Book Tour & Review: How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Cuhrke

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days in return for my honest review. This does not in any way reflect upon my review. All thoughts/opinions of this novel are 100% my own.

From USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke comes the story of a bargain, a marriage of convenience…and the chance for love to last a lifetime

They had a deal…

From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she’s delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent.

But deals are made to be broken…

By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family’s enormous debts, and Edie’s terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it’s time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart?

Book Excerpt: The image of her moonlit face, as luminous and smooth as alabaster, flashed across his mind, as vivid now as it had been that fateful night at Hanford House—so vivid, in fact, that despite his many efforts over the years not to think of her, he’d failed more often than he’d succeeded. It had been her image that invaded his dreams during his delirium-filled fever, not the dangerous events that had nearly killed him. Even now, he could hear her voice clearly, so resolute and uncompromising.  That you never, ever come back.  Well, as he’d told her then, never was a long time. Circumstances changed, and plans went awry. His certainly had. He turned on the carriage seat, grimacing as he shifted his weight onto one hip and stretched out his leg. The sea voyage from Mombasa to Constantinople hadn’t been too bad, even without Jones. He felt another grimace of pain that had nothing to do with his leg, and he put his valet out of his mind. Jones was gone, and there was nothing he could do about that. He focused on the pain in his leg instead. That was easier to bear. On the ship, he’d been able to move about freely, but trains and carriages were a different matter. The muscles of his thigh had knotted up before he’d even reached Rome, and by now they were so constricted that he felt his right leg must surely be at least an inch shorter than his left.

“What happened to your leg?”
 Stuart glanced at the girl seated opposite him. “Do you always ask impertinent questions?”
 That made her grin. “All the time. It drives Mrs. Simmons mad.”
“I don’t doubt it. But to answer your question, I was mauled by a lioness.”
 Her brown eyes went wide. “Really? How exciting.”
Stuart settled back in the corner of his seat, giving her a wry look. He unknotted his tie and removed his collar stud, something he’d been longing to do ever since he’d put them on. Nothing like a stiff, tight collar to remind a man of all that was wrong with civilization.

“It wasn’t the least bit exciting, my dear girl,” he assured Joanna as he dropped his stud into his pocket and pulled apart his collar. “I almost died.”


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

My Review:  To start with, based on the title alone I was expecting something completely different. When I first began reading, I was expecting there to be no depth to the characters. I was expecting a flighty heroine who did outrageous things in an attempt to make either ward off another suitor that had come calling while her husband was away, or for her attempts to be at persuading her husband to leave her in peace again.

What I was not expecting, was a wonderfully romantic story about a young woman with scars that have not healed trying to fend off a man, who was not only equally scarred (although in a physical sense) but whom was hell bent on claiming her love. 

Unlike most historical romances that I have read, How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days featured two main characters that both had the proverbial "skeleton in their closet". For Edie, it was the circumstances surrounding her "ruination" in America that kept her from being receptive to a man's advances, and for Stuart, it was a physical condition that completely altered the course of his life. To me, their flaws are what made them unique. I was drawn to them due to the fact that at first Edie flees when seeing her husband has returned home. She not only leaves him standing on the train platform, she also formulates plan to leave him for good, something that is usually unheard of in this type of setting. For his part, Stuart engaged me because of the fact that he would not give up on his wife regardless of the "wall" she put up around herself, or because of the fact that she, for all intents and purposes, was going to go into hiding, leaving him not only alone, but without an heir. 

Throughout the course of this novel, you learn a lot about the two main characters. You learn exactly why Edie spurns the advances of men (and why she keeps her younger sister close), and exactly what depths Stuart is willing to go to win her love (bribing her sister is among them). The hopeless romantic in me rejoiced in all of the ways Stuart used to win Edie's love (and his ultimate gesture that he hatched with his friends definitely won me over). This was not a man to give up, or to tuck his tail between his legs and go back to the way things were before. This was a man who know what (and who) he wanted, and who would spare no expense in getting what he wanted. 

The actions and reactions of the characters made this story come alive for me. I could honestly believe in them. I felt their joy, their sorrow, their loss and their fears. I wasn't just reading a novel, I was living it!

You can Purchase your very own copy of How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days from: AmazonBarnes & Noble ITunes


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  1. And thank you, Krystal, for this final, honest review of the three romances on this tour. I, too, thought the plot I read about in the blurb was unusual and that intrigued me. There have been so many Regencies written that when I find a new twist on the traditional, romantic courtship in that era that I want to grab the book and begin reading it asap. :-) This one sounds delightful. Thanks for the post.