A woman in a ballroom stands in a dark green ballgown taking up most of the cover.

About the Book

Title: The Duchess Takes a Husband (The Gilded Age Heiresses #4)
Published: 2023

First Impressions: Gimme Gimme
What’s Your Type? Happy Widows Freed From Abusive Marriages, Sex Lessons, Finally Having Good Sex, Women’s Suffrage, Fake Engagements
Meet Cute: An Indecent Proposal
The Lean: I’m A Safety Girl
We Need to Talk: Length
Was It Good For You? Get It, Girl!

First Impressions: Gimme Gimme

This series is a fancy dress trend I can get behind, even if in my heart of hearts I doubt any of these main characters would ever be wearing this dresses in their stories. Green is one of my favorite colors, so this hits for me.

What’s Your Type?

  • Happy Widows Freed From Abusive Marriages
  • Sex Lessons
  • Finally Having Good Sex
  • Women’s Suffrage
  • Fake Engagements

Dating Profile

Meet Camille, a young American heiress whose wedding to a fifty-year-old Duke was the impetus for the very first book in the series. This dowager Duchess is newly single and ready to mingle (and will quite possibly never settle down again, because who wants to give up their autonomy in this kind of economy?), and she’s doing scandalous things like seeing her friends as much as she wants and joining a gentlemen’s club, specifically one owned by her BFF’s husband and his half-brother.

That half-brother is Jacob Thorne, the illegitimate son of an Earl and quite the charming ladies’ man. Not wanting to rest on his laurels, he plans on expanding out from the club business to the cabaret business. Pretty former duchesses are off the table, even if one in particular is constantly hanging about playing cards and drinking Scotch at his place of work.

Meet Cute: An Indecent Proposal

Camille believes she has only one lingering issue stemming from her marriage: she doesn’t like sex, and the poor darling thinks that’s her fault. So she goes to Jacob, the only man who’s made her feel anything lately and whose conquests always seem to leave satisfied, and requests a favor: that he teach her how to enjoy sex. After all, if she can’t get off with a man THAT hot, then it obviously means something about her is broken. (That’s…not how that works, Camille, mon petit chou.)

The Lean: I’m A Safety Girl

Camille and Jacob are already harboring secret crushes on one another prior to the start of the novel, so while it’s not “instalove” there certainly isn’t much needed to push these two into “head over heels” territory. So, of course, that means our drama must come from the “but I promised myself I’d be single forever because of my parents’ messy relationship; I CAN’T possibly fall in love and get married!” school of romance tropes. Their love is more sweet heat than spice, as Jacob realizes he needs to go above and beyond to make Camille feel safe and cherished by her partner instead of being used like a 1900th-century blow-up doll (did I mention how much I hate her husband??).

Dirty Talk

You did hear me when I said this book was about sex lessons, right? Harper St. George does a nice balance of sweet romance and sexy moments, but the hottest by far was when Jacob takes Camille to “THAT” room at the club and helps her work through her sex issues in front of a mirror. Now sure how much they could really see through all the steam! *eyebrow waggles*

Ms. Perky’s Prize for Purplest Prose

His lips against her ear, he said, “Watch yourself come all over my fingers.”

Her eyes flew open. When had they fallen shut? She was stretched out like a wanton. His knees were between hers, holding her open, and she half lay on top of him, her head supported on his arm. One hand gripped his forearm so hard she left half-moons in his skin with her fingernails . The other held his hip as she pressed herself very rudely back against him, her hips arching and writhing as she chased his touch.

We Need To Talk: Length

The series’ fans yelled out a battle-cry of “Justice for Camille!”, so even though her abusive shithead of a husband died in the arms of his mistress in the previous book, the author agreed to their terms and tacked on a fourth and final book to her Gilded Age Heiresses series so the beloved friend of the Crenshaw family could get her happy ending. I love that!

I am not quite as enamored with the story itself, even though it was enjoyable and nice to see Camille working through the trauma associated with an emotionally abuse marriage and come out the other side. The first 50% sped by pretty quickly, but somewhere around the middle, as Camille got more into her suffrage meetings and Jacob was constantly denying his feelings, it started to drag a bit and never quite recovered for me. This is one of those times where I think there needs to be a story length somewhere between a novella and a “regular”-length book. (A term for this probably exists, but I don’t feel like going down a Google rabbit-hole. But for fellow fan-fiction readers, I think you know the exact length I’m talking about. (That’s what she said! Ba-dum-dum.))

Was It Good For You? Get It, Girl!

I’m happy Camille found a better life, and if you’re looking for low-drama and high-return on feels, this will be perfect for you. I think this was the right time to close out this series and leave these ladies to their happy endings.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Berkley Books. I received neither money nor peanut butter cups in exchange for this review. The Duchess Takes a Husband is available now.

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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.