Ashley March’s debut novel features a particular theme I really enjoy: second chances. When done right, it can be very satisfying to see two lovers come back to each other. I can say that Ashley March does it well.
Three years ago, Phillip’s best friend, Ethan, ran off with Phillip’s fiancée. In revenge, Phillip wooed and married Ethan’s younger sister, Charlotte. Phillip and Charlotte were friends before he set out for revenge and after one glorious night (their wedding night), Phillip told Charlotte that she was just a pawn and he used her for revenge. Since then, Charlotte has taken her revenge out on the oh-so-proper Phillip by dragging the Rutherford name through the mud with all her scandals. And now she wants a divorce. She can no longer stomach being married to Phillip. But she hasn’t noticed the changes in him, that he’s been trying to win her back. And even when he kidnaps her, she truly doesn’t believe his claims that he’s changed. Can Phillip win his wife’s affections back?
Phillip and Charlotte. Two very wounded people. Two very proud individuals that didn’t want the other to get the upper hand in their unfortunate marriage. I have to admit, I empathized the most with Charlotte. You see, she fell in love with her childhood friend and when she found out he didn’t love her, was only using her, it broke her heart. And it remained broken for three years. Even when Phillip changed the way he acted towards her, she knew better. She knew exactly how good he was at pretending and she had no way of judging if he had really changed or if this was another ruse on his part. So even though Charlotte still doesn’t trust Phillip for the majority of the book, it makes sense and I didn’t feel like she gave in too easily. In cases like this, the hero has to do some major groveling, and I was more than happy with Phillip and his actions.
And Phillip. Here’s a man who knew exactly how much he screwed up and was trying to make things right. Although he still had a ducal attitude about the whole thing, Charlotte more than gave him his comeuppance. And that’s why Seducing the Duchess really worked for me – Charlotte. She’s such a strong character!
I am giving this debut novel a 4 out of 5 and eagerly look forward to Ms. March’s next book.