Saturday, January 23, 2010

Review - A Duke of Her Own

Title: A Duke of Her Own
Author: Eloisa James
Publishing Date: July 2009
Genre: Historical
Rating: A
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

A Duke of Her Own is the 6th book in Eloisa James' Desperate Duchesses series. Lady Eleanor finds herself as one of the two women the Duke of Villiers is considering for his bride. The Duke has six illegitimate children who he plans to openly accept into society and he needs an appropriate Duchess who would be able to ease their way. Eleanor had her heart broken when her childhood love, The Duke of Astley was forced to wed another. Eleanor hasn't been able get over him and deep within her heart believed that he would come back to her. The Duke of Villiers awakens a part of Eleanor she never knew about herself and she finds herself most intrigued by his outrageous ways.

This was my first, ever book by Eloisa James and I absolutely adored it! I don't know how she has managed to give me the slip all this time, but I must remedy this situation immediately. James' writing is oh so very smart. The characters are just down-right bold and clever, but it is all held within the historical time period. Also, the pacing of the book is sublime. The balance between internal characterization and external action is perfect. The secondary characters were all just wonderful too. I mean really, I was just blown away by this book!

Here is a small snippet of the writing. This little scene in the beginning of the book between Eleanor and Villiers had me chuckling.

He looked her directly in the face. "I have six illegitimate children."

Eleanor felt her mouth slip open, and snapped her teeth together. Was she supposed to congratulate him? "Oh," she ventured.

"I wish to marry someone who will not only mother my bastards, but launch them into proper society when the appropriate time comes. The Beaumonts have assured me that no woman below your rank will be able to cow the ton to the extent that I demand. You needn't look so surprised. I assure you that many men at this ball have a bastard or two being raised in the country."

There was something extraordinarily annoying about the way he paused after that, as if expecting her to scream and faint. "One or two... versus six," she said musingly. "I gather you have led a life of rather extraordinary dissipation."

"I'm not as young as I look."

"You don't look very young," she observed.

"I see you're not expecting to charm your way into a title."

Essentially, the Duke was a careless and selfish man who made bad choices. Something happened to him in a previous book and on his deathbed he made a promise to God that he would take care of his children. Now the Duke is trying to turn over a new leaf and has plans to become a family man. The beauty of this story is that his transformation is very believable because he still does outrageous things. Plus with Eleanor he has finally met his match. She's not ever going to just fall at his feet and worship him. She matches wits with him and keeps him comfortably challenged. A Duke of Her Own is a true gem and I highly recommend it!

Here is what others had to say:

Musings of a Bibliophile
Medieval Bookworm
Monkey Bear Reviews
Bookishly Attentive
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Love, Romances and More

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.


Randi said...

Hi Jill,
Great Review! I just ordered this on paperbackswap.

Penelope said...

Hi Jill! I LOVED this fact, I kept re-reading it over and over again because I loved it so much. I have read quite a few of EJ's books, and this is by far my favorite. Great review!

~ames~ said...

I've read all the books in this series except this one! Believe me, all the other ones are good too. My fave though is Duchess by Night. Looooved that one. :P

I know how you feel about EJ giving you the slip. I'd never read her before that first Desperate Duchesses book. The good thing with her is that she has such a nice backlist.

Maija A. said...

If you liked it, you really should read the other books in the series. Then you'll be able to see what Villiers was up to before this story. Book by book I was waiting for his book and finally this was published. EJ definitely has a unique writing style and if you liked this, you are going to like the rest of them too :)

Christine said...

Jill, you're killing my wallet here! I have one Eloisa James novel on my TBR shelves, but haven't picked it up. I know this particular series is very popular, so I really want to jump on this one. This book sounds really fantastic, actually (love that scene)... but I'm going to be crazy about it and start with book one. Crazy, huh?

Thanks for the review!

Jill D. said...

Randi - Good thinking! You are sure to enjoy it!

Penelope - It's definitely a keeper and one to re-read from time to time. I'll have to purchase a copy eventually, since I got this from my library.

Ames - Oh you definitely have to read it. I looked at her backlist a couple of days ago and already started making lists. I plan to read more of her work - for sure!

Maija - When I started reading it I was like "Eeek! This is not the first book!" But it was too good for me to stop reading. I'll eventually go back and read the other books.

Christine - LOL! That's what I am hear for - to keep you in rags since all your money will be going to books. I don't think you are crazy at all. I am going to go back and read the other books too!

nath said...

I've read this series on and off. This author has also been hit and miss, but after reading your review, I think I should pick this up very soon :D Thanks for the snippet!

Jill D. said...

Nath - I hope you enjoy it! I think you are in for a treat!