13 September 2012
The Ugly Duchess
How can she dare to imagine he loves her... when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess?
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; it's scandalized by their separation.
Now James faces the battle of his lifetime, convincing Theo that he loved 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 — or War.
[Note: I am reconstituting some blog posts from another, now unfortunately non-functioning, blog for which I wrote romance reviews. Some aren't very complete because I didn't save the full text but I wanted to get them onto this blog somehow on their original review dates. Cheers and happy reading.]
A lovely new Fairy Tale from Eloisa James. I didn't find the story quite as complete as that of Kate and Gabriel from A Kiss at Midnight - there's a great deal of set-up with James and Theo's history but I feel like the "Regency romance" aspect is missing a part of the reconciliation, like I get the odd feeling that the discussion of feelings and more-or-less-required knocking-boots scene got smushed together. (And what about the locket? Didn't Theo keep it? Wouldn't she tell James?)
From a fairy tale perspective, though, The Ugly Duchess is darn near perfect. Both hero and heroine suffer through the separation (great use of psychology without banging us over the head with it in a pre-Freudian setting). And who wouldn't want the spouse whom they thought to be dead to reappear and, to boot, be naughty, dangerous, and hot? Very Princess Bride-like, loved it. I snivelled through the last three chapters.