Once a Duchess

Elizabeth Boyce
Once a Duchess
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Crimson Romance
Release Date
October 2012
Historical Romance

Isabelle Lockwood was a duchess, until her husband of only a few months wrongfully divorced her for adultery. Since then she's been a pariah, living in anonymous exile to escape the prying eyes and wagging tongues of the town. More than anything, Isabelle longs for a family of her own, and so has to marry again. But society is ruthlessly unforgiving. To clear her name, Isabelle must face down her past - and the man who broke her heart and ruined her completely.

Marshall Lockwood, Duke of Monthwaite, was blindsided by his young bride's infidelity. After the divorce Marshall licked his wounds, throwing himself into his botanical studies to forget his disastrous marriage. Now his former wife is back in Town, as beautiful and enticing as he remembers. As the Season throws them together again, Marshall can't shake the feeling that Isabelle might not be the adulteress he took her for.

Book Review by preppea (reviewer)
Dec 11, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
221 people found the following review helpful
Fans of Pride and Prejudice will devour this historical romance that does an amazing job of combining realistic actions/reactions for that era with a modern description of the intimate moments between the characters.

Isabelle Lockwood is a spirited, opinionated and talented woman who grew up without the guidance of a mother to explain what boundaries had to be maintained in a male/female friendship to maintain proper decorum. Though perfectly innocent, her relationship with a childhood friend leads to the failure of her marriage, thanks to a meddling mother-in-law who never approved of the match. Unwilling to be kept down by a society that scorns her and a brother who disowns her, Isabelle takes a job at an inn as a cook. A chance encounter with her former husband brings back all the feelings they once shared, despite a wall of hurt and betrayal on both sides.

Elizabeth Boyce does an amazing job of portraying all the nuances of the era while also providing a story that feels fresh and current. Isabelle is the kind of heroine you can be proud of; she has a way of taking all the negative people throw at her and wielding her own way through it – but she doesn't brag about it or throw it in your face. She also doesn't just fall into Marshall's arms the second he arrives – she may love him but she also holds him accountable for everything he says and does.

ONCE A DUCHESS may be a historical romance but it also spends a decent amount of time on the storyline and action. No matter what aspect of the book draws you in to start the book, the story and characters as a whole will keep you fully invested until the final page.
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