Duchesses in Disguise
Duchesses in Disguise contains three very different stories that all spring from one small accident. Three noble ladies traveling incognito are stranded after their carriage is damaged in a storm. When a local gentleman and his two companions come upon the accident, they immediately offer their assistance but the women are hesitant to reveal their true names to these good Samaritans.
Each story focuses on a matched couple who seem totally wrong for each other but somehow discover commonalities that they can build relationships upon. Grace Burrowes focuses on the academic side of love in her story, with a scientist matching wits with an intelligent Italian duchess who prefers his practical side. Emily Greenwood takes a more humorous look at a rogue meeting his match in a woman unwilling to play at his games of love. These two shorts highlight how first impressions are rarely the correct ones and that to know someone intimately can take time.
The highlight of the collection is Susanna Ives’ story The Love of His Life. Lady Mary Alice, Duchess of Pymworth is only just out of mourning for a husband she loved very dearly, and due to the accident she’s reunited with Colonel Nathaniel Stratton, who treated her very poorly during her début season. Stratton used to run with a popular crowd in London but his attitudes about social status have been changed after surviving the war in France. When he rescues Mary Alice he immediately apologizes and clears the air between them. They find that they like spending time with each other but she is torn about her new attraction towards Stratton and remembering the love she had for her husband. Added into the mix is a special needs child who doesn’t understand or handle change well. How Mary Alice and Stratton find understanding and love together is a special and heartwarming story.