Monday, January 5, 2015

An American Duchess by Sharon Page



Reviewed by Tabatha


I was captivated from page one by An American Duchess, and I really must admit that Sharon Page truly knows how to write an exceptional book with remarkable attention to historical detail. I found the time period fascinating, because the book takes place just a few years after World War I has ended. And in my honest opinion, this is a time period we don’t see often enough these days in romance. I also found it especially appealing how she revealed that the consequences of war are difficult to deal with even several years after the fact. The cast of characters were definitely interesting to say the very least, and as a whole I enjoyed them immensely. But for as much as I loved these aspects of this book, I regretfully must admit that parts of it were infuriating for me as well.

I know that three stars (truthfully it is a 3.5) does sound rather harsh when I absolutely adored the first 70% of this book. I honestly thought up to that point that it was really a fantastic read, but unfortunately I didn’t appreciate the direction the book took after that level was reached. I just felt that Nigel and Zoe went through something difficult for even the most established of relationships to endure, and that these two didn’t have a solid enough foundation to pull their way out of that black hole of despair they were both sent into… not once…but twice. The most disappointing aspect for me overall though, was that the heroine literally turns into the most aggravating selfish twit that I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. (I know…strong emotions here, but I liked her and she upset me so I feel justified) She made decisions that were solely based upon what she desired while demonstrating nothing but careless disregard for her husband’s feelings. Because of this, I really detested Zoe towards the end of this book. I would have thought given all she had endured would lend my feelings towards the opposite and tug at my heartstrings, but it was really unfortunate that I couldn’t move past her careless actions to support her. The end result was that I didn't enjoy the last third of this book, and I nearly didn’t finish it.

Overall, I feel this story could have been much shorter and this would have not only strengthened the book as a whole, but it would have also prevented my negative feelings towards the end as well. I have no doubt in my mind that with a few tweaks here and there An American Duchess would have been a complete hit out of the ballpark for me, but sadly it struck out. I don’t want anyone to think that my review is completely negative here, because there is still quite a lot to love about a good deal of this story. I think you should judge the book for yourself in all honesty, because Page did an outstanding job up until the tipping point for me. As goes with all reviews, reading is subjective so definitely give this book a try and you might be surprised just how much you’ll enjoy it.

*I received a review copy from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.*

If you'd like to check out more about this or other books by Sharon, please head over to her website.

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