Guhrke, Laura Lee. How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days. New York: Avon Books, 2014. ISBN-13: 978-0-06-21189-6. Print List Price: $7.99.
Upon reading the synopsis for this one, I thought it would be similar to Sarah MacLean’s recent release The Day of the Duchess, with the basic plot of a husband wanting to win back his estranged wife. But as is often the case with fiction, this is a case where there is a similar premise, but the two stories go in two completely different directions in terms of plot and character development.
The circumstances that led to Edie making the choice to approach Stuart with the marriage of convenience are laid out in greater detail, and they highlight a problem with victim blaming in situations of sexual assault that persists today.
As a result, the romance between the two is very much slow-burn, and their first sexual encounter, despite happening late in the novel (past the 300 page mark) isn’t all sunshine and roses, the way it often is when a couple in a romance have sex for the first time, giving it an essence of realism that you don’t often see in the genre.
The hero and heroine are both wonderful characters. I love that Stuart is patient and understanding of Edie and how her past affected her. And while Edie was not always the most likable, particularly at the beginning when she had her walls up, I found it refreshing to have a woman who dealt with trauma in her past that was keeping her from finding happiness in the future, after reading too many books with brooding alpha heroes.