Saturday, February 2, 2008

Duchess in Love Review

Book: Duchess in Love
Author: Eloisa James
Category: Historical
Grade: B-
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!

I picked up Duchess in Love based on the synopsis but was disappointed to find that in addition to Gina and Cam's relationship (the main romance going on) there were about three to four other relationship threads taking place in the book as well. This made for an interesting yet bothersome read.

Gina and Cam married when Gina was 12 and Cam was 18. Directly after the wedding Cam took off for Greece and hasn't returned until the start of the book, 12 years later. And he only returns to grant Gina an annulment so that she cam marry someone else.

Though Gina is married to Cam she is engaged to Sebastian and plans to marry him as soon as the annulment is final. The relationship between Gina and Sebastian is a strained one because Sebastian is very focused on Gina keeping up a good reputation before they marry. Sebastian also seems to lack the passion for Gina that she craves.

Cam returns to find himself passionately attracted to the wife he left behind years ago. The young girl that he ran away from has turned into a spirited woman and Cam, though he knows he shouldn't, can't help but entice Gina into compromising situations.

Meanwhile, Gina's friends, Esme and Carola, have their own relationship mishaps going on.

Esme is married but separated from her husband, Miles, who has a very public mistress that he lives with. The situation does not bother Esme at all because she was never attracted to her husband and never actually wanted their marriage. Esme being the beautiful woman that she is, attracts the attention of many men of the ton, including Gina's fiance, Sebastian.

But Esme believes that it is time to give her husband the one thing that he's always wanted, an heir.

Carola is separated from her husband also. She ran back to her mother's house after the wedding night because she wasn't prepared for the marital duties. Now Carola wants her husband, Tuppy, back. But she is daunted, sure that he does not want her anymore, and instead wants her friend, Gina.

There is also a slight mystery plot taking place while these events are unraveling.

To say I was cross eyed by the end of this book would be an understatement. I guess I wasn't prepared for so many relationships in one book. Duchess in Love is more of a ensemble cast, so for anyone who likes that type of book then this would probably be a good read for you. James does a great job of intertwining the lives of all the characters, but for me it was just too much.

I would give this book a C, but since the writing was good and I enjoyed the main relationship between Gina and Cam I gave it a Grade B-.



  1. Wow, that does sound like a lot to keep track of, but at least the writing was good. Sometimes beautiful writing can be enjoyable, even in the midst of chaos.

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    Honestly, the good writing was the only thing that kept me from tossing the book aside.

  3. I haven't ever read James before, but it sounds like a bit of a soap opera. Have you read any of her other books? If you have, any that you'd recomend?

    Seriously, Tupper? As in Tuperware, or "likes to Tup"... :)

  4. Hi Jill!

    This was actually my first Eloisa James book. After I read it I told my friend my feelings about it and she recommended going with James' earlier work. She felt that her first books were better as far as the romance went. So if you're looking that might be a good place to start.

    And I thought the same thing about his name. It was hard for me to take a character named Tuppy seriously.

    Thanks for stopping by. ;)