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4.6 out of 5 stars21
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 12 January 2007
This is the story of the last Essex sister, Josephine. Eighteen year old Josie is not having a good Season! During her first Season in London Josie, the last of the Scottish Essex sisters, is labelled the "Scottish Sausage" by a group of malicious young bucks who think it amusing to ruin young womens chances in the marriage mart. Josie is therefore snubbed and ignored by eligible young men who might have previously thought her attractive, as they don't want to be held up for ridicule. Josie is endowed with the voluptous figure of womanhood out of a Raphael painting. The ridicule undermines her confidence in herself and she takes to wearing a ristricting corset, thinking it makes her look better. Instead, it makes matters worse.

Only after being shown by her guardian's friend, the Earl of Mayne, a sophisticated man in his middle thirties, that men like voluptuous, curvy women, does Josie shed her corset and have new dresses made which show off her figure. She then attracts men like bees to a honeypot.

However, she also attracts the lasting spite of one of the malicious young bucks, who actions will ruin her reputation. Will she be forced to marry him?

A very witty and entertaining read. I enjoyed the other Essex sisters books, but liked this the best of the lot.
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Josie Essex, the youngest of the 4 Essex sisters, is having a terrible Season. It's hard enough for a young woman with curves to try to meet the fashionable pattern for slimness, but when your appearance has attracted the ire of a celebrated wit (whose criticisms of and nicknames for some of the young women on the Marriage Mart have severely damaged more than one debutate's matrimonial hopes) and landed you with the moniker 'the Scottish Sausage', things really can't get much worse.

Enter the long-standing friend of the Essex sisters, the Earl of Mayne, and his sister Griselda. Griselda's fashion advice is precisely what you'd expect from an experienced and stylish chaperone with her own fair share of curves, but what about Mayne's interest? Surely it's above and beyond the call of friendship for a member of the aristocracy to don a young lady's gown in order to help her learn to sway when she walks, and to provide her with her first kiss? After all, Mayne is in love with his fiancee: the slim, French Sylvie de la Broderie... isn't he?

Although part of a series, with a number of characters who appeared first in James's original Duchess Quartet, this is a successful stand alone novel. The plot is fairly well split between the romance involving Josie and Mayne, and Griselda's burgeoning friendship with a younger man. Both storylines are well-plotted and written in James's usual beautiful prose.
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on 15 November 2011
If you've read the first three books in this quartet you've got to read the last one anyway as you want to know what happens to Josie. But the benifit of this is, it is a great book standing on its own.

As a reader you can really relate to what Josie is feeling, and the effect that her first season has had upon her and see the feelings that Mayne has, but doesn't want to acknowledge. To be honest it was the obvious pairing after the first three books saw both characters playing central roles in the plots, but the story line as with many of Eloisa James books isn't a straight line from point to point, and reflects quite well life as we all have detours on the way.
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on 28 February 2008
I have read many of Eloisa James' books and I must say that this is my favourite in the Essex sisters series. Not only does Eloisa James write her characters as three dimensional, but they are witty and you can't help caring about what happens to them.
The Earl of Mayne has been through all of the Essex books and was in fact a bit of a rogue, however he proves himself, in this book, to be an honourable gentleman.
I loved this book, as Josie, unlike the ladies in many other books is a little plump. Ladies in Regency times, as throughout history have been all shapes and sizes, so it is refreshing when an author gives a nod to the 'not quite a size twelve' style of woman. It was beautifully written and will remain one of my favourite reads for a long time to come.
I can't recommend this author enough, if you liked the Essex sisters series try the Desperate Duchess' series.
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on 14 February 2013
I loved this book the characterisation was good the storyline amusing. Will definitely go in my favourites and I will read it again
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on 8 November 2012
This book is just an absolute job from beginning to end. Josie is endearing and funny. Mayne is just divine. A wonderful flawed rake of a hero just begging to be redeemed. I liked him when he appeared in previous Essex Sisters novels and this is a fitting conclusion to the series. Funny, touching, sexy.... I didn't want it to end. Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end and laugh out loud funny at times. An absolute keeper to be read and re-read.
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on 8 September 2012
I gave this book five stars because it is a great read - and I haven't even finished it yet - I have to cook dinner! It's not perfect - the language isn't right for Regency England and some of the small details are way off, but if Eloisa James would like me to proof read her books for free I'd be more than happy. (And I'd buy her books afterwards for the pleasure of reading them again.) Great fun, great characters and very well written. You can read the storyline in the description so I won't bother including it here, but I thoroughly recommend the book. As if you couldn't tell.
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on 14 April 2009
Great book as were the first three in the set - see review for 'Taming on the Duke' for further comments.
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on 10 July 2013
I laughed until I couldn't breathe at the fabulous innocent humour of dear Josie x This fabulous book gave me everything I want from a delicious novel.This is only the second Indulgence of an Eloisa James literary genius offerings and I cannot wait to read the next !!!
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on 19 January 2013
I liked this book but for some reason I did not find it quite up to the standard of the other Essex Sister books - maybe it was because I had a lot of distraction when I was reading it. Still very good though.
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