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Karen Harper, author of American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt

Bullied into marrying the aloof Duke of Marlborough by her indomitable mother, Alva, heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt loves another. But a deal was made, trading some of the vast Vanderbilt wealth for a title and prestige, and Consuelo, bred to obey, realizes she must make the best of things. At Blenheim Palace, Consuelo is confronted with an overwhelming list of duties, including producing an “heir and a spare,” but her relationship with the duke quickly disintegrates.