Duke of a Gilded Age

Written by Suzanne Rogers
Review by Kirsten McQuinn

Duke of a Gilded Age was a very entertaining read. It starts with a young man from Brooklyn, Wesley Parker, who learns that he has become the sole heir to a vast estate in England, the homeland of his parents. The plot moves through his discovery through his acclimation to his new role in English gentry and nobility society. The characters were all rather well developed, particularly Wesley. The action, while sometimes coming a little too quickly, was fun and exciting. It very quickly grabbed my attention and kept me engaged through the whole book.

In particular, the descriptions of the locations, travel, clothes, accommodations, were lush and vivid, something I really admire. The idea of “don’t tell me, show me” was displayed in this novel throughout and added real knowledge to the reader’s experience. I especially liked the way we could see the change from Wesley’s poverty-stricken life before he inherited, to the transition period of living in a luxurious hotel but having worn and outdated clothes, to becoming a very suave and desirable young nobleman.

Some of the discoveries, rescues, and resolutions happened a little too conveniently. But they were not so convenient as to totally defy reason. If the book had been a little longer, it would have worked in perfectly, and I doubt it would have been as noticeable. The book’s fairly short length was really the only reason some of the action seemed a bit too easy.

The real success comes from the author’s grasp of human desires. Is there really anyone who has not wished they were a princess or duke with wealth and power? Rogers tapped into that common human trait and produced an uncommonly fun and well-written novel.

Her approach was not canned, nor was it too derivative from other stories of a similar nature. Overall, I would certainly recommend this to readers who love a good intrigue, some romance, and who are, like myself, hard core Anglophiles. E-book edition reviewed