Posted in Book Review

Gilded Age Girls Club

Maya Rodale’s Duchess by Design

I was first introduced to Maya Rodale’s work when she was planning to be a presenter at our Heart of Carolina Fall Conference a few years ago. Unfamiliar with her work, I purchased one of her stories and before long I was reading two of her series. She is delightfully funny, witty and imparts a bit of wisdom amid the pages of her romance.

Duchess by Design is a gilded age historical romance set in Manhattan with strong female characters.

What’s an impoverished duke supposed to do? Why marry an heiress of course. Unless he falls for the first woman he meets and she just happens to be a seamstress.

New York is filled with opportunities and Adeline Black is determined to be a renowned dressmaker, not have her name notoriously linked to the Duke of Kingston. When she falls into his arms, Adeline can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be with a man like Brandon Fiennes.  

Nowhere in the world could a duke and a dressmaker fall in love, except maybe Manhattan in the gilded age. “Change the world Duke,” she tells him, but one man cannot change the world, perhaps together they can.

If you like your romance with a bit of rogue and a lot of strong female characters, this is the book for you. There is a lot happening in the world during this time period. The world is changing. Suffragettes, marrying for love, women’s rights, the protection of animals, children and the importance of clean sanitation are on the lips of many. This is a fabulous time in history and a great backdrop for a love story.


I write suspense with a hot romance and a southern accent. I like strong characters with attitude and charm. Heroines who can rescue themselves and heroes who aren't afraid to love them.