Laura Lee Guhrke's "How To Lose a Duke In Ten Days" (#2 in the "American Heiress in London" series)

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days: An American Heiress in London - Laura Lee Guhrke


Edie Jewell came from the States to London to snag a titled husband with her huge dowry. But she only wants a "white marriage" because of a traumatic rape that she suffered back home, and which ruined any prospects for marriage there. Stuart, the Duke of Margrave, is willing to do this because he needs the money, but wants to go back to Africa to explore and lead safaris. So they have a deal where Edie looks after Stuart's estates and family, while Stuart is off exploring.  Unfortunately, after 5 years of this, Stuart is almost killed by a lion and decides to return home to England to look after his family and his estates, and try to convince Edie that their deal should be discarded. 


At first Edie wants no part of this and even buys a ticket back to the USA for herself and her younger sister, leaving in ten days.  So Stuart, who has no idea of the real reason for Edie's insistence on the original deal, has 10 days to try to convince Edie to stay with him and make a real marriage. 


That's the premise of this beautifully-written love story.  As another reviewer stated, Stuart is the most patient lover ever as he makes one strategic move after another to get into Edie's heart. But the game changes completely when he finally realizes what Edie is up against.  


Of course they finally get their HEA, but not within the 10 days of the title. Edie's difficulties with love and especially the physical aspects of love are given a really believable treatment in this story, but Stuart finally wins her over. The last chapters seemed a little rushed, with a brief subplot about how Stuart delivers payback to the guy who raped Edie and brings Edie's father into the story too, somewhat briefly. Edie's 16 year old sister is a charming minx as she also does her part to get Edie and Stuart together. Overall, a wonderful story, one of the best by Laura Lee Guhrke that I've read.