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wealhtheow

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The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
Marblestone Mansion, Book 1 (Scandalous Duchess, #1) - Marti Talbott Hannish MacGreagor inherited an impoverished Scottish dukedom. Instead of living an idle life in debt, he moved to America and made a fortune in Colorado silver mines. Now a wealthy man, he has asked his family to move to America as well. To his consternation, only his sister arrives--his wife stopped in New York to shop. Increasingly disturbing rumors reach him, from her cruelty to their servants to her adultery. At last, the infamous duchess comes to Colorado.

It was at this point that I was surprised. Estranged couples in historical romances tend to fall in love with each other. I'd assumed that the rumors were all misunderstandings, or that the duchess was playing some long game. In fact, she is even more awful than Hannish's servants let slip. He sends her packing back to Scotland, then mopes around his large marble mansion because he's fallen in love with one of his maids but he's against divorce. This was the other unexpected aspect of the book: Hannish and his romance take up a tiny number of pages. Most of the attention is on random other characters the author seems to assume the reader already knows and likes. There's more detail in what each servant packs in their picnic baskets than there is on the romance.