by Nan Ryan

February 2005
ISBN: 0-7783-2141-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

Combine the entertaining imagination of a Shakespearean play with the fundamentals of an Edith Wharton novel, and the result could very well be Duchess for a Day. Author Nan Ryan has produced an engaging tale about a woman deciding to use the modus operandi of society’s elite to indulge for the summer. After all she has been through, Claire Orwell feels vindicated in her impersonation of the Duchess of Beaumont. The summer will be spent in luxury. A function every night, hot baths, and a full belly. Most indulgent of all, she will take a lover.

It all began when Claire’s husband died. He’d left plenty of debts and little money. As a result, she had to become one of the working class. Her first governess job had worked out very well. Once Claire was no longer needed in that household, she sought another post. Her second job only provided trouble. Upon declination of her employer’s advances, she was accused of thievery and thrown in Newgate prison. The future seemed dismal. In the end, a piece of jewelry and a prison mate were her saving grace. Claire was more than ready to accept a position in America.

Hank Cassidy was known as the Silver King. Handsome, rich, and eligible, he experienced no want of female company. His summers in Saratoga Springs were spent racing his horses. This visit, however, Hank could not concentrate on the equine performances. A certain Duchess had captured his attention from the moment he’d set foot in Saratoga. To his utter chagrin, the elusive Duchess was not in the least bit impressed with the Silver King. Her apparent disinterest only served to ignite the flame of attraction burning in Hank. Theirs became a game of cat and mouse. Finding out who will be caught first and just how and when Claire’s charade will be revealed adds to the thrill of this book.

Readers will love the latest by Nan Ryan. Duchess for a Day has a strong, intelligent heroine with the guts to go after what she wants and a hero intelligent enough to appreciate her. The anticipation is nearly unbearable which is evidence of Ms. Ryan’s expert storytelling abilities. Do not miss this veritable feast for the romantic at heart, Duchess for a Day.

Reviewed in January 2005 by Rho.

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