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Once Upon a Tower (Fairy Tales) Mass Market Paperback – May 28, 2013
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*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
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)
Top customer reviews
Here's one for the books - a virtuous hero - yes, readers - Gowan is a virgin. A sexy braw Scottish virgin duke. That fact alone makes this book worth a read. Edie isn't just any old heroine, she's a cello virtuoso who practices for several hours each day. When Gowan and Edie come together, there are some issues to be worked out. He's a work-a-holic and she's a music-a-holic if you will. He's accustomed to order, being obeyed and multi-tasking. She finally gets enough and begins to interfere. To Gowan's credit, he allows her some freedom to adjust his schedule.
**Spoilerish*** But... when Edie can't easily accommodate his size and has ongoing pain and begins to dread the act of marriage, things begins to go awry, especially when she calls in reinforcements in the person of her step-mama, Layla and confides truths about her sexual dealings with Gowan. Oh boy - the fat is in the fire when Gowan learns Edie has faked pleasure and talked with Layla.
I enjoyed this story, but I felt that parts of the storyline were a bit cut and dried so to speak. One good feature of the book is that we get a secondary romance between Edie's father and Layla as they work their marriage difficulties out over the course of the story.
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.
The secondary characters are always charming; the settings divine; the details enchanting.. all in all, a delightful romp that takes me away from the yuck of doing dishes without a working AC in the Texas heat. And that's a task, indeed!
Most recent customer reviews
Gowan the hero was selfish until he thought he lost the one he loved.
The out come was expected.