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This Duchess of Mine (Desperate Duchesses) Mass Market Paperback – May 26, 2009

83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eloisa James is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. (Her husband is an honest-to-goodness Italian knight!) Eloisa's website offers short stories, extra chapters, and even a guide to shopping in Florence.

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Product Details

  • Series: Desperate Duchesses (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Original edition (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061626821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061626821
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,173 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

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By C. Klaassen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 28, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is book five of the Desperate Duchesses series and it is Jemma, Duchess of Beaumont, and Elijah's, Duke of Beaumont, story. We were first introduced to these characters in book one, Desperate Duchesses, at that time Jemma had recently returned from nine years of self-imposed exile in France where she was rumored to have run rampant. Jemma was a beautiful provocateur and she delighted in tweaking the sensibilities of her seemingly stodgy husband. Elijah, an upstanding member of the House of Lords, had recently experienced a frightening collapse on the floor of the House of Commons. This collapse precipitated his insistence that Jemma return home. It was time for her to settle down and give him an (legitimate) heir.

As the series progressed the characters of Jemma and Elijah evolved. We realized that Jemma cultivated her outrageous reputation. We also realized that this reputation might not be entirely deserved. Jemma acted as she did for two reasons: to pay Elijah back in spades for betraying her when they were young newlyweds and to make sure he did not forget her. Elijah, in turn, was revealed to be a proud man grabbling with making amends to his wife and his own mortality. His public collapse was not his first and not the only sign of his imminent demise. His father died young and Elijah realized his own time was most likely limited. Elijah always seemed to take one step forward and two steps back when he tried to repair relations with his wife.

The book begins with Elijah rescuing Jemma from the king's yacht. (See
...Read more ›
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Kaiser VINE VOICE on May 27, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was tempted to only give this 3 stars because the central relationship between Elijah and Jemma is weak. Eloisa James didn't pull the plot together until almost 150 pages into the book. By then, my mind was wandering. I couldn't figure out (and I don't think James could either) where the source of the tension was in their relationship. Was it the fact that Jemma had left their marriage early on to live in Paris? The fact that they had both had affairs? Was Elijah's work the first priority in his life above his marriage? Would something cause his life to be cut short? They come together again at the beginning of the novel to produce an heir, but they obviously both still love each other. The reader knows they love each other within 100 pages, so I think James scurried around presenting too many ideas in which to keep the plot moving along another several hundred pages. Sadly for me, none of the plotlines were interesting. I've given this 4 stars, however, because there's no doubt that James is a good writer. She knows the Georgian time period well and her writing is smooth and authentic. She doesn't use contemporary language in her prose or in her character's speech. I appreciate that. But, the main reason I began to enjoy this novel was for the character of the Duke of Villiers who is a secondary character. I'm assuming his story is next. James spends quite a bit of time on him and his search for his children in this novel. I'm really looking forward to reading about his frantic search for a wife who will help him care for his bastard children. That looks to be a funny, enjoyable tale. This one, however, plods along at a slightly placid pace.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Anon in Texas on July 28, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
Elijah and Jemma have been my favorite characters throughout this series, so I was quite eager to read their story. However, by the end of the previous book, I was confused as to how Ms. James could get a full length book out of what should have been just wrapping up their story.

And therein lies the problem. The main part of the story had already been told, so she essentially started the story over again, putting them back at square one. As another reviewer mentioned, the characters did not ring true in this book. The stunt Jemma pulls near the beginning of the book would have had me throwing the book against the wall if I had not remembered in time that I was reading it on my Kindle.

I wish she had not written this book. The tale of Elijah and Jemma has been running throughout this series. It would have been far better had she wrapped up their story in the last book rather than ruining their story with this tripe.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lazy Day Gardener on July 10, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'This Duchess of Mine' reminded me why I gave up on most romance novels. It reads as though it were outlined long ago when the series was conceived and then written quickly at a much later date.

It begins in media res - which works only if one has been reading the series. I haven't. James could easily have written a prologue catching up new readers - and perhaps she would have kept them.

The story doesn't go anywhere much, just fills the pages. Jemma and Elijah, the Duke and Duchess of Beaumont, have decided to have sex after a nine year hiatus, and James attempts to make them (and the reader) anticipate the event for a long boring while. Elijah has a fatal heart condition, but the reader who knows James knows that he may Just Manage To Live, so the suspense generated by this is limited.

This felt like the prelude to a far more interesting story - Villiers is a much more compelling character - and I sincerely hope that James takes the time to frame his story in a way that new readers can catch up. Someone will have to kindly drop me a note and tell me how things go, because I won't be taking this path in the future.
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