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When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses) [Paperback]

Eloisa James
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

12 Nov 2009 Desperate Duchesses

For the Duke of Cosway, it was a marriage of convenience. For his bride, it was anything but...

Isidore has waited for many long, frustrating years for her mysterious husband to return from exploring the world. They were married by proxy when she was just a child, but now she's fully grown and yearns for nothing more than for her Duke to return.

Until he does come back. And he is not what she expected. At all.

Not only does he refuse to conform to any of society's norms: he won't powder his hair, has little regard for cravats, and seems frighteningly keen on running around the countryside in nothing but short trousers. But - more shocking than any other revelation - he reveals that he is a virgin.

There is an undeniable attraction though, and while Isidore tries to establish whether this Duke was actually worth waiting for, Cosway himself begins to discover that there may be more adventures in marriage than in all of the rest of the world...

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When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses) + This Duchess of Mine + A Duke of Her Own
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (12 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340961104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340961100
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'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

Jilly Cooper in corsets - the new novel in Eloisa James' New York Times bestselling series: DESPERATE DUCHESSES

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light-hearted, witty and fun. 15 Dec 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. It's a well written tale about Isidore and Simeon, the Duke and Duchess of Cosway: "Married by proxy as a child, Lady Isidore has spent years fending off lecherous suitors while longing for her husband, Simeon Jermyn, the Duke of Cosway, to return." A light hearted story about what happens when a passionate, head-strong and beautiful woman collides with her calm, dispassionate (on the surface) and in-control husband. A lot of the story takes place on his country estate, which has been sadly neglected. There is lots of choice detail about Georgian plumbing! I didn't find it hugely emotionally intense but their developing relationship was well described and there is some good, snappy dialogue.

I can't help it though, I confess that in all the books so far I have been distracted by the parts featuring Jemma Beaumont and her husband Elijah. It is very tantalising - I want to read their story and because of the way it's been set up I'm guessing theirs will be one of the darkest books of the series. I'm also looking forward to finding out what happens to the Duke of Villiers.

I do like how Eloisa James writes and "When the Duke Returns" is definitely better than the last two in this series.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but lacking in substance 5 Jan 2009
By Helen Hancox TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The latest in Eloisa James' "Desperate Duchesses" series focuses on Isidore, the Duchess of Cosway, and her husband Simeon. They have a rather unusual marriage in that, despite being wed for eleven years, they have never actually met. They were married by proxy when Isidore was 12 whilst Simeon was travelling in Africa and India and he has never returned. In James' previous book in this series we learned that Isidore accompanied a friend to a country house party in order to try to get some reaction from Simeon. It works - Simeon arrives at the house party and takes Isidore back to London.

Isidore didn't know what to expect in her husband and finds that he's a man who doesn't conform to society's idea of a gentleman in clothing and general dress. However she does find hm very attractive and knows that she, herself, has many admirers. However when Simeon's initial plans to have a 'proper' wedding change to suggestions of an annulment, Isidore has to decide whether she wants to continue with her marriage with its many inconveniences, not the least of which are the problems at the Ducal seat and with his mother, or whether she wants the freedom she has never really had. And can Simeon, who has learned self control and calmness on his travels, ever get to grips with his fiery wife?

Eloisa James writes well and the interest is always kept up in this book. There were some rather unusual plot events (having the water closets cleaned out in the house, for example) and the side plot of Jemma, Duchess of Beaumont, and her troubled marriage was explored further although unresolved.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Very Disappointed. 21 Feb 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Ms James and have all her books. I am very very disappointed with this long-awaited new Duchess book. Without repeating what other reviews already written about the story outline, I will go straight to the problem: there is no "romance" in this "romance" novel. No chemistry, barely any interactions between H/H. It reads like a build-out to the next book in the Duchess series. I think like so many romance authors (no names here) who have written many books and series in a short period of time (due to publishers' demands?), Ms James needs a writing holdiay to recharge her battery.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Duchesses Return 24 May 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lady Isidore Del'Fino was married by proxy when she was just twelve years old, and always assumed her husband would fetch her when she came of age. Eleven years on, Isidore is tired of waiting. But when her presence at a scadalous house party achieves the desired result, Isidore isn't altogether sure her duke is what she bargained for.

Simeon, Duke of Cosway, abhors chaos and has spent more than a decade exploring ways to avoid it, and ignoring his responsibilities. On his travels the one thing he's come to prize above all else is his control. So when he comes home to an unpleasant mother, years of unpaid bills, a rotting house and a wife designed to wreck his self-control, it's not surprising he soon wishes he hadn't bothered.

Isidore is a passionate, hot-blooded Italian woman who is used to taking care of herself. Simeon is a rigidly self-controlled man used to being in command of any situation, at any given time. In this fourth book of the 'Desperate Duchesses' series opposites attract in an explosive combination. Made all the more delicious when control is thrown to the wind.

In typical James style humour and realism collide with blocked water closets, decadent dresses and discussions of virginity. While the return of the Duke and Duchess of Beaumont and the Duke of Villiers not only developes the overall series, but provides confidants and refuges for the main couple when things inevitably go wrong.

Yet, in a book filled with funny, charming, sexy and romantic moments I couldn't help being more interested in what was happening with Elijah, Duke of Beaumont.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
Another exciting storyline filled with desire lust romance heartbreak passion and heady sexual encounters. I am loving Eloisa James thoroughly and love her colourful characters .
Published 8 months ago by Mnrigb
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
I had a hard time putting this book down.
After reading the other books in this series I was worried that it may not be as good.
It was better. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Kathryn Nocke
5.0 out of 5 stars I would be happy to be collected by this Hero
Review taken from my blog in August 2011 (Blog Post #157) after borrowing the book from the local library.

5+ stars all the way, this was a truly excellent read. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Toodles Book Club
5.0 out of 5 stars love this
as with all her books, just fabulous! well rounded characters, good storyline. I have loved everthing so far she has written.
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange style
Eloisa James has quite a strange writing style. Odd mix of enjoyable and frustrating. Stephanie Laurens she most certainly ain't.
Published 15 months ago by E. M. Dugdale
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this author!
I am in the throes of reading all of Eloisa James' Desperate Duchesses series and have greatly enjoyed envy one so far.
Published 16 months ago by JinnyG
4.0 out of 5 stars Duchess versus free thinker
I loved this book. Great dialogue, good plot. Romantic interest good without being explicit. Isidore our intelligent heroine was married by proxy at an early age, and has waited... Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2012 by Armchair reader
4.0 out of 5 stars the duke returns
Part of a series called desperate duchesses, the book is well up in the genre it represents. An excellent read if this is your type of book. My wife is an avid fan.
Published on 30 July 2011 by Thomas Page
4.0 out of 5 stars posh totty behaving disgracefully
4th in the duchesses series and is the story of Isidore. married by proxy at the ageof 12, never seen her husband and now 11 years later she has decided enough is enough and she... Read more
Published on 11 Dec 2009 by Lindymck
5.0 out of 5 stars A little dissapointing given the build up in previous novels
Not at all what I was expecting given the way the characters had been set up so far. It was all far too predictable. Read more
Published on 18 Feb 2009 by Gemma
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