My American Duchess by Eloisa James

The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford – an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés. 
But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.
The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear: All is fair in love and war. — Avon, 2016

Book Review:

Merry Pelford is independently wealthy, smart, funny, and busty.  You more than understand the Duke of Trent’s instant infatuation.  Trent’s burly physic, annoyance with polite society, (although I don’t know how insulting Merry and America at every chance makes the English ‘polite’, but it does give the opportunity for a great lesson on how to deal with bullies) and love of Merry’s directness and wit, makes the attraction mutual, despite Merry being engaged to her third suitor.  Between her past engagements and intelligence, you would think Merry would be a bit more cautious or at the least do a thorough background check before agreeing to another engagement, but no.  Putting Merry in the bind of breaking yet another engagement and being socially ruined in America and England or living the rest of her life in a loveless marriage.

The steamy sex scenes of the third act smooth over the drama of Merry’s wedding day and her spouse’s refusal to love her, despite moving hell and high water to have her, and makes the story overall enjoyable. –(High) Borrow it

Devil in Spring (The Ravenals #3) by Lisa Kleypas

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger. 
After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain. -Avon;2017

Book Review:

Pandora’s need for independence, refusal to obey any man and vivid imagination, makes her a character you can’t help but fall in love with. As the male protagonist, Lord Gabriel St. Vincent found out for himself. St. Vincent’s acceptance of Pandora and his desire to respect her wishes for independence, will have you screaming for her to soften her stance and just marry the man already! Pandora’s curiosity and adventurous nature make for some pearl grabbing scandalous sex scenes.  That same temperament puts Pandora directly in harm’s way as well as helps her to save the day.

Which this book did for me, by looking past the romance of marriage to point out the real world ramifications of marriage for women in the Victorian area.  That they become the property of their husbands with no rights of their own. And by breaking the monotony of damsels in distress or unworldly wasps in need of a man’s protection.  Or annoyingly contrarian female leads who would have been better off left to spinsterhood. -(Low) Buy it!