The Perfect Duchess

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

From the beginning to the end, I was enthralled and immersed into the world that is 1813, London, England. This story keeps the suspense and tension high. My eyes were glued page after page as I sat at the edge of my seat. There is murder, danger, greed, betrayal, sorrow and pain. The story takes you on an unforgettable journey of deep dark secrets, haute ton gossip and unrequited love. There are so many twists and turns in the book. One will never be bored or disappointed. The H/h have unique personalities. The supporting characters are well played by the H/h families. All the characters are extremely well developed and personable. The hero, Lord Andrew Macalister, Duke of Bradstone, is a strong, capable, alpha male who unexpectedly became a duke at an early age. He has nine brothers and sisters, although his eldest brother, the heir, was killed by highwaymen. His whole family grew up in a loving home and now that their parents are gone, the continue to live in love and harmony and are fiercely loyal to one another. Our heroine, Lady Clara Ann Louise Masson, is living through dire circumstances and yet has been able to weather the storms of her life. She is an independent woman who looks out for herself because her family does not. Yet, she still is filled with love and kindness despite her insecurities. She is smart, competent, knows her own mind and is strong willed. She has three siblings. Her brother Jonathan is the eldest and current Earl. Her twin sister, Christina, was set to marry Andrew five years ago, but eloped with her father's footman and left Andrew at the altar. Something about that whole situation with Christina did not sit right with Clara. She would find out years later what really happened and why. Her younger brother Patrick was away in the navy. Alone with only Jonathan for family, she felt alone and unloved. Jonathan made Clara's life unbearable. He would yell, scream, belittle and would try to destroy her emotionally. He instills fear to all in his path. Clara is afraid of him and all the household staff is afraid of him. He is a tyrant. For some reason Jonathan has always hated Clara and she could not understand why. However, it would take years before the truth was uncovered. Andrew and Jonathan were friend when they were young and going to Eton. Jonathan would invite Andrew home with him for weekends and holidays. There he met Clara. She was always trailing after her big brother and Andrew. When Andrew inherited the dukedom, Jonathan turned his back on him. Andrew never knew why. Again, it would take many years for the truth to be exposed. Five years after Christina left Andrew at the altar, he saw Clara again. He was immediately drawn to her. The romance between Clara and Andrew is fraught with intrigue, conspiracies, machinations and jeopardy. This is a who done it, suspenseful mystery. This is a must read and I highly recommend it. I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book via Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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The perfect duchess is a lighthearted read. Is A journey that the characters make in developing and growing their love. Both characters learn values and grow. I found that both were three dimensional character that helped the plot progress. This said, this book is predictable but also enjoyable. It is important that the reader is aware of the genre and Willing to overlook any shortcomings plots such as these entail. Overall I really enjoyed reading this novel and getting caught up in the story.
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Andrew Macalister, oft regarded as the Stone Duke of Bradstone, hates his annual birthday ball tradition. He dislikes facing those around him who only see him for his title, and has given up on a chance to live a normal life. That is, until he spots Lady Clara Masson across the ballroom. Clara's twin sister is the woman who infamously jilted Andrew at the altar five years ago, but little does Clara know, Andrew had been smitten with her since childhood, and he finds her presence a ray of sunshine in a dreary dukedom.
This was a pretty good book that I read through rather quickly. I liked the storyline of what Clara went through with her brother. It was a little bit different than what is normally in a historical romance. One thing I didn’t quite get was why Andrew initially proposed to Clara’s sister instead of her when he always seemed to have a thing for her. I look forward to reading more from this author. I highly recommend.
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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Andrew, the Duke of Bradstone, had been left at the altar by Christina Masson.  Her twin sister, Clara, had been in love with Andrew since they were children and he was her brother, Jonathan's best friend.  But, after he chose Christina and was jilted and became the Duke, Clara, had no hope that he would ever be hers.  That was until the Birthday Ball and they danced together.  Clara's brother now hated Andrew and loathed his sister, Clara.  He was determined to bring about her demise so that he could inherit her fortune from her mother, one he was not privy to if there remained a female heir.  

Andrew was determined to protect Clara from any threat but he was determined not to allow himself to trust her or to fall in love with her.  He offered to marry her in order to provide her with protection from her crazy brother.  Even though Clara wanted to be Andrew's wife, would she ever be able to trust that he could come to love her or would he only see her as a burden and obligation.  She couldn't bear it so she was determined to leave him and take care of herself.  

This story is like a roller coaster of sorts with ups and downs for the couple.  There is suspense, intrigue, gossipmongers, attempted murders and lots of surprises but in the end there is a happy ending.  

I enjoyed the story very much but I am not a fan of descriptive sex scenes and there were a few of them that I chose to skip.  I was given a complimentary copy of this book and I willingly offer my review.
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The Perfect Duchess by Erica Taylor is an interesting tale of a young woman, Lady Clara Masson, who finds herself being ostracized and gossiped about by London's high society and the Duke of Bradstone, who was left at the alter by her twin sister years ago and is now believed deceased. Learning about the two families' backgrounds leads to an interesting and intriguing association between the two. Making matters more interesting is the question of what is actually happening to Lady Clara and why. The tale comes to a stunning and satisfactory conclusion.
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The Perfect Duchess is the second book in the Macalisters series by Erica Taylor. It can easily be read as a standalone story.

Lady Clara Masson hasn't had an easy time of it for the last 5 years since her twin sister jilted a Duke at the altar to run off with a footman. Thanks to that scandal and the lies spread about her by her brother Jonathon, aided by the fact she stayed in the country so long, Clara is looked down upon by society. Being a Lady she is still entitled to attend social functions even though a lot of people shun her there. Despite that, she is determined to try her best and sneaks out of her brother's house to attend the annual Macalister birthday ball.

Andrew Macalister is the Duke that Clara's sister jilted. He and his brothers all celebrate their birthdays in May, hence the birthday ball. Clara has been in love with Andrew since she was a young girl who used to chase around after him and her brother who used to be firm friends. Andrew became the Duke after losing both his father and eldest brother. He rebelled at the responsibilities at first but when it became apparent that his family relied on him he changed his ways becoming the very best brother and Duke that he could be. It earned him the name the Stone Duke of Bradstone.

At the ball, Clara is being treated badly by the sniping gossiping women. Andrew comes to her aid, very happy to reconnect with her after her being away for so long. So happy that he throws caution to the window and decides to call on her the next day to ask her to go for a carriage ride with him in the park. A good job too because he turns up in time to find Clara's brother attacking her! Andrew is the ultimate swoon-worthy hero, he punches Jonathon, swoops Clara up into his arms and takes her home with him.

He decides that the only way to keep Clara safe from her brother and to look after her is to marry her!! She agrees but in the meantime, they both have time to question his offer. She worries that he will resent her, and she doesn't want to marry unless he loves her. He worries that she will jilt him at the altar just as her sister did. Whether they end up marrying soon takes second place to Clara's safety. Her brother is trying to have her killed and seems capable of infiltrating all the safeguards put in place to keep her safe from him. Why on Earth does he want her killed, and was he behind her sister running off with the footman? As the story unfolds the book just keeps getting better and better!

As I read an advanced readers' copy of this book there were a few errors, but I am hoping they will have been caught and edited before the proper release. Forgetting those errors I found the story beautiful and fascinating. There were twists and turns, especially when we find out just what Clara's brother's problem was! I loved the slow-burning romance between Clara and Alex and how unrequited love soon blossomed into the real thing. It was so lovely to read how Clara could see him and bring out the real Andrew Macalister rather than his persona of the stone Duke.

I couldn't read this book quickly enough and am very much looking forward to reading any other books in the series.
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This is my first book by the Erica Taylor. The  writing was pleasant with no jarring anachronisms. My issues with this book were the blandness of the main characters, their wildly fluctuating mood swings and a couple of holes in the plotline. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't great.
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Andrew Macalister, the Duke of Bradstone, dreads the annual Macalister Ball although this year he comes to the rescue of childhood friend, Lady Clara Masson. Clara has been ostracized from polite society for a scandal that was not her fault. The fact that she was at the Ball at all was her small rebellion against her brother who had expressly told her she could not attend. Andrew and Clara meeting again after years apart starts a series of events that propels them to doubt everything they believed about each other.

 

I thought the premise of the book was good, but I did not like the the reasons the villain, Clara's brother Jonathan, had for doing all the awful things he did. I thought that one twist was not necessary and there were other reasons that could have worked without that particular one. I won't say what the unusual twist is, but I'm sure there will be many readers who object to it. I also thought Andrew's moods got to be tedious after a while. One minute he's all sunshine and the next he's glaring again. That got old. Clara, on the hand, was a feisty heroine which was a nice change from the usual timid/shy regency young women.
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This is the second book in the Macalisters series, however having not read the first book in the series, I don't feel like it was necessary to read them in order. I really enjoyed this book, how the situations the characters found themselves in really made me bond with them, especially how Clara is treated by her brother. The writing also conveyed the love blossoming between Clara and Andrew so well that I was pulling for their happy ending the whole time. Also, I like how the author weaved the mysteries of the past into story so that there were mini reveals along the way that kept you reading straight through.

I received an advance copy from the publisher in return for an honest review.
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A very good book. I enjoyed the romance. I can't wait to reading more from this awesome author. Thanks to Netgalley,  for this free copy. My opinion is my own.
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Andrew Macalister, the Duke of Bradstone, hates his family's annual birthday ball.  Except for this year, he sees one woman he thought he would never see again, Lady Clara Masson.  Several years ago, Andrew was engaged to Clara's twin sister only to have her leave him at the altar for a footman.  



Now Andrew is openly courting social pariah Clara.  When her brother assaults her, Andrew steps up and announces they are engaged.

This was a book I so wanted to like.  I loved the opening but when the author kept cramming trope after trope into the book, I didn't like it.  You have the brother hating the sister, hidden child, the mystery of girl running off with the footman.  Just too much to make the book work in my opinion.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.
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To say that I loved Erica Taylor's first Macalister book, A Suitable Affair, would be an understatement of major proportions. I haven't quite finished her second book (which is actually a prequel so feel free to read it first), but I couldn't wait to oooh and aaah and squeal with delight over Andrew and Clara (and to say yet again how much I NEED more Luke!)! 

Andrew is known as the "Stone Duke" for his typically cold demeanor, and Clara is followed by horrid gossip about her pretty much wherever she goes. The two have known each other since childhood, though, and were almost in-laws as Andrew was once engaged to Clara's twin sister. When they meet again at a ball hosted by the Macalisters, their chemistry and attraction was undeniable ... to the reader, anyway. 

When I last put down my book (okay -- my phone ... thank you ever-so-much to NetGalley for making this book the reason I rejoined!), Andrew had just beaten the tar out of Clara's brother (he had it coming). I've got a lot more to go and can't wait to see what happens next!
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The Perfect Duchess by Erica Taylor
Andrew Macalister, known as the Stone Duke of Bradstone, became Duke at a young age when his father and older brother were killed by highwaymen.  At the annual Macalister birthday bash, he spotted Clara Masson, who was the twin sister of Christine who left Andrew standing at the alter. When Clara's life is threatened by her evil brother, Andrew takes it upon himself to save and protect her.  The best way he knew how was to marry her.  This was a great story with many twist and turns.
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I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book which I received through Netgalley.
I really liked this story of Clara and Andrew.
I didn't read the first one (yet), but this book can be read as a standalone.
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This is a captivating, romantic and suspenseful story. Andrew is hard and cold on the outside, but to those who love him, he is kind and caring. He's forgotten how to relax and have fun. Clara is sweet, spunky and alone. She has been in love with Andrew since she was 10, but he chose her twin sister to marry. But the sister disappeared, leaving rumors that Clara had something to do with it. Years later Andrew and Clara dance at his birthday ball, and after that he can't stop thinking about her. When he goes to call on her, he finds her unconscious on the floor with her brother standing over her. He quickly whisks her home and tells his family that they are getting married. But she doesn't want to marry a man who doesn't love her, and was engaged to her sister. While Andrew tries to convince her of his love, she tries to believe him. And during this time he must protect her from the person who is trying to kill her. It has a great storyline and interesting characters, and should be added to your TBR list.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. This is my honest and voluntary opinion of it.
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On one hand, there are many elements in this novel that historical romance readers would enjoy. The heroine is likable and more than just a pretty face in a dress. There is also more plot than the heroine trying to get the hero to love her the way she loves him. 

That being said, the twist is completely unacceptable. I won’t give it away as I am sure it is a major spoiler, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Had it not been for that, this novel would have been a good book.
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A more fun, better-written story than many of this type. I’ll look for this author again.
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Both of the main characters were interesting and well drawn. I liked both of them, and got caught up in history of their lives pretty easily.  They grew up together and Clara had a major crush on him for many years.  But so many things got in the way.  And her twin sister is only one of those things.  Her brother Jonathan hates her with a passion and is incredibly violent.  And that violence has been escalating.   Clara's other brother Patrick might try to help her but he's too far away.  That's when Andrew finds out about it and steps in and literally saves her life.  Because her brother does want her dead.  Some of the reasons are quite the surprise.  And he does make for an evil but clever adversary. 
Clara at times has a hard time relating to the new Andrew, who had to become the "Stone Duke" just to survive those wanting to use him.  But she remembers the real Andrew and that's the one she longs to see more of.   That's the man she trusts.
Andrew had to take on the responsibility of family and title at a very young age.  He also had quite a few siblings and did the best he could.  His family added an interesting quality to the story.  He wanted Clara but there were so many misunderstanding between them.   
At the end of most of the chapters there was a "Gentle Reader" addition.  It's what a gossip rag was saying at the moment; it was full of speculation and rumors. 
There were a few times when it felt like it dragged a bit but over all I liked it.  There was at least one time when I thought they were a bit careless with her protection towards the end.  But they made up for it and had many people like an "invisible group" looking out for her and looking for her. That makes for some more secondary characters but it didn't feel overwhelming to me.  
Several surprises are waiting for the reader as we get close to the end.  The H.E.A. isn't the surprise but how they got there is.   Because there will be a lot of danger as well as romance.
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The Perfect Duchess by Erica Taylor is book Two in The Macalisters Series.   This is the story of Andrew Macalister and Lady Clara Masson.  I have read the previous book but feel this can be a standalone book. 
Andrew and Clara knew each other since they were young and Andrew had been on track to marry her twin sister but that sister ended up walking away to marry the footman.  Later her sister died along with her father leaving her under her awful brother's control.  Andrew and Clara reconnected with Clara slipped out to attend his Birthday ball.  Andrews had always had feelings for Clara and goes forward to offer his name to keep her safe. 
Really enjoyed reading their story.
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publisher synopsis: Andrew Macalister, oft regarded as the Stone Duke of Bradstone, hates his annual birthday ball tradition. He dislikes facing those around him who only see him for his title, and has given up on a chance to live a normal life. That is, until he spots Lady Clara Masson across the ballroom. Clara's twin sister is the woman who infamously jilted Andrew at the altar five years ago, but little does Clara know, Andrew had been smitten with her since childhood, and he finds her presence a ray of sunshine in a dreary dukedom. 

When Clara's life is threatened by her evil brother, Johnathan, Andrew must do the only thing he can think of to save her: propose marriage. Between Clara's trust issues and Andrew's battle with societal norms, two find romance under dangerous circumstances. 

Hard to put down book. Full of mystery, intrigue, shady characters, heroes, allies, romance, etc. Great read!

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a  fair review.
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