Marblestone Mansion is set in the gold rush era in the Wild West. This is a feel good story with not a lot of overt distress. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this is only the first book in a long series. You will definitely fall in love with all the vivid characters in the book and want to meet them again and again. Marti Talbott is calling this the Scandalous Duchess series which is a perfect title for the Duchess you will meet in these pages.
Hannish MacGreagor is a Scottish Duke who has been raised by loving parents. He sets out to add wealth to the old title, and buys a silver mine in America, leaving behind his young Duchess. Fortune smiles on Hannish and he makes millions from the sale of his mine. He now lives in Colorado and has built a gigantic mansion adorned with marble in honor of his wife.
Hannish is disappointed to see that only a few of his loyal servants and his sister have arrived from Scotland, and there is a Duchess missing. His beloved Olivia has stayed back in New York for some shopping. At least that’s the only story the Scots are willing to give. Hannish is heartbroken and misses his wife. The Scots slowly try to settle down to life in Colorado.
Hannish’s sister has picked up a stray on board ship who calls herself Sassy. Sassy or Liesel is an orphan who’s had a hard life. She regales everyone with tales from the orphanage. The Duchess arrives and shocks Hannish with her greedy and unpredictable behavior. She abuses the servants and throws tantrums, and it seems she has been cheating on Hannish for a while. The Duke swallows a bitter pill and sends his wife back to England where she is asked to live on meager funds.
Meanwhile, life at Marblestone Mansion is different for everyone. The domestics are flourishing but they can’t ignore the Duke’s grief. Everyone tries to cheer him up somehow.
Marblestone Mansion has a wealth of characters, and I am glad to learn that some of these will be recurring through other books in this series. Even though the Duke is deceived by his wife, there is a lot of fun and laughter through the book. The Scandalous Duchess will return pretty soon though, and might make life miserable for people at Marblestone.