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The Ugly Duchess: Number 4 in series (Happy Ever After) Paperback – 28 Aug 2012


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The Ugly Duchess: Number 4 in series (Happy Ever After) + The Duke is Mine: Number 3 in series (Happy Ever After) + Once Upon a Tower: Number 5 in series (Happy Ever After)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (28 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749956720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749956721
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

James's patented clever dialogue and complex characters make the unusual situation completely believable from setup to denouement (Publishers Weekly (starred))

Expertly infuses her latest fairy-tale love story with just the right ratio of tart wit and sensuality to create a hopelessly and hopefully romantic tale that will have James's fans swooning with delight (Booklist (starred))

With the latest in her fabulous fairy-tale series, James' twist on the Ugly Duckling sweeps readers into an uplifting love story with just the right amount of poignancy, tenderness, sensuality and pure romance to make readers sigh. . . Kudos to James for encouraging us all to be ourselves and grab what life has to offer (RT Book Reviews)

The Ugly Duchess is a refreshing addition to the series. James always seems to write books that are 'unputdownable', but this book stood out . . . this book will stay on my shelf as I can always count on Eloisa James to deliver a nice warm read, that leaves you with the belief that there is a 'Happily Ever After' . . . (Book Chick City)

Book Description

The fourth in a sparkling series of Regency fiction with a fairytale twist by New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James, includes the exclusive short story, Ever After.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 14 Sept. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
CONTAINS SPOILERS When James Ryburn Earl of Islay and heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, is forced by his father the Duke to marry his best friend Theodora Saxby. He is mortified. For Theodora was his father's ward, and had lived in their household with her mother, since the death of her father.

The current Duke, Jame's father had almost bankrupted the estate, and to make matters worse he had even stolen some of Theodoras dowry to fritter away on his hairbrained schemes. Although James struggles with the idea of deceiving Theodora, or as he calls her Daisy. He still goes ahead and marries her. Theodora had not realised that her feelings ran so deep for James until he had kissed her and asked for her hand.

But all good things must come to an end. In this case it is when Theodora overhears the Duke and James arguing, and she discovers why James really married her. Devastated she asks him to leave, and to never return, or she will see that his father goes to prison. But seven years later, just as Theodora was going to have James legally declared dead. Like he proverbial bad penny he returns. Expecting to reclaim his wife and position in society as though nothing had happened.

For the past seven years James had been a pirate "Jack Hawk" and he had not been living a celibate life either.

This book is in two parts, and to be honest it felt like two different stories. The first part I enjoyed, but the scond part was very disappointing, for a big chunk of it is spent on describing the H/h separate lives, I have to be honest and say that I skimmed a lot of that, it was boring. So that left the reader with a few chapters at the end to reunite the two leads.
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Format: Paperback
My interest in this book was piqued by the title as I felt it seemed quite harsh, however, after a bit of Google research, I discovered that the author has written a series of historical romances, of which this is one, and are based on classic fairytales. This one is based on the Ugly Duckling.

This is an historical romance set in the Regency era and I confess it is not a genre I have read before and so I am basing my review on this book alone as I don't have others with which to compare it.

The Ugly Duchess is the story of two childhood friends Theodora Saxby and James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook. Theodora or Theo as she prefers to be referred to does not conform to the society's ideal of beauty at the time. After a surprise proposal from James, which Theodora accepts, she is given the title The Ugly Duchess. She discovers soon after the marriage that James only asked her to marry him under his father's orders. Distraught and humiliated, she throws James out of the marital home and immerses herself in the business she became co-owner of after her marriage. James meanwhile leaves the country and takes to the seas and becomes a pirate/privateer until he returns seven years later.

This was a quick and easy to read book and was rather more steamy than I was expecting from an historical romance! It was fast paced and it was interesting to learn about period details but I am unsure whether some of the language used was too modern and it didn't seem to sit right with the story. I was also a little disappointed at how quickly and easily that Theodora seemed to forgive her husband after his years of desertion. I know that the book was meant to be based on a fairytale but this one was a bit too fantastical for me and I would have preferred something a little more realistic.

It was an entertaining read though and I would like to explore the genre further to see how this book compares with others.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had been eagerly awaiting the release of this book like so many I expect and I was not disappointed, it is a fairytale and not real life, so what if it would unfold a little differently in real life? Eloisa has a way of writing her characters so that they come off the page and into your heart, and I can only say I wanted to hear more and not less of these two.

Both Theo and Jame's story gave insight into their feelings and they both knew they were thrown into a marriage too soon. A marriage that once in, opened their eyes to each other, but lack of self esteem is the root of all evil as they doubted the feelings of the other. In real life, this has a lot to answer for and I think I could have read a more in depth story which looked at how they both grew up during their time apart and allowed time for their journey back to each other. I think however the same end would have to come and you all know they have to make it in the end..

I am now eagerly awaiting another Ms James classic...how long till the next one?! Oh, and make it as long as you like :)
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Format: Paperback
I love Eloisa James novels and own just about all of them, so when I saw the Ugly Duchess was coming out I pre-ordered a copy, and spent a days waiting for my email saying that it had been dispatched...though I knew the book hadn't even been realised yet! So when I did get my copy I set aside the book I was reading and started the Ugly Duchess and too start with I was really into the story, but when James left then returned seven years later it was if she only had so many words to finish the story so seven years worth of anger and history was sorted between Theo and James through one night in bed, and boom they lived happily ever after.

I enjoyed the book, but maybe a over descriptive blurb which had me waiting for adventures on the high seas that didn't appear, and a rushed ending, pushed the Ugly Duchess down my list of "read agains"
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