I enjoyed Katie MacAlister's Ashling Grey Series and thought I would give her non-supernatual books a try. I picked this one because the concept was interesting. A modern day woman agreeing to live as a Victorian Duchess for a month. Everything will be period for that month, no electricity, no modern plumbing, servants to do everything from cooking and cleaning to dressing and bathing the family of the house. And yes, there are corsets. Just that alone had me interested in the story. Ms. MacAlister's sense of humor and the way her main character, Tessa, uses her wit and sarcasm to address her situation kept me smiling if not laughing. As for the sex in the story, Ms. MacAlister can write one heck of a good sex scene. As for the surprising part, it came early in the story and I wasn't sure how it would play out. Tessa is not a petite woman, she comes out and says it she's a little chunky. I could relate to her body image issues. The way she reacted to some situations is exactly the way I have. She's not comfortable in her own skin. She may have accepted that this is the body she has but she's not confident or secure that others will see past her outward appearance and see who she is. She uses her sarcasm as a way to protect herself from being hurt. How this plays out in the story had me looking at myself and helped me address some of my body image issues. I was not expecting that. It was a very pleasant surprise.
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