Rosalie Hughes dreads the idea of begging her stepbrother, the Duke of Banbury, for assistance. But what else is she to do? She finished school two years ago. It was only due to the kindness of the headmistress that she was able to continue living there, especially since her mother, Melisande, stopped sending school fees years ago. In fact, Rosalie has no idea where her mother is. Which explains why she is standing in the rain at the Duke’s doorstep, waiting to see a man she hasn't set eyes on since she was ten and he was fifteen. Wondering if he’s still as handsome, and if he will remember the little girl who tagged along behind him like a puppy. Wondering if he’ll help her.
Declan, Duke of Banbury, is a rake. Filling his nights with willing women and wild nights, he avoids any responsibility. He doesn’t even intend to marry and produce an heir, leaving that duty, and the title, to his cousin's line instead. It might be different if his father hadn't kicked him out when he was only fifteen, choosing his young bride, Melisande, over this own son. Melisande. Could there be a more despicable creature? It’s worth paying the woman a monthly widow’s allowance to keep her dalliances and scandals as far from him as possible.
When Declan arrives home accompanied by his friends and three ladies of questionable repute he is shocked to find Rosalie curled up on his sofa. Upon hearing her situation, he reluctantly agrees to house Rosalie (with his aunt and female cousin to chaperone) and set her up with a substantial dowry. She will have a Season, hopefully catch a husband, and be out of his life again in a matter of weeks. Though somehow, as the days go by, that idea seems less and less appealing.
Rosalie pours her energy into finding a husband, as it’s too difficult to stay under the same roof as Declan. Each time he looks at her she sees the hatred in his eyes and knows that he wants her out from under his roof. The boy she doted on is long gone. Why, then, does she still care for him?
This first book in Jordan’s new series does a fantastic job of introducing all of the characters, not just the hero and heroine. There is wit and humor, as well as deep emotion, in this novel, lending credence to character’s motives and actions. The historical setting is well done, transporting the reader into another time, where a woman's future depended on following societal expectations and behaviors. Overall this novel is extremely readable, and I am looking forward to the next title in the series.
Jordan, Sophie. A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin (The Debutante Files #1). New York: Avon Books, 2014. 4 stars.
Disclaimer: As an Avon Addict I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in the review are mine alone.