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Duchess by Night Paperback – 28 May 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340961082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340961087
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'More posh totty from the 18th century behaving disgracefully'. (Daily Mirror on AN AFFAIR BEFORE CHRISTMAS)

An evocative tale of love and life' (Inside soap on AN AFFAIR BEFORE CHRISTMAS)

A cheeky and evocative romp through the lives of the eighteenth century A-listers. Good characters and authentic settings...will have you laughing and cheering in equal measures (Bookbag.co.uk on AN AFFAIR BEFORE CHRISTMAS)

'Entertaining and exciting throughout [with] enough seduction, laughter and surprises . . . to satisfy even the most demanding fans of historical fiction.' (Publishers' Weekly on AN AFFAIR BEFORE CHRISTMAS)

It's charming, cheeky, funny and sexy and I know I'll re-read it in the future. And of course I'll definitely be reading more of Eloisa James's books. Highly recommended (even if you don't think it looks like your kind of thing!) (Trashionista.com on DESPERATE DUCHESSES)

It's guaranteed to get me hot under the collar . . . Bravo for Eloisa (Fiona Walker on Much Ado About You)

'Sheer joy from beginning to end.' (Carole Matthews on Much Ado About You)

Book Description

Exuberant, witty and sexy escapist fiction for fans of Jilly Cooper

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Book Gannet TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 May 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The third book in the 'Desperate Duchesses' series differs from the first two. In those a large ensemble cast surrounded the main romance, enriching the Georgian world that James has created. 'Duchess by Night; however, focuses more tightly on Harriet, widowed Duchess of Berrow, and the scandalous Lord Strange.

Having said that, this tale of gender-swapping, scandal-brewing, game-playing fun is my favourite of the series so far. The brief glimpses of Harriet in the previous books did nothing to endear her to me, but here she is a pleasant surprise.

A quiet country widow who's tired of being pitied and blamed for her husband's suicide, Harriet is all too happy to assist her friend, Isidore - not-quite Duchess of Cosway - in creating a scandal to fetch her errant Duke home. But how can a virtuous duchess' reputation survive a visit to the licentious estate of Lord Strange?

With the help of the Duke of Villiers (becoming more and more likeable by the book), a new wardrobe and some creative tailoring Harry Cope is born, and Lord Strange is left battling a bewildering attraction to one of the prettiest men he's ever met.

Filled with James' glorious wit and keen eye for detail, Harriet and Jem's story is a delight, from the ridiculous - parrying Kitty's amorous advances, learning to ride astride, trying to assess her bottom in comparison to Strange's - to the delightful - anything with Eugenia, fencing lessons, Villiers - a wonderful romance is built between the two. And both characters learn to face up to the past, as well as regain hope for the future.

James' work just continues to get better and better, and this whole series is excellent.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Helen Hancox TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 July 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is dedicated to Georgette Heyer and it becomes apparently fairly quickly why; those who have read Heyer's 'The Masqueraders' will be familiar with the central theme of this book, that of a woman disguised as a man and finding herself befriending a man who eventually sees through her disguise. In this story the disguised woman is the Duchess of Berrow, a widow of 27 whose life has become rather boring and staid. When her friend Isidora wants to create a mini scandal she decides to attend a house party at the home of Lord Justinian Strange, and asks Harriet, Duchess of Berrow, to go with her. They are also accompanied by the Duke of Villiers, a man that Harriet has previously hated but who begins to be revealed as someone rather more likeable than she thought.

Of course Harriet can't attend the house party as herself as her reputation will be ruined. Isidora and the Duke of Villiers together help her to dress as a young man and she is introduced as Mr Cope, a relation of Villiers'. As Harriet settles into her new role she begins to find the freedom that men have - not only in terms of less restrictive clothing and the ability to say what they mean without excessive politeness, but also in discovering enjoyment in galloping horses, learning to fence and more. But can she keep her identity secret, can her growing friendship with Lord Strange survive her eventual unmasking?

What was particularly good about this book was the focus on Harriet and Strange and the gradual way in which they get to know each other. Most of the book is narrated from Harriet's point of view but we get occasional insights into Jem's thoughts, which are rather perturbed at his apparent attraction to another man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Toodles Book Club on 18 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I borrowed this book from the Library, back in September 2011, and you can see my Blog Post Number #159.

Another in the Duchess series, this time about Harriet, Duchess of Berrow. Her husband, Benjamin had committed suicide after a chess game with the Duke of Villiers and she'd spent a long time in mourning.

At a party given by Jemma, Duchess of Beaumont she decides to be the forlorn widow no longer and persuades the Duke of Villiers to take her to a house party with Isidore, Duchess of Cosway. Only to avoid scandal is going disguised as a young male relative of Villiers (Harry Cope).. What could go wrong?

Lord Strange is well used to unusual happenings at his house parties, but he is used to not questioning his own sexual appetites, therefore when he starts to find the young Harry Cope more than attractive he begins to worry - especially as he has promised the Duke of Villiers to help make a man of young Harry, and therefore has to spend a lot of time with him.

Will his identify be found out?

A 4.5 star read all the way. I really loved it, and the doubt cast in Lord Strange's own mind was really well written and a different angle.
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By M. K. Burton VINE VOICE on 3 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
Harriet, Duchess of Berrow, has been at a loss ever since her husband killed himself. She has found herself playing the role of dumpy country widow at all society gatherings and she realizes that she's tired of it. She wants to be more than that. When the opportunity to attend Lord Justinian Strange's house parties presents itself, Harriet goes for it. She dresses as a man to hide her true identity, but when she meets Jem, Lord Strange, she certainly feels anything but manly.

I'm a little torn about this book. I enjoyed it a lot more than I did the last book I read by Eloisa James, Desperate Duchesses. The focus was definitely on the couple and I enjoyed their love story to a certain extent. I cared about most of the characters, especially Jem's daughter, which was a little odd because normally I prefer my romances without children in them. I don't have kids and have trouble relating when they're involved; they're important to relationships, but I'm not reading these books for real life. I liked this one, though.

I could easily understand Harriet's love of freedom in her men's outfit. She could fence, ride like a man, and enjoy freedoms women couldn't imagine at the time. It was also very amusing when all the female house guests developed crushes. I couldn't really get on with Jem, Lord Strange, though. His personality isn't really revealed until the end of the book and I found it hard to reconcile his behavior with his back story.

I'm torn mainly because I found the ending unrealistic. Jem basically changes to please Harriet and I don't find that satisfactory at all. I know that I'm supposed to be suspending disbelief, but I just can't do that here. A relationship will not work if you force someone to give up their former life to be with you.
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