First off, I just want to say that why the title brings to mind that dreadful “romantic comedy” with Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, the plot of the book bears no resemblance, save that there are ten days involved. Sometimes I think publishers actually want people to be put off by their titles.
Unusually tall and with her reputation in tatters, American heiress Edie Jewell had not had any luck finding a suitable husband, despite the aid of London’s premier matchmaker. With only a short time left of her first season before she has to return to New York and face the society that condemned her after a foolish misstep, she met the impoverished but charming Duke of Margrave. He needed a fortune and someone to help him to restore his many estates and take care of his many grasping relatives, not to mention to make it possible for him to return to his adventures in Africa. Edie desperately needed to make a good match, so she never had to go back to America. She boldly proposed to Stuart, promising him her enormous dowry, as long as he promised to travel to Africa as soon as she learned to manage the estates, and never return.
Stuart stayed away for five years, but when his valet is killed by a lion and he also barely survives, he decides that it’s time for a change. While Edie has excelled at taking care of his family, tenants, land and estates, barely thinking of her absent husband, Stuart has frequently through of the remarkable woman he left behind. He returns to England, wanting to have a true marriage with his wife, building a proper legacy with her to leave their children. Edie is horrified, and insists he agree to a legal separation. If he doesn’t agree, she’ll leave him. Stuart suggests he be allowed to change her mind. In the ten days before her ship leaves for New York, he get the chance to charm her. If she willingly kisses him before the ten days are up, she gives up on the separation idea. Edie’s younger sister, Joanna, is determined to do her best to help him, not just because she seems to think her brother-in-law will keep her from being sent away to finishing school.