Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Duchess in Love by Eloisa James

The first in the Duchess series of books by Eloisa James.

A Duke in Retreat

Gina 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 indignant.

A Lady In the Middle

Now, 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 one.

A Duchess in Love

Finally, Camden, the Duke of Girton, has returned home, to discover that his naïve 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!

This book was almost a comedy caper. Gina is married to Cam who has in the past had several mistresses, but she is engaged to Sebastian who may or may not be interested in one of her friends who is married to a man who has a mistress. Passions become ignited as four of our main protaganists find themselves casts in the key roles in Much Ado About Nothing forcing them to spend time together.

Gina and her friends Esme, Carola and Helene are all married ladies, but theirs are no happy marriages. Esme's husband has a long standing mistress that all of the ton knows about, and Esme courts scandal by taking the occasional lover, although she does allow the ton to think that there are more than they are. At this time, Esme is often seen in the complany of a handsome but dim actor. Carola is estranged from her husband, having fled from him after just one month of marriage. She does however realised that she still loves him and she wants to get him back, but she has no idea how to go about this.

As for Gina, she has been married to Camden, Duke of Girton since before she was 12 years old. He scampered out the window minutes after their marriage and they have not seen each other since. She is now engaged to the priggish Sebastian, Marquess of Bonnington, who insists on being VERY proper at all times but now that Cam is back could it be that she is developing feelings for him?

Whilst this book is a lot of fun, there are a couple of things that I wasn't 100% sure about. Right at the end it still seemed as though neither Cam or Gina were aware of what was going on, with it even seeming as though Gina ends up married to someone else at very late points in the book. It also seemed as though there were too many different stories being told in one book. Having said that, I can't wait to read Esme's book which comes in the third book in the series! Can't wait! Can't wait! The strange thing is that this is a four book series with the next book being Cam's cousins story, then Esme's story and then Helene's story. The reason why this is strange is that Helene's link in this book is a bit more tenuous than the others. Maybe it will get stronger in the next two books. It does seem from the author's website that the fourth book was almost an after thought so it will be interesting to see if this is obvious.

Lots of fun, in a house party situation that allows for lots of opportunities for sneaking around.

Rating 4/5


  1. Marg, I loved this book and this whole series, it's what made me a Eloisa James fangirl. She does the "house party situation" better than anyone else.

  2. I don't think I've read James before but I think I'll check this one out. Love house party situations.