Friday, March 1, 2019

TLC Book Tours Book Review: American Duchess

About American Duchess

• Hardcover: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (February 26, 2019)

Before there was Meghan Markle, there was Consuelo Vanderbilt, the original American Duchess.  Perfect for readers of Jennifer Robson and lovers of Downton Abbey.

Karen Harper tells the tale of Consuelo Vanderbilt, her “The Wedding of the Century” to the Duke of Marlborough, and her quest to find meaning behind “the glitter and the gold.”

On a cold November day in 1895, a carriage approaches St Thomas Episcopal Church on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Massive crowds surge forward, awaiting their glimpse of heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. Just 18, the beautiful bride has not only arrived late, but in tears, yet her marriage to the aloof Duke of Marlborough proceeds. Bullied into the wedding by her indomitable mother, Alva, Consuelo loves another. But a deal was made, trading some of the vast Vanderbilt wealth for a title and prestige, and Consuelo, bred to obey, realizes she must make the best of things.

At Blenheim Palace, Consuelo is confronted with an overwhelming list of duties, including producing an “heir and a spare,” but her relationship with the duke quickly disintegrates. Consuelo finds an inner strength, charming everyone from debutantes to diplomats including Winston Churchill, as she fights for women’s suffrage. And when she takes a scandalous leap, can she hope to attain love at last…?

From the dawning of the opulent Gilded Age, to the battles of the Second World War, American Duchess is a riveting tale of one woman’s quest to attain independence—at any price.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: I love book that are based on real people and Consuelo Vanderbilt's life is definitely one that makes for good reading. This was the type of book that has you gone back and forth to google to see what Consuelo and her first husband were really like.

She was the epitome of what you'd expect from a gilded age woman. She was really beautiful and her clothes were stunning. (check google). Oh and fabulously rich, you mustn't forget that.

However, unlike Megan Markle or Wallis Simpson, she didn't have a love match. Her mother arranged the wedding to the 9th Duke of Marloborough who was a Churchill. Yes, those Churchills!

Her life is definitely an interesting one and Karen Harper fills you with such interest, especially for those of us that have read about arranged and loveless marriages in our romance novels.  You keep turning the pages, hoping she finds happiness, even though the bitter jaded part of this girl kept've got so much money...suck it up and deal with it.

A wonderful read, about a figure in American and UK history that you might not have heard of.

Rating: 5 flowers

About Karen Harper

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author KAREN HARPER is a former Ohio State University instructor and high school English teacher. Published since 1982, she writes contemporary suspense and historical novels about real British women. Two of her recent Tudor-era books were bestsellers in the UK and Russia. Harper won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for Dark Angel, and her novel Shattered Secrets was judged one of the best books of the year by Suspense Magazine.

Find out more about Karen at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.


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