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16 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sexy Regency retelling of Rapunzel full of heartache and music...
Although I have Eloisa James' Fairy Tales series on my TBR list and I prefer not to read series out of order Once Upon a Tower was only the second book in the series I have read, saying it so those who fear not having read the previous books is a prerequisite know that the books can be read as complete standalones.

Once Upon a Tower was my favourite Eloisa...
Published 15 months ago by Stella (Ex Libris)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Eloisa James Duchess Series standard
I couldn't make myself finish it as it was so bad. I really do not like the Happy Ever After Series. It's all so contrived
Published 14 months ago by A Reader


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sexy Regency retelling of Rapunzel full of heartache and music..., 30 May 2013
Although I have Eloisa James' Fairy Tales series on my TBR list and I prefer not to read series out of order Once Upon a Tower was only the second book in the series I have read, saying it so those who fear not having read the previous books is a prerequisite know that the books can be read as complete standalones.

Once Upon a Tower was my favourite Eloisa James novel to this day. It was fun, sexy with both the heroine and hero being characters I could like.

Edith (yep, had a hard time accepting that such a beautiful fairy-like heroine had such an old name - but was glad to see I wasn't the only one as both the hero and heroine disliked her un-musical name) is a young and beautiful woman who knows her duty: she'll marry the man of her father's choosing and does not have fancy ideas about marriage and romance. It was interesting to see such a rational and level-headed heroine, who accepted her fate and wanted to make the most of it by laying down the rules of their life together once they got married. Edith wanted to maintain her independence and personal space, while her groom had more romantic notions: he wanted to enjoy his wife, he wanted them to share their hearts and bodies, to live happily. Once again the reversal of roles in that Gowan was the more romantic, passionate one while Edith the rational one made for an interesting and rather unusual set-up.

Edie was a very likeable heroine. Though she was innocent she wasn't naive, she had witnessed his father's marriage and knew she didn't want hers to be full of drama and heartache and so she planned to have a rational partnership with no strong feelings and emotions running high. Once again Eloisa James gave us an unusual pairing because Edie's step-mother was a still young and flirty woman in her 30s, and she was the colourful social butterfly to Edie's sedate and serious, rationality. (Edie's only passionate trait was her music, that was the love of her life.)

Gowan was a dream come true, he was a passionate, warm-hearted and honourable man. *sighs* He was a Scottish Duke (yum!), very manly and sexy (double yum!), who remained a virgin, because seeing his parents' marriage deteriorate with countless unfaithful adulterous liaisons he wanted to save the act of lovemaking something true and pure, something that had sense and substance and wanted to share it someone who mattered not just a barmaid. And so he wants to share it with his wife, the woman he came to yearn for and he can't wait to love her the way he wants to.

The problem is that it is painful for Edie and she doesn't enjoy it. What enjoy, she suffers through it and not wanting to cause problems in their newlywed status she fakes her pleasure and perpetuates a lie, which once is unveiled slays Gowan's self-esteem and self-respect.

Verdict: Once Upon a Tower is Eloisa James' retelling of Rapunzel, and although we have the tower and the prince climbing it up (twice) as well as the golden haired maiden, it is very much a story of its own, so bravo to Eloisa James for building her beautiful and witty historical romance around a fairy tale but not letting the fairy tale overpower her story. Both Edie and Gowan were wonderful characters and I loved their interactions, especially the wit and humour in their correspondence, and how their relationship progressed slowly, how they had to get to know each other before falling head first in. At times Edie's stepmother and her drama and tears frustrated me and I would have wished for a different ending/resolution as it wasn't to my taste, but Once Upon a Tower is a lovely fairy tale retelling that I'm sure I'll be re-reading soon.

I give Once Upon a Tower 4.5 stars!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 6/10 - I loved the story until the very end
Cover: 9/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Eloisa James Duchess Series standard, 1 July 2013
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I couldn't make myself finish it as it was so bad. I really do not like the Happy Ever After Series. It's all so contrived
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of harsh words spoken in haste, 29 May 2013
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As with all Eloisa James' books, I loved this one, she always adds flesh to her characters by showing their flaws as well as their strengths. In the case of Gowan, our hero, he was quick to temper and sharp of tongue, as for Edie, she was easily hurt and I felt a little too quick to start giving up. However as both characters were young and virgins, you need to make the allowances that naivety and immaturity has. Although I enjoyed this book very much, I was a little disappointed with the secondary couple, which was Edie's father and step-mother having marital problems. The solution and consequent make-up of this couple, although nice was, I felt a little rushed. That being said, this book, like all other of Eloisa James' books is definitely a good read, her characters are always, witty, sincere, annoying and above all romantic. ** spoilers, the way in which Gowan proves his love, is for this reader, truly romantic if a little dangerous.**
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, 26 Sep 2013
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Eloisa James is one of the best writers of historical novels but with a contemporary twist. Her books are always beautifully written; funny, engaging, intelligent and with enough spice to be hot. Her leading ladies are thoroughly modern in their outlook, so whilst I'm sure that they are not historically correct, they are highly enjoyable. Gowan is just brilliant. What begins as a stuffy, aristocratic character soon becomes a witty and then heart twistingly loveable man. I'm genuinely surprised by some other reviews saying its not up to her usual standards. Whilst not as good as the Ugly Duchess, I thought this much better than Seduced by a Pirate
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars To much of a fairy story for me., 25 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Once Upon a Tower: Number 5 in series (Happy Ever After) (Paperback)
Most of Eloisa James books are based around old stories but this went straight for the story and seemed a bit silly in places.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of her best, 6 Jun 2013
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I love Eloisa James and her books, but was very disappointed in this much awaited story. The characters (especially that of Gowan) were immature and a little irritating. The characters get together fairly on in the book, and spend much of the remainder of the time annoying each other (and me).

The last few chapters saved this from being 2 stars, and fingers crossed that Eloise's next offering raises the bar again!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A little slow, 19 Aug 2014
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The whole story is a little slow which made it a bit difficult to finish. I have read two other Eloisa James books and I didn't enjoy this book as much as the others. The characters were not as engaging and although the story had some interesting parts it sometimes repeated itself. Also the tower did not pay much of a part, only appearing near the end of the book, therefore the story was a bit different to the one I was expecting after reading the title.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A mix of fairytales and reallife problems, 18 April 2014
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Ms. S. Rai (manchester, england) - See all my reviews
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This was my first book of this author and I can honestly say I will be checking her other books out. The research for the background of the book and all the fairytale motif made this book very fresh to read. I have never read a book like it. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Different but very enjoyable!, 29 Dec 2013
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Not the customary tale from Ms James but thoroughly enjoyed it. Witty, sad at times but full if life. Never disappointed with this author!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but not as good as others in series. Maybe I have read too many., 17 Aug 2013
This review is from: Once Upon a Tower: Number 5 in series (Happy Ever After) (Paperback)
Okay but not as good as others in series. Maybe I have read too many and will not rush to buy the next one.
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Once Upon a Tower: Number 5 in series (Happy Ever After)
Once Upon a Tower: Number 5 in series (Happy Ever After) by Eloisa James (Paperback - 28 May 2013)
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