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Once Upon a Tower (Fairy Tales) Mass Market Paperback – May 28, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, knows time is money. Therefore, when it comes time for Gowan to select a wife, he wastes not a moment negotiating with Lady Edith Gilcrest’s father for her hand in marriage. Once Gowan has his future duchess lined up, it’s off to Brighton for an important business conference. When Gowan receives his first letter from Edith, he is delighted to discover his fiancée shares his sensible nature, since Edith spells out exactly what she expects from their marriage, though there are hints that she has a rather sharp sense of humor. Upon finally catching up with Edith, Gowan is prepared to finish ironing out the practical details of their future together, only to discover that after one kiss, he is hopelessly—and quite impractically—in love. The latest splendidly sexy fairy-tale romance from bestseller James is inspired by “Rapunzel,” with a generous dash of Romeo and Juliet. The result is a symphony of delights for romance readers, a lyrically written love story graced with richly nuanced characters and generously seasoned with the author’s incandescent wit. --John Charles

Review

Praise for ONCE UPON A TOWER“Exquisitely written, insightful, hilarious, and sometimes bawdy, this adroit, offbeat, music-laced, Shakespeare-infused take on the classic Rapunzel story will put cello-playing into a whole new light and a tower on every woman’s wish list.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“Eloisa James delights again with a story that’s both sophisticated and sweet, featuring layered characters who walk right off the page and into the reader’s heart.” (BookPage)

“James’ twist on Rapunzel sweeps readers away into a fairy tale full of deep emotion while exploring the themes of self-imposed imprisonment, family relations, love, marriage and what is at the heart of any relationship. James wraps big themes in a wonderfully romantic story, beautifully written, intelligent and unforgettable.” (RT Book Reviews (top pick) 4 1/2 Stars)

“a symphony of delights for romance readers, a lyrically written love story graced with richly nuanced characters and generously seasoned with the author’s incandescent wit.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Eloisa James’s writing is absolutely exquisite. She is one of the brightest lights in our genre...her writing is truly scrumptious.” (Teresa Medeiros)

“Eloisa James writes with a captivating blend of charm, style, and grace that never fails to leave the reader sighing and smiling and falling in love. Her style is exquisite, her prose pure magic. Nothing gets me to a bookstore faster than a new novel by Eloisa James.” (Julia Quinn)

“Eloisa James is extraordinary. With her sensuous and elegant style, inventive plotting and warm, human characters, she makes every book a treasure. A novel by Eloisa is a delicious treat that shouldn’t be missed. A wonderfully original voice in romance fiction!” (New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleyps)

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Product Details

  • Series: Fairy Tales (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Later Printing edition (May 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062223879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062223876
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #510,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A reviewer from USA Today wrote that she "found herself devouring [Eloisa's] book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"; People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Eloisa wrote her first novel after graduating from Harvard, but alas, it was rejected by every possible publisher. After she got a couple more degrees and a job as a Shakespeare professor, she tried again, with much greater success. Over twenty best-sellers later, she teaches Shakespeare in the English Department at Fordham University in New York City. She's also the mother of two children and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.

For info about books, visit www.eloisajames.com Or ask a question on Facebook (where Eloisa spends entirely too much time): https://www.facebook.com/eloisajames And then drop in on her very romantic, very Eloisa Tumblr blog, a labor of love: http://eloisajames.tumblr.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By M. Rondeau VINE VOICE on May 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Once upon a time, an extremely wealthy laird, Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, decided it was time to marry and beget an heir. He could have his pick of any maiden at the numerous balls he's attended, but they were all dainty, English noblewomen who he really didn't think would be suitable for the harshness of the Highlands. But then he spied Lady Edith Gilchrist, a bewitchingly lovely emerald-eyed beauty with golden locks, so demure and quiet, he knew he must have her!

"Edie" as most knew her, wasn't sure what she was doing at her own debut ball for she was truly ill. Edie went through the motions, smiling demurely but the morning after couldn't remember whom she had met or danced with. To please her father and based upon his recommendation, Edie accepts the Duke's proposal the next day. However, after a rather scandalous note from her fiancé, Edie responded in kind with her own note specifying what she expected from marriage. And so the lines were drawn!

*** Talk about fun! I absolutely loved ONCE UPON A TOWER and Ms. James dynamite leads as well as Edies's uniquely lovable, step-mother Lady Layla Gilchrist, and Gowan's precocious step-sister who were the icing on the cake! Right from the start, after the ball when Edie had to ask her step-mother (as Layla sneaked in to smoke her cigarillo blowing the smoke out Edies window) whether the Duke was handsome or not, gave me an inkling of what would be coming.

Ms. James being the genius word smith I've come to expect uniquely started the two leads [who knew nothing about the other] to communicate with each other with some very creative and in my opinion, very humorous correspondence. Gowan laid out his expectations and Edie, who's passion up until then was her music, responded in kind!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kristy&Debbie Birch on May 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a romance reader I am always looking for and expecting a fairy tale ending. Once Upon a Tower is the fifth book by the incomparable Eloisa James that takes inspiration from well-known fairy tales. Tower is a combination of Rapunzel and Romeo and Juliet. The story features a pair of very young opinionated lovers; one a order loving Scottish Duke and the other an English Lady who is also a musical prodigy. The two meet and are engaged within hours, from there they share some highly enlightening and entertaining letters. They begin falling in love with each other after their second face-to-face meeting. And then they get married. Once Upon a Tower is really about what happens after the wedding; how do these two self-assured lovers deal with love, intimacy, disappointment, and the adjustments that come with all marriages. Neither the duke nor his lady have a good example of marriage to draw from; his parents died when he was young and her father and step-mother, beautifully written and engaging secondary characters, are experiencing marital difficulties as well.

Once Upon a Tower delivers not only the expected fairy tale references but also several unexpected Romeo and Juliet references (that sneaky Shakespearean professor). The real magic of Tower is that the reader is rooting for all the characters and can sympathize if not empathize with them. This is a fairy tale that shows the ups and downs of real-life love and marriage, making it not only a satisfying and inspiring but wonderfully relate-able read.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Letitia on May 28, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rating: B+ ... Heat: Warm

Lady Edith Gilchrist was brought up to be a proper English lady. The only daughter of an Earl, it's no surprise that her debut is a resounding success. Edie, who is a talented musician and spends every waking moment with a cello between her legs, is considered a diamond of the first water. She has an almost ethereal glow to her as she dances that night and, coupled with her quiet demeanor, she's what every young man simply can't resist. If only that glow wasn't due to a fever and her quietness due to her head being too foggy to think, let alone speak.

Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross and all-around big, tall and strapping Scotsman, is drawn to Edie immediately. The usually responsible and rigid Duke is overcome by her beauty and grace. Two dances and he knows he has to have her for his Duchess. And, after convincing her father to agree to a betrothal, Gowan starts a one-man crusade to convince Edie he's the man for her.

Edie, who often has to play the part of peacekeeper between her father and stepmother, is not easily won. In order to avoid the mistakes her parents made, she decides to be open and honest with her fiancé. So she writes him a letter, and he writes her back, and the two have what is one of the most open and honest betrothals. If only it didn't quickly start unraveling once they say `I do'.

Because Edie has one of the worst first times ever on her wedding night. Pain, discomfort, and a man who can go and go when all she wants is for him to stop and stop. So, naturally, to get the pain to end, she decides to pretend to have an orgasm. And then continues to fake it the next few times too.
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