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A Duke of Her Own (Desperate Duchesses) Mass Market Paperback – July 28, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 184 customer reviews
Book 6 of 8 in the Desperate Duchesses Series

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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. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at www.eloisajames.com.

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Product Details

  • Series: Desperate Duchesses (Book 6)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; 1st Printing edition (July 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006162683X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061626838
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Leopold Dautry, Duke of Villiers' story has threaded through each book of the Desperate Duchesses series. And with this, the final book in the series, Eloisa James delivers her most delightful tale yet. Taken separately each element is nothing new, but James breathes new life into old tropes, weaving a tale of secret babies, secret lovers and just plain secrets with lyrical and at times blunt prose. The interaction between Villiers and his son Tobias is funny, but also sweet in that way only dialogue between fathers and sons can be. I won't spoil who the heroine is, but she is more than strong enough to deal with Villiers. After four books of watching him grow from cold, bored aristrocrat into something infinitely more caring and more human, it is a delight to watch Villiers fall in love. I closed the book with a smile on my face. And have been grinning all day at the memory of it. If that's not a great read, I don't know what is.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read many of Ms. James books, and although I enjoy them I always feel that they require a real commitment. Her novels are usually interwoven, and you often have no idea what is happening unless you have read them all. It can be quite exhausting, and not always fun. Are these stories well written? Yes. Are they historically accurate? Yes. Can you tell that Ms. James is a well known Shakespearean professor and expert? Yes. Do these stories always work as romance? No. So you can understand why I put off reading a "A Duke of Her own", not because I didn't think it would be great, but because I don't look to her for romance, for great storytelling definitely, but romance, she is often a hit or miss.

A Duke of Her own was a pleasant surprise. The book is extremely well-paced and focused on the couple at hand. Although Villiers feels confusion, his confusion is paced on his sense of duty and honor, not on his feelings. Our heroine is amazing, and realistic. The book really explores love, and what it means to have a broken heart, in a way that is intimate and realistic. This is a romance novel in the best possible sense. It's one of those books that reminds you of your first love, and may help you realize that first love doesn't always mean best.

This is a book for your keeper shelf. The romance isn't scorching, but its heat will keep you warm for days, and the insights into love will last with you much longer.

P.S. Although the back of the book doesn't make it clear who Villiers belongs with, YOU will know within the first few chapters.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was less than thrilled with James' last book. For the first half of that story, This Duchess of Mine (Desperate Duchesses), I entertained the notion that it might be my last in this Duchess series. But, lo and behold, James began to include quite a bit of the Duke of Villiers background and dilemma in the latter half of that book. He was one of her more interesting heroes in this series. So, I bought A Duke of Her Own and started reading with cautious hope. With each page I turned, I was enthralled more and more. This book is brilliant. James is back to her very high standard of writing with this final story in the series. Leopold is a marvelously complex, virile, masculine hero...totally yummy. And the true heroine (like the other reviewers, I won't provide a spoiler here) is one of the most courageous, strong yet vulnerable, wonderful heroines I've enjoyed in a long time. Villier's choice between two women for the role of wife provides the tension in this book, and I'll warn you, it lasts throughout the story. But, the ending is completely satisfying. The plot does include the Duke's search and rescue of his children, but most of the storyline centers on the love story. This is a touching, well-written, stand alone romance. There's no need to backtrack and read the others in this series if you haven't already. A Duke of Her Own is truly one of the best books I've read this year.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is written in that light-hearted manner that one expects of James; however, it is too similar to "A Kiss At Midnight," which I read a little while ago, having never read an Eloisa James novel before (A Duke of Her Own is my second).

The whole Cinderella theme can only be played out so much.

A lot of reviewers did not want to disclose who the true female lead is, I wish they had. I started reading this book feeling as if Lissette would be the lead not Eleanor, which spoiled it even more for me, this constant anticipation -who will be the main female protagonist?

But the worst part was the competition for the male protagonist. May be I am getting old fashioned in my early thirties; however, I just do not like women competing for a man; it is not a representation of the romance genre for me. I read romances to feel chased (you know - escapism); I do not read them to want to chase a man.

Eleanor changed her dressing style - went out of her comfort zone to gain this man's affection. That is something I do not condone. It borders on desperation (and she pining away for a long lost love, determined never to marry - now after 10 min of conversation with the Duke, she is determined to change). Not my cup of tea!

If you are considering buying this book, the best advice I can give you is to ask yourself what appeals to you in a romance. Lightheartedness? O.K. you have it here. But if you like the more traditional novel where women do not compete for one man's affection, then this is not for you.
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