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Duchess by Design

(The Gilded Age Girls Club #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  207 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
In the first novel of Maya Rodale's enthralling new series, an English duke vows to make an American seamstress his duchess...

In Gilded Age Manhattan, anything can happen...

Seeking a wealthy American bride who can save his family's estate, Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston, is a rogue determined to do the right thing. But his search for an heiress goes deliciously awry
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Avon
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I've given this an A- for narration and a B for content at AudioGals

Duchess by Design is the first entry in Maya Rodale’s new Gilded Age Girls Club series of historical romances, set – not surprisingly – in New York’s Gilded Age at the end of the nineteenth century. While the premise – an impoverished duke who needs to marry money falls for a penniless woman instead – is a well-worn one, Ms. Rodale gives it a fresh coat of paint while also encompassing the many changes in society that were hap
Blodeuedd Finland
Have I ever read a romance set in the Gilded age? I honestly can't tell. I think not. I have read historical fiction set then, but no romance. Oh and where is that tv series they talked about that would be set at this time? I need it.

Adeline is a seamstress with big dreams of her own shops, and she has this crazy idea in her designs. Pockets! Yes I told you that she is insane. Pockets, like why would women need pockets? (oh this makes me so sad, we still do not get pockets. I need pockets.) Her
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have read quite a few historical romance novels, but only one other that was set in the Gilded Age. When I found out about Duchess by Design being set in America as opposed to the usual setting of Britain, I was quite intrigued. Duchess by Design was a surprising read for me. I loved the focus on independence, feminism and chasing dreams.

Brandon, Duke of Kingston, is broke and is in desperate need of a wealthy wife to make amends on his estate. His search for a bride brings him to America whe
Tracy Emro
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounded up.

Brandon Fiennes, The Duke of Kingston needs to find a rich bride, he inherited a failing estate, two unmarried sisters and a mother with an expensive sense of style. He consults with his cousin Freddie and is told that if he wants a heiress, New York is the place to go hunting.

Adeline Black is a seamstress with dreams of opening her own shop and creating her own designs, her dreams do not include love, marriage or handsome dukes - until a chance meeting in a hotel lobby. Sh
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I try to make a point of reviewing the books I win, but I'm so afraid that my myriad of thoughts about this book will never get organized into a coherent review that will do this book the justice it deserves. I'll give it try anyway.

I adored this book. It's so well-written and relevant. Adeline was a wonderful heroine. She has goals that don't involve getting married, but instead revolve around her talent and passion as a dressmaker. Kingston, or the duke
Erica Chilson
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads

4 Stars.

Duchess by Design is the debut in The Gilded Age Girls Club series, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment.

Just a decade until the turn of the twentieth century, the world is changing. Women are striving to find a voice and a life to call their own. Taking place in a thriving New York City, many impoverished entitled peers are flocking to America to marry heiresses to fund their failing dynasties bac
Connie Fischer
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
White’s Club, London - 1895

Brandon Alexander Fiennes has just become the fifth Duke of Kingston. The man is broke and needs to marry a wealthy woman. When his father died, Kingston was left with huge debts, estates needing monetary support, his large ancestral home, Lyon House, his widowed mother, and two sisters. With him at White’s is his cousin, Freddie, Lord Hewitt. The two had grown up together are best friends. Now, Freddie is suggesting that Kingston consider a marriage of convenience, bu
Sissy's Romance Book Review
Duchess by Design by Maya Rodale is the First book in The Gilded Age Girls Club series. This is the story of Adeline Black and Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston.
Brandon has inherited a Title with some rundown estates which are in need of money to repair them. Then he has a mother with expensive taste and two sister that will need to soon have their 'coming out'. So what Brandon settles on is getting a heiress wife which leads him to run into Adeline. Adeline is a seamstress who out to desig
Vicki (MyArmchairAdventures)
Thank you @avonbooks for sending me an advance copy of Duchess By Design in exchange for my honest opinion. I’m going to preface my review by saying that I compared this book to other books in this genre. It’s not fair to analyze a Regency Romance and compare it to a literary work of art. Things that I liked and that were unique about this story....
📖 It is based in The Gilded Age of the US which I learned was a term that Mark Twain coined. The era immediately following the end of the Civil War
Joanna Shupe
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic. Full of Rodale's wit and feminist spin, set in the glitz and glamour of New York's Gilded Age. I loved that the feisty American heroine designs dresses (with pockets!). The hero is a stodgy duke looking for an heiress to save his crumbling English estate. This was a fascinating look at class politics at the time, as well as the contrasts between the Victorian Brits and the Gilded Age Americans.

It's a fun, easy read with plenty of steam. I devoured it!

*I was given an adva
Miranda Kenneally
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was so good! I loved it. Especially the girl power.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is quite new regarding to the plot as far as regency romances go, mostly because I think that I have never read about the marriage between a Duke (even if impoverished) and a seamstress, so I enjoyed it even if I thought that it was not particularly well written.

Questo libro per essere un regency romance ha una trama piuttosto innovativa, perché non ho mai letto di un duca che si sposa una sarta e quindi tutto sommato mi sono divertita anche se secondo me non é che sia scritto particol
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the setting, and I'm always a sucker for a dressmaker story. This was a good beach read for me, handsome dukes, pretty dresses, and women's rights issues. However, and this is a big However, I really hated the anachronisms in speech. ("Inquiring minds want to know", "unmentionables in a twist", etc.) Maybe I'm too much of a stickler, but I like my historical novels to revel in their time period and to not play footsie with modern slang and speech. If I want modern speech out of place, I' ...more
In a letter from the author, Rodale explains her research and the few changes that she made to incorporate the very real issues of the day pertaining to activism in terms of female empowerment and choices: from snippets of speeches to the very real “Dollar Duchess’ phenomenon, to a society that provided options heretofore unknown to women for their own self-determination. And each of these moments played an important part in this story and in the progression of Adeline on the way to making her d ...more
Roses R Blue
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars as reviewed at Roses Are Blue:

It’s 1895, and New York City is abuzz with talk about the young and handsome Duke of Kingston visiting from England, rumored to be looking for a wealthy bride. When the duke, Brandon, discovered just what a financial shambles he inherited from his father, he decided to sacrifice his own desires and marry for money. Since English heiresses are few and far between, he travels to America, where they are plentiful. When Brandon literall
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duchess by Design is the first book in The Gilded Age Girls Club by Maya Rodale. I am happy to report that I enjoyed this book so much that I am determined to read all the future books in the series.

Brandon Fiennes, the Duke of Kingston always thought he would marry for love. But when his father dies and he takes on the Dukedom he also takes on a very run down estate, plus the responsibility of his mother and two sisters both needing dowries and all 3 needing the best of fashions. In desperate n
I do not think I have ever read a historical romance that takes place in the Gilded Age. Plus it is staged in New York City versus the typical city of London. Double ding! I was drawn in by the whole scene Maya Rodale paints! This book starts out like so many do-a rogue Duke is in need of a duchess. And not just any duchess, the Duke's estate is failing, so she has to have a sizable dowry. What transpires is a wonderful tale of independence, dreams, and a notable women's movement.

The Gilded age
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is my first historical read with the Gilded Age as background. So I discovered a lot, I was a little like the Duke, learning a whole different world.
Adeline Black, the seamstress with a dream of becoming a dressmaker is really a very intriguing young woman, she does not give up, she sizes opportunities and wants most than everything to keep her freedom, why she can’t think to marry and relinquish her hard won money to a man.
She has a heart of gold, as she does not only work for herself but al
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this story. The characters were well thought out and had a lot of dimension. However, I was not all that enthralled with the book. I found myself sort of skimming through some parts. It felt more like a love story to women's rights than anything else. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it but it just lacked a certain something to me.

In the beginning I was highlighting so much because it resonated with me. It was like an ode to women everywhere. A lot of the problems Adeline faces are probl
Maria Dariotis
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Duchess by Design
by Maya Rodale
book one in The Gilded Age Girls Club series.
This is the story of Adeline Black and Brandon Fiennes, the Duke of Kingston.
Brandon is a Duke that has inherited a dukedom that needs to replenish the coffers, estates that need major renovations and tenants to worry about. That’s not his only worry, his sisters soon to be coming out and a mother with very expensive tastes. So whats a man to do? Find an Heiress to solve his worries.

Brandon travels to America and lit
Tony Haile
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best romance novel I've read all year!!! This was my first Gilded Age romance novel after having read a ton of regency romances and I love the updated time period! The romance is still the center of the book, but the heroine Adeline doesn't wait around to be saved by the Duke or his money. She defines her own path with the help of a club of pioneering ladies and the story is all the better for it. So often in the romances I read the man doesn't change and it's the woman who has to change to ...more
Diane K. Peterson
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. A thoroughly enjoyable book with a lovely message about determining what is most important in life. On one level it is a rather typical story about an impoverished duke that comes to America to marry an heiress. But what happens when he immediately begins to fall in love with a poor seamstress? This hero and heroine have quite a struggle to find a path to their HEA.

I liked Adeline's spirit and direct way of dealing with things. The duke was a better guy than he even knew he was. They
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
i am new to this author, Maya ... great cover ... i love the cover purple. so so much!! i did win this book in a giveaway on Goodreads ... so happy to always find new authors to me ... i will read more from Maya soon enough. great writing style. i read a lot of books on my kindle but i really enjoy picking up a book and just holding in my hand ...this is a perfect fit for me ... size wise .. perfect fit. it is the small things in life you know. great read. love it!! ( ;
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, arc, historical, romance
2.5 stars. I skimmed the second half. The duke was super dense and his character growth arc was clumsily handled, and on top of that I didn't buy the romance--they're half in love after 30 seconds of insubstantial flirtation in an elevator.

See The Duchess War by Courtney Milan for a more successful execution of the "a duke learns to recognize his own privilege" arc.
So I have agonized over my thoughts on Maya’s new book. Because it isn’t BAD, this was a fun read. I loved all the amazing historical details and lady-positive plot points (and consent-positive sexytimes). But I just didn’t believe that, beyond the Instalust, Kingston and Adeline deserved their HEA. They didn’t spend very much time together aside from a walk in the park and a meeting or two and a few nights out on the town. We don’t really get to know them as a couple. So while this is a really ...more
Emily S.
Cute story, with very likable characters. I enjoyed it! Actually, the only thing I don’t really like is the cover. It looks weirdly photoshopped, but that could just be the kindle edition.
Jen Davis
Review to come.

*ARC provided by publisher
Duchess by Design is the first book by Maya Rodale set in the gilded age of New York City. Here everything is possible, even a working class girl, like Adeline Black, getting the attention of a British Duke. Said British Duke, is Brandon Fiennes aka the Duke of Kingston who happens to be in New York in search of an heiress wife. Inevitably, readers know they will get their HEA, but its how they get there that is the fun part of the book. Both Adeline and Brandon had to change perceptions and cir ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Can I tell you how much I loved this book? I loved it! It was amazing! It was amazing because it was original and different largely due to this being set in the Gilded Age while retaining all the lovely aspects of Regency period romances.

Maya Rodale always has strong or at least likeable heroines and the heroine in this story, Adeline is the epitome of a goal-oriented, determined, yet extremely humble and lovely, heroine. Adeline is a “working girl” and an aspiring dressmaker. She meets our her
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, historical
Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 10/28/18.
"A woman wears seven pounds' worth of dress and hasn't a spot to put anything! We need rational dress. Shorter skirts. Looser corsets. More pockets. Then we shall take over the world."
(The struggle is still real. My most comfortable work pants HAVE NO POCKETS. None of my skirts or dresses have any. And women have not yet taken over the world. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.)

Maya Rodale has a new series set in a new time period, y'all--and it's so good.
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Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the author of numerous smart and sassy romance novels. A champion of the romance genre and its readers, she is also the author of the non-fiction book Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation Of Romance Novels, Explained and a co-founder of Lady Jane’s Salon, a national reading series devoted to romanti ...more

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