plenty of funny (courtesy of the wonderful Talbot sisters, mostly) and sweet moments.

About the author:

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'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.
Find Sarah online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Chapter 1
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.

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