This contemporary romance novel starts off really well with two people ready to play a role that they not only don’t want but aren’t sure how to play. The characters of Ashford and Jemma are well done and believable for the most part. However, Ashford’s mother is a throwback to the Victorian era or even further. But, if you can overlook her, most of the story is actually fun to read. Ashford and Jemma have two totally different outlooks of life and the world. They were brought up opposite from each other; one with strict rules and the other with more free-spirited parents. So, as they come together to try to make a marriage work, it becomes humorous. I did find that the book slightly drug in the middle but then quickly regained speed towards the end. Overall, I enjoyed the "How (Not) to Marry a Duke".
The Story: Jemma works doing theater makeup. She enjoys her job for the most part though not always the director/producer. When a change at the theater happens due to finances, she finds herself laid off. But, she also learns that her grandmother has died, and she is set to inherit millions if she marries a titled man. Ashford inherited debt and a lot of it. His mother is unaware and keeps right on spending and planning. The bank has called in the loans and if he doesn’t find a lot of money fast, his mother will learn they are penniless. These two people have nothing in common except a solicitor who has a solution to both of their problems. Marry each other! Can they do this? And, how will they do this?
A hilarious romantic comedy perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jo Watson and Meg Cabot.
One minute, Jemma Pears is a struggling theatrical make-up artist in London. The next, she's been left a vast fortune by her estranged grandmother. The catch: she must marry a man with a title to inherit.
Jemma thinks this is truly impossible: she's a romantic, searching for true love, not just a convenient marriage... and besides, where would she even find a titled guy?
Enter Ashford, the new Duke of Burlingham. His legacy: massive debts that he must pay back immediately or risk the bank seizing his assets. Or worse: his mother's wrath!
When their lawyer hears of their situations, a secret match is made despite their mutual hatred of each other: through marrying Ashford, Jemma can inherit and Ashford can pay back his debts immediately. Problem solved. That is, until their marriage is leaked to the press and everyone finds out...
Now they have to play out the charade for at least a year or risk going to jail for fraud!
A hilarious pretense ensues and Jemma must battle against a crazy mother in law, a stuffy aristocracy, and finally, and most surprisingly of all, confusing feelings for Ashford...!