A Must-Read Romance for the Fall from Bookish!

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Maya Rodale takes readers on a journey to the Gilded Age with the first in a new series
Duchess By Design
On Sale: October 23, 2018 

“Rodale’s Gilded Age-set series launch is a smart, bright love story that perfectly balances messages of female empowerment and social potential with romantic tensions created by class and gender dichotomies ripe for revolution.”
“Rodale (It’s Hard Out Here for a Duke) charms with this captivating historical … Sparkling characters, able plotting, and joie de vivre make the first in Rodale’s Gilded Age Girls Club an utterly enjoyable standout.”
Publishers Weekly

In England, the word of the duke was second only to the word of God and no one dared to cross it. If he said that fire was cold, then fire was cold.
But he was not in England.
He was in New York City.
As a leading voice in feminist romance, Maya Rodale has made a name for herself as one of historical romance’s rising stars with her witty and pop-culture inspired Regency romances. With DUCHESS BY DESIGN (on sale from Avon Books, October 23, 2017; ISBN 9780062838803), Rodale takes a brave leap into the Gilded Age, taking her readers on a journey into a new era where there are certainly still dukes, but the times have changed. 
Seeking a wealthy American bride who can save his family’s estate, Brandon Fiennes, the Duke of Kingston, is a rogue determined to do the right thing. But his search for an heiress goes deliciously awry when an enchanting seamstress tumbles into his arms instead. 
Miss Adeline Black aspires to be a fashionable dressmaker—not a duchess—and not even an impossibly seductive duke will distract her. But Kingston makes an offer she can’t refuse: join him at society events to display her gowns and advise him on which heiresses are duchess material. It’s the perfect plan—as long as they resist temptation, avoid a scandal, and above all: do not lose their hearts. In Gilded Age Manhattan, anything can happen.

Defying Tradition’s Review:

#addictive, #dynamic, #womanpower, #amazing, #revolutionary
            Maya Rodale has always been one of those authors I read when I need a strong women character. She reminds women that we are strong, independent, and can achieve anything including finding that one person who doesn’t want to change who you are but is inspired by that person. She writes powerful stories and this new series is no exception to that rule.
                        Duchess by design tells a story of a women that is self-reliant, determined and downright awesome.  Miss Adeline Black dreams of owning her own dress shop and knows some day with enough savings she will achieve that goal, after all she lives in a city built on dreams. Her ideas keep getting rejected by her employer, yet she keeps trying, never giving up. I loved Adeline, she has guts and faith in herself. The cool thing is she was based on a real person! Maya did her research and built a romance story around an untold female who was an inspiration to so many. 
            Now a romance must have a hero so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I loved Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston. He is just trying to do what is right for his family in England. He needs money and so he is doing what has always been done, marring a wealthy bride. That is until he meets a woman that turns all he knows upside down and sideways. What he thought would be an easy trip to America turned out to be a discovery on how the world really works. Adeline shows Brandon what it means to have to work for a goal, to know what passion truly means in more ways then one. These two are so fun together, bantering and learning from each other. The problem is Adeline is not rich and can’t help Brandon take care of all the people he is responsible for. So to find out how these two meet and help on another, and find out if they find a way to be together you will have to read the book! So go grab it now and curl up in that favorite spot to enjoy a fabulous book!!

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Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author of smart and sassy romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.
 Maya has never shied away from putting politics into her books. With DUCHESS BY DESIGN, she has created a strikingly feminist heroine at the upstart of the suffragette movement and the man she brings to his knees. Maya has spoken about feminism in the romance genre in multiple panels, and is available for comment on this topic.
In addition to her bestselling work as a romance novelist, Maya is also a journalist and book reviewer, published by NPR Books, Bustle, The Washington Post, and more.

Maya Rodale talks writing in the Gilded Age and the subversive nature of dresses with pockets
Excerpted from Entertainment Weekly.com on September 19, 2018
By Maureen Lee Lenkler
A lot of your books have direct pop culture ties – have you always been an avid film and television watcher? Why turn to that for story inspiration?
I’m always interested in [the idea that] it’s a book set then, but it’s about us now. They’re [an] escape, but we’re always looking to stories to tell us about ourselves and the world we live in. Bringing pop culture to historical romance is the most natural thing in the world. It makes it relevant and interesting and refreshing to me. I write Gilded Age now, and I love it because the time period allows me to historically accurate but still incorporate what’s happening now in a much more authentic and genuine way.
Speaking of moving to the Gilded Age from Regency, what made you want do that?
I probably shouldn’t say this, but I got tired of the Regency and trying to fit characters and storylines into a time period that wasn’t the most natural fit. And it’s like 20 minutes in the span of human history. It’s wonderful and I still read it and love it and may go back to it, but I’ve written 15 or something Regencies, and I was ready for a new challenge. I still have a duke. He’s a very different duke because he’s in such a different time period where you’re not the most powerful anymore. Your title is not enough in this world — you have to make something of yourself to be worthy of this heroine and this title of hero. I found myself writing more of a story where the hero transforms dramatically. We talk a lot about the heroine transforming in her story, but what if she’s just awesome from page one? What if the story is everyone else realizing it, not her coming into her own?
So this era grants more opportunities and independence for heroines?
Yeah. She’s a seamstress from the Lower East Side tenements, and she aspires to be a dressmaker.  I could have done that in the Regency, but there was a little more mobility and fluidity and acceptance of a woman making her own business. The other aspect is there’s a secret ladies club, the Ladies of Liberty. They’re a mix of female entrepreneurs or society women, and they come together to advance women’s interests, individually or collectively. That’s so Gilded Age. It’s when the women’s club movement started; it’s the progressive era; it’s suffrage. The idea of women forming a club to help other women is so historically accurate to the Gilded Age, but it’s also so the spirit of now.

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