Sunday 22 January 2012

Review: The Duke is Mine - Eloisa James

Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess.  So why can't he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong and altogether unconventional Olivia?  Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper - albeit intoxicating - flirtation makes her unsuitability even clearer.

Determined to make a perfect match, Tarquin methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion . . . until, in his darkest hour, he begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love.  To win Olivia's hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul - but it may already be too late

Happily Ever Afters Series:
A Kiss at Midnight
Storming the Castle (Novella)
When Beauty Tamed the Beast
Winning the Wallflower (Novella)
The Duke is Mine
The Ugly Duchess
Seduced by a Pirate (Novella)
Once Upon a Tower (2013)

Visit Eloisa James' website for more information

From the minute she was born it has been Olivia's destiny to become a duchess - she has been promised by her parents to marry Rupert, the future Duke of Canterwick.  Alongside her twin sister Georgiana she has been trained to be the perfect duchess but it was always Georgiana who excelled in their classes.  Olivia is too loud, too crass and too curvy to be a "proper" lady.  She isn't thrilled about being promised to Rupert, he is 5 years younger than her and due to a lack of oxygen at his birth he acts even younger than his age, but he is a nice boy and she does care for him. 

Quin is looking for a wife who will be the perfect duchess, after marrying once for love only to have it end in disaster he is now determined to marry for more practical reasons.  In fact he is happy to let his mother chose his new wife to make sure he doesn't make the same mistake again.  When Georgiana is selected as one of his potential brides and Olivia accompanies her to stay with Quin and his mother things get rather complicated.  After all Georgiana is most suited to become his duchess but for some reason Quin can't take his eyes off of Olivia and the attraction definitely isn't one sided.

I never normally read reviews for books that I have on my to read pile but I made a mistake and stumbled across a couple of pretty negative reviews for The Duke is Mine.  So Despite the fact that I really loved the first two books in the Happily Ever After series I was wary about even picking this one up.  I'm glad I put my reservations to one side though because I did really enjoy the story, I loved the relationship between Olivia and Quin and would have missed out on a treat if I hadn't given it a try.  Olivia and Quin are perfect for each other, she brings out his more playful side and teaches him to laugh and have fun again while he helps to tone down her most outlandish behaviour (in public anyway!).

I've seen complaints that Olivia makes fun of Rupert because of the issues with his mental health and I can kind of see where they are coming from.  There was a section where she was talking to Georgiana and they were saying some pretty mean things but I think Olivia was just sounding off her disappointment to the person she was closest to.  Whenever anyone else spoke of Rupert in front of her she always defended him fiercely so I can forgive her for her private conversations with her twin sister.  There was another part that made me slightly uncomfortable but that was down to the actions of Olivia and Rupert's parents who I felt behaved despicably.

Overall I was enjoying the banter between Olivia and Quin far too much to not love the story.  The Duke is Mine is a retelling of The Princess and the Pea, it didn't seem to follow the story line of the original tale quite as closely as the first two books did but the main elements were all there and it was enough to make it recognisable.  I think Olivia and Quin are actually my favourite couple from the series and I can't wait to get hold of The Ugly Duchess when it is released later this year.  If you are a fan of historical romances and you enjoy a good fairytale retelling then you can't go wrong with this series.  I'm definitely a fan of Eloisa James and am planning on checking out some of her other series as well as this one.

Source: Received from Piatkus in exchange for an honest review

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