Free ePUB Duchess in LoveAuthor Eloisa James –

A pathetic, mocking excuse of a friendship I have yet to come across At least I managed to finish this one Yippee. The only time this book caught my interest was when I read the Author s Introduction at the end I didn t know Ms James was a Professor of English Literature and found it difficult to reconcile her academic expertise with this lack lustre historical romance.The main story was cute a reluctant Duke forced to marry an 11 yr old girl whom he thought was his cousin Within hours of the marriage he flees to Greece, where he enjoys an idyllic life sculpting nude statues of Greek goddesses.He returns to England with the intention of annulling his unconsummated marriage with Gina, who seems to have already chosen a new fianc Things don t work out that easily, however Close childhood friends until the enforced marriage, Camden and Gina are still fond of each other and this fondness continues to grow.The down side of this book is the fussy handling of the gaggle of Gina s merry lady friends Within a page or two I was unable to sort out who was courting or seducing whom, and Gina s continuing attachment to the complete asshole she plans to marry once the annulment is settled is a mystery.The story within a story device of having Much Ado About Nothing performed at a country house party added a little zest to the story, but not much In other places Ms James indulged in long passages of descriptive writing that slowed the narrative to a pedestrian plod. DISCOVER WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A VERY PROPER DUCHESS DECIDES TO MISBEHAVEA DUKE IN RETREATGina Was Forced Into Marriage With The Duke Of Girton At An Age When She D Have Been Better Off In A Schoolroom Than A Ballroom Directly After The Ceremony Her Handsome Spouse Promptly Fled To The Continent, Leaving The Marriage Unconsummated And Gina Quite IndignantA LADY IN THE MIDDLENow, She Is One Of The Most Well Known Ladies In London Living On The Edge Of Scandal Desired By Many Men, But Resisting Giving Herself To Any OneA DUCHESS IN LOVEFinally, Camden, The Duke Of Girton, Has Returned Home, To Discover That His Naive Bride Has Blossomed Into The Toast Of The Ton Which Leaves Cam In The Most Uncomfortable Position Of Discovering That He Has The Bad Manners To Be Falling In Love With His Own Wife Once again, Eloisa James has dragged me out of my reading slump with a beautifully written historical romance that I couldn t bear to put down. Oh dear me what a mess this book was A fitting title would have been Desperate Housewives of the Ton The flow was very jumbled and I found myself going back and rereading sentences a lot The excessive dialogue between numerous characters got very tedious Somehow James lost my connection to these characters The one and only character that I believe had some depth and interest was that of Esme Her and Miles story left me so sad I would give James a 2nd chance and perhaps Esme has a book I so hope she finds a happy ending Too much drama at the end, but, overall, this was the best balanced of the James s books I ve read in that I was into ALL the storylines.I also liked that it depicted the reality that ton marriages weren t always that great, lots of married people didn t live together, slept with other people Don t get me wrong, I love my happy romances, but that realism is something I ve missed in a lot of Regency romances.And it was an interesting take on the estranged marriage trope This was a about a couple who never had a real marriage, so it was about falling in love for the first time With your spouse Which was fun I think I would ve given it five stars if it had had a strong ending. I once had lunch with Eloisa James, in a little caf in Westminster In person, she s elegant, charming, self possessed, occasionally impish and remarkably like the heroine of Duchess in Love.That might be one of the reasons I enjoyed this EJ than others I ve ventured on in recent years It s a sweet little story, at least on the surface Gina, impossibly married to Camden when she was 11 and he 18, has grown up in the 12 years since he understandably ran away from the abusive father who forced them into the union When Camden returns a good natured care for nothing to cheerfully annul their marriage so Gina can marry the upright uptight Marquess of Bonnington, he decides to amuse himself by seducing his own wife The best bits of the book are his encounters with Gina both amorous clear sighted, Gina s a delightful heroine mature, self aware, hard working, empathetic and funny Someone you d like to have lunch with But not, it has to be said, a particularly convincing 23 year old virgin brought up by a manipulative mother an abusive bullying father in law, and abandoned to her fate by her irresponsible husband Who has now decided to play dice with her chances of getting the annulment she s asked for and the family life she dreams of , in order to play hide the salami.The rest of the plot is fairly typical EJ 2 D secondary characters for whom EJ cares little Tuppy and Carola s situation doesn t deserve to be sent up , and several sub plots that will be resolved in subsequent books Eloisa James has written a couple of books I really rate When Beauty Tamed the Beast and A Duke of Her Own They are ones where both H h have a real emotional investment in the outcome, and where the focus is on the MCs and their situation It s a pity she doesn t use that formula often. 3.5 stars This would have been 4 stars but for a couple of things At the very end there s a scene between Gina Cam on the staircase that became a confused jumble in my mind I tried reading and rereading it but it seemed like the author got shy and only wanted to infer what was happening and so the characters seemed to be lying down one minute on the steps no less and the next they were standing and then but you get the idea There s also the scene on the ship where the Gina suddenly appears, again with only an implied transition and no explanation about why she would come aboard in disguise At least, that s what I think she did The other thing that keeps this from being better in my eyes was the Marquise He was fine as the other man because he was a self righteous prig, but casting him in that role made it than difficult for me to understand what Esme could see in him If there s going to be a book that focuses on them, I think I ll skip it.What was fun was that parts of this read like a bedroom farce Though Gina is the heroine apparent, her three closest friends all have marital problems and a fair amount of focus landed on them On the whole, I enjoyed this as I ve enjoyed other Eloisa James novels I will continue to read her books. I m not sure how to explain this book or my reaction to it It was energetic and scattered and not entirely off putting It was saved, for me, by Gina I just liked her, even if I couldn t take her seriously as a character There were too many inconsistencies both with the era and her background to really immerse in the novel but I found myself liking her anyway.Most of the other characters were a dead loss Well, not so much Cam He was sweet, too Which is nice as he was the romantic hero But the others all had Gina s lack of being able to take seriously but without her charm I felt like the author wanted me to care about them I m guessing they feature in the other books in the series but it was too much for the story to hold and kept diverting me away from the parts I was enjoying.A note about Steamy On the high side of my tolerance, though not quite out of it Probably a half dozen explicit scenes that went on a bit And this story element also suffered for having to include the other characters If it had been just Gina and Cam it would have been both fewer and meaningful. More like 2.5 starsThis is my first EL book I was not thrilled about it because I was didn t like how the book ended I won t, however, judge her other books by this and decided to give her the benefit of the doubt since she s so highly recommended by GR members and Julia Quinn I ve already read some synopsis of her other books and I still have high hopes.There are three stories in this book 1 Camden Gina, 2 Tuppy Carola, and 3 Esme s story The only couple without a trace of infidelity is Tuppy Carola which is why it s no surprise that it s my favorite storyline, however minor.When I don t give the book serious considerations, I would say that I liked it well enough because I was entertained It was diverting and it kept me amused and awake during my hours on the train commuting to from work However, when I do give it some consideration the only couple I wholeheartedly like is Tuppy Carolabecause when I think about the other two H h, there s quite a bit I find frustrating What I didn t like 1 The Cheating, Dishonestly, and the Betrayal I hate when people do bad things and essentially get away with it Even if actually, especially if they are the H h and do something low, they need to do something to redeem themselves They didn t here.I liked Cam Gina and I wanted them to be together, but she was a cheater and Cam was her accomplice I mean she was with Sebastian for a while and they were engaged Therefore, even though I wanted her and Cam to have a HEA, I couldn t root for them 100% since they got together upon betraying another though the person who is being betrayed is also a stick in the mud, condescending cheater Just because Seb assumed yea, assumed..not confirmed that Gina was going to stay married to Cam, they are still engaged and committed ergo seducing Esme is cheating I HATE Esme First, because she betrayed Gina, what s worse is how casually Gina forgave her Esme should have come forward the very next day after she and Sebastian kissed, but she didn t Instead she proceeded to flirt and deceive her closest friend It wasn t even that she was caught up in the passion either because she and Sebastian were at it all night Secondly, I felt like Esme broke up her husband from his love by dangling the idea of an heir Lastly, she let Sebastian take all the blame and punishment for something that she was equally responsible for Is Sebastian the villain Were we supposed to hate him and only him Really That s arguable because I dislike him just as much as Esme No, I dislike Esme , to be sure Sebastian tried to be too good for too long that when he finally did, he went bust and it happened the night he was with Esme I felt bad for the bastard actually, I think he got a worse punishment than he deserved.What the heck happened EL wrote these characters to be good people and then half way through they all lost their senses and respectability by listening to their loins instead of their conscience Actually, what conscience None of them felt any real guilt about cheating They just felt shame because they were caught.As a reader, I didn t like that we were supposed to let the whole thing go since in the end the H h got their HEA Are we just supposed to forget that a significant breach of trust occurred It felt like in the end, even though we get to the HEA..I didn t have closure, at least not a clean one because I felt that at some point all four of them Cam, Gina, Sebastian, and Esme needed to repent to say to each other I m sorry I was a deceitful friend I m sorry I betrayed your trust, never mind that you betrayed mine 2 The Ending what a mess So, are Cam and Gina are no longer married right They ve been playing house while in Greece With all the rules of propriety, why wasn t this a concern.What was the point in killing Lord Rawlings He was such a nice man Though I think his death served a purpose for a future book It s as if EL realized she only had 50 pages to wrap it all up and rushed the whole thing but still had crazy plot lines to squeeze in Too much happened the Aphrodite explanation, the brother reveal, Rawlings death, the annulment, trip to Greece, Seb s fake marriage license, etc and it wasn t written to transition well from one to the other..much of it just didn t make good sense.3 The Love Scenes another mess Maybe I ve been spoiled by Lisa Kleypas, but EL s love scenes are the best way I can describe is at times unclear, muddled, and or badly choreographed described I don t know what s happening, because the descriptions aren t communicated well and when the reader doesn t know what s happening well, it s hard to get swept up in the moment EL tries to be artsy in her description and it just does not work Even basic things such as who is standing where For example, when they were in the bath One second they were kissing in the tub, then Cam laid Gina on her back..but where In the water On the floor next to the tub against the tub on the stairs in the chaise There are small details like this that I think EL assumes we can fill which we can but then she describes something that doesn t quite work It feels like EL wants to be explicit and descriptive with fancy wording, but on some parts she changes her mind so she s vague forcing the readers to fill in the blanks It creates a disconnect and it s distracting I don t personally need explicit love scenes to make the stories good but if they are there, they need to be good Don t do it half way.What I liked To end on a positive note, I positively loved Tuppy and Carola They were sweet characters and adorable and in the bedroom they were adorably awkward haha Their story made me smile, laugh, and say aww times than I care to admit.