Cover of The Heiress Gets A Duke: A woman in a lavish gold ballgown leans on a chair back.

About the Book

Title: The Heiress Gets a Duke (The Gilded Age Heiresses #1)
Published: 2021

First Impressions: Pretty as a Picture
What’s Your Type? 
Thwarting arranged marriages, Bucking societal norms, Adversaries-to-lovers, Progressive Dukes, Strong heroines
The Lean: 
A Slow Burn
We Need to Talk: 
Refreshing Regency
Was It Good For You? 
Coming Back for More

First Impressions: Pretty as a Picture

I love this cover. The rich dark blue walls and that insane gold dress make it feel so sumptuous, and I like that it looks like a high fashion photo done in some museum (that used to be a former rich person’s house).

What’s Your Type?

  • Thwarting arranged marriages
  • Bucking societal norms
  • Adversaries-to-lovers
  • Progressive Dukes
  • Strong heroines

Dating Profile

New-York born heiress, August Crenshaw, is visiting London for the season in support of her recently-married friend, the now Duchess Camille. August and her sister, Violet, were horrified to see how Camille was basically traded away like chattel to an unworthy husband by her father, but they know their parents wouldn’t be so callous. And anyway, August—who adores her hard-won position at their family company, Crenshaw Iron Works and wields her business acumen despite the whispers of her “mannish” ways—knows that she is in no position to catch a husband.

Second-son turned the reluctant Duke of Rothschild, Evan Sterling, is in desperate need of a cash influx to save his ancestral home(s) and the tenant farmers on his land. The boxing matches he secretly competes in to stave off his creditors aren’t cutting it anymore, and while he doesn’t exactly want the wife that will come with the money, but it’s the quickest and easiest way to get what he needs. It may be a little embarrassing to have to debase himself to fortune-hunting, but simply being Duke will do more than enough to keep him respectable and win the admiration of whatever heiress his mother chooses.

Meet Cute

August and Camille sneak out to attend a boxing match where she just so happens to have insane chemistry with a certain confident and dangerous boxer. But why does she feel the same pull towards the impoverished Duke her parents are suddenly pushing her sister Violet to marry?

The Lean: A Slow Burn

From While You Were Sleeping, Bill Pullman explains attraction to Sandra Bullock

Evan is, of course, a smokin’ hot dude, so even though August has zero interest in finding a husband, she is not immune to a chiseled jaw. And some people may find August’s headstrong and independent personality off-putting, but Evan is kind of taken with the spirit he sees in her eyes. There are plenty of obstacles in their way to keep up the slow-burning tension (my fave), and while you’d think the biggest would be that Violet is initially chosen to be his fiancé, it’s actually Evan’s rich-dude-who-was-never-told-no attitude and August’s fierce desire to avoid becoming a man’s property. Real stakes!

Dirty Talk

St. George’s sexy bits straddled a good line between descriptive enough and not overly-wrought. It does take some time for our characters to really come together, which didn’t bother me, but be warned.

A hand guided her hip, as the other slipped between them, finding her aching flesh and stroking her with each thrust, caressing her from both sides. It wasn’t long before the pleasure in her belly was tightening like a spring, coiling and twisting until it had no choice but to explode within her. He gripped her hips with both hands and held her firm against him as he thrust up inside her in several short thrusts before he found his own release.

Ms. Perky’s Prize for Purplest Prose

Teacher types on laptop while talking to student
Typing a romance novel on a computer screen

The author’s writing was refreshingly purple-free. I liked the Crenshaws’ perspectives as American outsiders becoming ensconced in London society and scoffing at some of the more preposterous sounding rules while simultaneously desiring the benefits (more so the Crenshaw parents than Violet or August).  

We Need To Talk: Refreshing Regency

Color me pleasantly surprised with how much I liked this. I was a little worried at first when August and Evan shared a few steamy kisses fairly early on in the plot, because Evan’s initial attitude was very “this rich chick should be grateful because I’m going to marry her for her dough no matter what but at least she’ll be a duchess” and I did not think August should be rewarding such behavior with smooches. But she had her reasons and gave Evan a Darcy-worthy dressing-down that caused him to reexamine his faulty logic. I tend to be picky about my Regency romances, so the less time our male protagonist spends being an alpha-hole, the better.

Making her character American provided a good reasoning for August’s more independent (read: feminist) ways than some novels I’ve read, and yet it didn’t feel too “modern sensibilities in ye olden world” because, despite what August privately thought, she kept getting entangled in an ever-tightening web of propriety and unfair societal restrictions. I found the moments where she and Violet began to realize that their American parents were just as conniving as their British counterparts to be quite affecting. I burned with rage alongside August as she realized she had been out-maneuvered at every turn, even after the idea of marrying Evan didn’t seem all THAT bad once there was mutual respect.

Was It Good For You? Coming Back for More

Chrissy Teigen gesturing "give it to me"

I’m halfway through the second book (The Devil and the Heiress, featuring Violet and Lord Leigh, coming out in June) now and very much enjoying it, so I’m definitely going to have to add Harper St. George—which, btw, is an excellent romance-writer worthy name, kudos whether it’s real or not—to my personal “pre-approved romance authors” list.

FTC Full Disclosure: I purchased my own copy of this book. I received neither money nor peanut butter cups in exchange for this review. The Heiress Gets a Duke is available now.

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.