Tag Archives: Eloisa James

Review- My American Duchess by Eloisa James

my-american-duchess

Title: My American Duchess

Genre: Historical romance/Regency

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher: Avon, Jan. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 436

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford— an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.

But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.

The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear:

All is fair in love and war.

***

Merry Pelford is engaged to Cedric but meets his twin brother, the Duke of Trent, and strikes up a conversation with neither knowing who the other actually is. But Trent decides right then that this is the woman he wants for his duchess.  Then they are formally introduced and it is clear to Trent that Merry would really be good for his brother if only he, Trent could set aside his feelings.

This is a really delightful story of an American trying to fit into a role that she feels unequipped to handle and two men who have always competed with each other.  There are humorous moments and also times when everything seems to go wrong. I’m giving this book 4.5 stars because I vacillated between 4 or 5.  It is certainly a page turner that brings a smile.  The main characters are well drawn and the side characters add a bit of sparkle.  The book is too long. That is my opinion.  It could have packed the same punch with a good 40 pages taken out. But I still highly recommend it as a terrific read.

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E-Book on Sale- Paris In Love by Eloisa James

Today on Amazon, B&N for $1.99

Paris in Love

 

From book description:

In 2009, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James took a leap that many people dream about: She sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor, and moved her family to Paris. This memoir chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life—discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another. She copes with her Italian husband’s notions of quality time; her two hilarious children, ages eleven and fifteen, as they navigate schools—not to mention puberty—in a foreign language; and her mother-in-law’s raised eyebrow in the kitchen (even as she overfeeds Milo, the family dog). Paris in Love invites the reader into the life of a most enchanting family, framed by la ville de l’amour.

 

My 5-star Review from March 2012:

I loved this book!! I am a fan of Ms James’ historical romances but I have to say this is my favorite book of hers. Following a diagnosis of breast cancer and subsequent treatments, she packs up her family for a year of living in Paris, France. There is humor in her writing as she has us follow along on the escapades of her precocious ten year old daughter and her fourteen year old son. They alternately love and hate their year in Paris. Eloisa spends time sampling many restaurants, cooking and is a died-in-the-wool people watcher, especially of those Parisian women who dress so exquisitely. Her Italian born husband, Allesandro, is on a mission to master the French language and has a conversation companion, Florent, who wants to speak Italian. Together they help each other to master the languages and we learn of Florent’s unrequited love life.

The year is told through essays interspersed among journal-type entry paragraphs. The whole works very well. I felt like I was walking down the streets of Paris right along with her.

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Review- Four Nights With The Duke by Eloisa James

Title: Four Nights With The Duke (Desperate Duchesses, book #8)

Four Nights With The Duke

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher: Avon, March 2015

Pages: 384

Source: purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia’s audacious proposal, but there’s one thing he won’t give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil’s bargain . . . he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can’t afford to lose.

**

An Eloisa James book is usually a slam-dunk for being a page turner. This one is no exception. We are introduced to our hero, Vander, and our heroine, Mia, when they are teenagers and in an embarrassing situation. The story then picks up years later when Mia, who has sworn to never even talk to Vander again, is in his study proposing marriage. Of course Mia can’t tell Vander the “real” reason for the proposal and so Vander, justifiably, is angry at her effrontery.

In many books, I find I yawn and shake my head at the use of this trope of misunderstanding or blatant holding back of information between characters. In this book it all makes sense that Mia can’t really divulge the reasons for her proposal and why Vander accepts also is totally understandable. So what we have here is powerful writing by a talented author. That these two find common ground is also skillfully accomplished.

This is a sexy, well written, totally engrossing Historical Romance. It is number eight in the series but is a standalone book. I recommend it for all romance aficionados.

 

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Review, Anthology- Talk of The Ton by James, London, Hagen-Lee & Navin

Title: Talk of the Ton

Talk of the Ton

 Genre: Historical Romance/Anthology

Author: Eloisa James, Julia London, Rebecca Hagen-Lee, Jacqueline Navin

Publisher: Berkley Sensation, 2009

Source: purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from authors:

A Proper English Woman by Eloisa James

It’s the story of a reluctant bridegroom (engaged since childhood, and hasn’t seen his fiancée in years), a bride who’s losing her patience, and a wild night in which the said bridegroom meets a wicked, delicious Frenchwoman…or is she?

**Eloisa James does not disappoint in this delightful novella involving misinterpreted comments, scandalous gossip and a masquerade.   This story is well plotted and sensuous. Rating:5-stars

The Vicar’s Widow by Julia London

In 1816 Darien wildly kisses Kate, the Vicar’s wife at a holiday party.   Three years later, he is the toast of the Ton and she is a widow that he still desires. However,(debutante) Emily wants Darien to offer for her, so she spreads rumors to eliminate her rival by turning the Vicar’s Widow into the TALK OF THE TON.

**Emily is young, naïve and has her sights set on Darien, Lord Montgomery but she notices his interest in Kate, the vicar’s widow, and sets about to create scandalous gossip so that she can be successful in her pursuit.  This is another delight of a novella and romance at its best from a genius of the genre. Rating: 5-stars

Clearly a Couple by Rebecca Hagen Lee

Lady India Burton has just returned from years of captivity in a sultan’s harem, her reputation is in ruins.  But she proves a seductive challenge to a staunchly single member of the Free Fellows League.

**Darker than the previous two novellas, Ms Hagen-Lee’s offering concerns a woman who had been kidnapped and forced into slavery and her unlikely return and acceptance into the Regency society.  Not my favorite although well written.  Rating: 4-stars

Miss Jenny Alt’s First Kiss by Jacqueline Navin

Companion to her aunt and cousin, Jenny does not see marriage in her future.  With many believing that she is a man-hater and bluestocking, Jenny’s dance card remains quite empty…until a handsome earl comes to London in search of a wife.

**Rather predictable but still a light and lovely novella. Once again we have a young naïve woman spreading rumors that she hopes will give her an advantage with the handsome lord.  Of course this tactic fails and the hero and heroine manage to get together. Rating 4-stars

Overview: It seems that in anthologies there are always some exceptional offerings and some not so exceptional offerings.  In this anthology we are treated to four novellas that will keep the reader engrossed from the first until the last.

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Review- Three Weeks With Lady X by Eloisa James

Title: Three Weeks With Lady X (Desperate Duchesses)

Three Weeks With Lady X

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher: Avon, March 2014

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized façade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.

Exquisite, headstrong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.

But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.

Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option.

But there is only one thing that will make India his . . . the one thing Thorn can’t afford to lose . . . his fierce and lawless heart.

**

Lady Xenobia India St. Clair is the orphaned daughter of a destitute marquess. She had no money but she had a kind godmother, Adelaide, and a talent for organization and decorating that was wanted by the aristocracy. India and Adelaide spent their time traveling from one estate to another so that India could put to rights each household. That is how she met Thorn Dautry. Mr. Dautry had recently bought an estate in disrepair that he needed fixed up so that he could propose to Lady Laetitia Rainsford. Thorn’s stepmother, Elinore, asked India to accomplish this task in three weeks after which he would hold a house party for Laetitia and both families.

This was a most delightful offering in Ms. James’ Desperate Duchesses series. The banter between India and Thorn is witty and it is accomplished through written notes and dialog. Thorn’s back story as a “mudlark” adds to understanding his nature. India’s past as the daughter of eccentric parents underscores her traits.  Side characters are well developed and add to the story. Ms James brings all the characters to life with distinct personalities. Especially Thorn’s friend Evander Septimus Brody, future Duke of Pindar and Thorn’s six year old ward, Rose. References are made to other characters from the series but this is a standalone novel.

**

Deet’s Life: I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Eloisa James at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival in March of this year. She is a warm, friendly, intelligent woman and signed my copy of Three Weeks With Lady X.

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Eloisa James and Deet

 

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Review- The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James

Title: The Ugly Duchess

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher: Avon, 2012

Source: Library

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke’s passion.

Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months.

Theo would have given it a lifetime . . . until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry.

Society was shocked by their wedding . . . and is scandalized by their separation.

Now James faces the battle of his life, convincing Theo that he loves the duckling who blossomed into the swan.

And Theo will quickly find that, for a man with the soul of a pirate, All’s Fair in Love—and War.

**

This book started out really good and stayed that way until about three-fourths of the way through.  Then it was like it became another book.  The self-sufficient heroine became manipulated by the hero and I just couldn’t believe this would happen.  I knew that Eloisa James would have to bring about a happily ever after but it was like the ending was forced upon these characters that I really liked.

Eloisa James can write stunning romances with delicious protagonists and this would have been one except for the ending.

 

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Review- A Kiss At Midnight by Eloisa James

Title:  A Kiss At Midnight

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher:

Source: Kindle $.99

Rating:  4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Miss Kate Daltry doesn’t believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.

Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he’s anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.

Gabriel likes his fiancée, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn’t love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.

Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.

**

This was most definitely a reimagined CINDERELLA story.  There was a long sensuous build up to the H/h falling in love. Well….it took them two or three days.  Eloisa James is a master at making us fall in love with her heroes and at the same time rooting for her heroine’s happily ever after.  All through the book we are on pins and needles wondering how our lovers will find a way to be together.  This is a fairytale and, delightfully, we are not treated to silliness so often found in books of this sort. This was pure romance; even the godmother was a down to earth breath of fresh air.  The step-sister was lovely not cruel.  The step mother was definitely nasty.  The Prince was hunky and handsome and of course, Kate went from ordinary to beautiful.

Recommended for all romantics.

 

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Review- Paris In Love by Eloisa James

Title:  Paris In Love

Genre: Memoir

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher: Random House,

Apr. 3, 2012

Available for pre-order

Source: Free for review  from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 1

Description from amazon.com:

In 2009, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James took a leap that many people dream about: she sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor, and moved her family to Paris. Paris in Love: A Memoir chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
With no classes to teach, no committee meetings to attend, no lawn to mow or cars to park, Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life—discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another. She copes with her Italian husband’s notions of quality time; her two hilarious children, ages eleven and fifteen, as they navigate schools—not to mention puberty—in a foreign language; and her mother-in-law Marina’s raised eyebrow in the kitchen (even as Marina overfeeds Milo, the family dog).

**

I read almost no memoirs but I am very glad I agreed to review this one.

I loved this book!!  I am a fan of Ms James’ historical romances but I have to say this is my favorite book of hers.  Following a diagnosis of breast cancer and subsequent treatments, she packs up her family for a year of living in Paris, France.

It is a tale of delicious cuisine, and terrible food; of couture lust and sophisticate envy; of precocious kids and truth from the mouth of babes, and the exhaustion of parenting.

There is humor in her writing as she has us follow along on the escapades of her precocious ten year old daughter and her fourteen year old son.  They alternately love and hate their year in Paris.  Eloisa spends time sampling many restaurants, cooking and is a died-in-the-wool people watcher, especially of those Parisian women who dress so exquisitely.  Her Italian born husband, Allesandro, is on a mission to master the French language and has a conversation companion, Florent, who wants to speak Italian.  Together they help each other to master the languages and we learn of Florent’s unrequited love life.

The year is told through essays interspersed among journal-type entry paragraphs.  The whole works very well.  I felt like I was walking down the streets of Paris with her.

I can definitely recommend this book.

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Review- A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James

Title: A Duke of Her Own

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher: Avon, 2009

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:  A duke must choose wisely . . .

Leopold Dautry, the notorious Duke of Villiers, must wed quickly and nobly—and his choices, alas, are few. The Duke of Montague’s daughter, Eleanor, is exquisitely beautiful and fiercely intelligent. Villiers betroths himself to her without further ado.

After all, no other woman really qualifies. Lisette, the outspoken daughter of the Duke of Gilner, cares nothing for clothing or decorum. She’s engaged to another man, and doesn’t give a fig for status or title. Half the ton believes Lisette mad—and Villiers is inclined to agree.

Torn between logic and passion, between intelligence and imagination, Villiers finds himself drawn to the very edge of impropriety. But it is not until he’s in a duel to the death, fighting for the reputation of the woman he loves, that Villiers finally realizes that the greatest risk may not be in the dueling field . . .

But in the bedroom. And the heart.

**

At first we think the Duke will choose Eleanor, then we think it will be Lisette.  He is not fickle just trying to be practical and do the right thing.  Two daughters of Dukes, both are wishing to marry this Duke.  Instead of the usual HR “Season” we have a country house party where two Ladies of the Ton are vying for the hand of the Duke; a Duke who has stated his intentions of marrying.  They are not the usual flighty, vapor-headed ladies but each has an agenda. The Duke does not see what is patently set before him.

I enjoyed the refreshing premise of this romance.  It kept me guessing for a good long read as to who the Duke would eventually marry.  There are hints at secrets that eventually come to light.

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Review-The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James

Title: The Duke is  Mine

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher: Avon, January 2012

Available for pre order

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from back of the book blurb:  Destiny will be decided between the sheets in this all-new tale of “The Princess and the Pea.”

For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick—hardly a Prince Charming—feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, a perfect match for her in every way . . . every way but one. Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia.

Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him— a desire they are both powerless to resist. When a scandalous affair begins, they risk losing everything—Olivia’s engagement, her sister’s friendship, and their own fragile love. Only one thing can save them—and it awaits in the bedroom, where a magnificent mattress holds life-changing answers to the greatest romantic riddle of all.

**

This is a romance with perfectly lovely characters who find life to be complicated in the early 1800’s England.  That they come to satisfactory conclusions is a bit predictable but never the less we cheer for them.  There is romance, pathos, action and adventure.  Eloisa James gripped my interest early on by elaborating on the regency custom of grooming young girls to become wives to the aristocracy.  Many regency romance novels gloss over this aspect but here we are led to understand the reactions of both Olivia and Georgiana by being privy to their upbringing.

Both heroes are flawed, Rupert by his mental deficiency and Quin by his lack of emotional feelings that can be attributed to his upbringing and which Olivia seems to be instrumental in curing.

This was a fast interesting read.  I zipped through the book not wanting to put it down.  I liked the characters and I liked their “character”.  They were good and honorable even if slightly flawed.

 

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