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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun romance.
Lady Henrietta Maclellan is in her twenties and lives with her Stepmother and half-sister in a Wiltshire village. Although beautiful, Henrietta has a weak hip which on occassion causes her to limp. As her late mother also had such a hip and died while giving birth to Henrietta, Henrietta has been told by numerous doctors that she would be unwise to marry and on no account...
Published on 14 Feb 2007 by LEP

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not particularly exciting
Lady Henrietta Maclellan has always dreamt of having a London season and falling in love with and marrying the perfect man. However Henrietta cannot have children and so she contents herself with living in the country and resigns herself to a life of spinsterhood.

But then Simon Darby arrives in her sleepy little town and makes Henrietta long for stolen kisses,...
Published on 17 Sep 2011 by josie82


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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun romance., 14 Feb 2007
By 
LEP "LEP" (England) - See all my reviews
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Lady Henrietta Maclellan is in her twenties and lives with her Stepmother and half-sister in a Wiltshire village. Although beautiful, Henrietta has a weak hip which on occassion causes her to limp. As her late mother also had such a hip and died while giving birth to Henrietta, Henrietta has been told by numerous doctors that she would be unwise to marry and on no account should she have children as she also could die as could the baby. The whole village is aware of this fact and so no eligable batchelors ever offer for her. Henrietta has more or less reconciled herself to her lot in life. However deep in her heart she longs for a husband and children. One day, while walking in the village she encounters four year old Josie Darby and her one year old sister Annabel, who have escaped from their disgrunted and unpleasant nurse maid. Henrietta is enchanted with the children, especially with Annabel.

Simon Darby is the thirty something year old half-brother of the two little girls. He lives in London where he is regarded as a fashion leader of the ton to rival Beau Brummel. As his parents died in an accident some months ago, Simon has, somewhat half-heartedly, taken over the care of his two little sisters. Josie is at a manipulative tantrum stage and Annabel is constantly sick i.e. vomitting.

Simon is the heir apparent to his Uncle Miles estate. Miles suffers from a weak heart and is married to a younger woman, Esme, Lady Rawlings. Esme and Miles are estranged. Miles has a long-term mistress and Esme has had several lovers and of course now has the reputation for being 'fast'. Six months ago Miles died from a heart attack after, for the first time in years, visiting his wife's bed. Six month's later Simon is given the unwelcome news that Esme is very pregnant, presumably with his Uncle's heir. There are bets being taken as to whom the actual father of the baby is. Is it really Miles, or is it one of Esme's lovers? Esme has retired for her confinement to Miles ancestral pile in the same Wiltshire village in which Henrietta lives. Simon decides to visit Esme with his sisters in tow, to try and ascertain the truth. He stops at the inn in the village to take refreshment. The disgrunted nurse-maid walks out, not wanting to leave London and the children 'escape'.

Enter Henrietta with children in tow, covered in Annabels's vomit. Initially, Simon thinks that she is a new nurse-maid, found by the inn keeper.

Esme has decided to throw a dinner party for friends and neighbours, even though she is still offically in mourning. Henrietta and her mother are invited. Simon is very attracted to Henrietta, although he can't for the life of him understand why. Yes she is beautiful, but dresses appallingly, while he is a man of satorial splender. She has an ascerbic tongue and ready wit which more than matches his own and pokes fun of him as a "tulip" and a "fribble". He starts to flirt with her, which is a new
experience for Henrietta.

Having had two glasses of champagne, when she retires to bed Henrietta is in a reflective and somewhat maudlin frame of mind. Remembering how handsome Simon Darby is, she writes herself a love letter supposedly from Darby, which incorporates John Donne's poetry. After all she reasons, it is likely to be the only love letter she will get.

Simon's attraction to Henrietta excellerates, he kisses her and is about to offer her marriage. However, her step-mother comes across them and explains her situation to Simon. He is distraught, thinking that he will be unable to bed her. He doesn't care about not having children, but does want a 'normal' marriage. Esme steps in to match-make for Henrietta. Being a 'worldy' woman, she explains to Henrietta that precautions againgst conceiving can be used. She devises a plan to trap Simon into marriage by using Henrietta's steamy love letter.

A nice central couple and numerous amusing secondary characters add to the witty fun. There is also the love story of Esme and her lover, although Eloisa James doesn't actually finish that story by telling us the sex of Esme's baby etc. Perhaps she deals with this love story separately in another book.

A fun read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not particularly exciting, 17 Sep 2011
By 
josie82 (Fife, Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Lady Henrietta Maclellan has always dreamt of having a London season and falling in love with and marrying the perfect man. However Henrietta cannot have children and so she contents herself with living in the country and resigns herself to a life of spinsterhood.

But then Simon Darby arrives in her sleepy little town and makes Henrietta long for stolen kisses, whispered words of longing and illicitly dangerous love notes. Soon the pair are inadvertently causing a scandal and although neither had planned it, each may be exactly what the other needs.

This had all the elements for the perfect story: an arrogant lord who is brought down by the love of a woman who is so far from what he expected yet perfect for him in every way. I so wanted to love this book but it really missed the mark for me.

I liked the premise of the story and at first I liked and was rooting for both Henrietta and Simon as they seemed to play off each other well. However it wasn't long before my liking for both Simon and Henrietta took a turn for the worse. Simon was described as an elegantly perfect man who wore an astonishingly large amount of lace over his clothing including his red velvet suits. Despite the reason for the lace being explained away, the image of a man, any man, in a red velvet suit does not tend to make me giddy with lust! I could also understand Henrietta and was sympathetic to her plight however when she schemed to trap Simon into marriage simply to suit her selfish wants I really questioned her as leading lady material.

As well as the main story there was the story of Esme and her baby which, despite taking up a fair number of pages, was never resolved by the end of the book. There was also mutterings of Simon's best friends Rees and his estranged wife and talk of a married Duchess who seemed to have been previously engaged to one of the other characters within the book. I now realise that this book is part of a series after Duchess in Love and before A Wild Pursuit and Your Wicked Ways although if I'm honest this book did little to make me want to read the rest.

Finally, the number of modern Americanisms in this book was truly appalling - babies 'spitting up' and people telling others to 'give over' were just two of the more memorable that had me shaking my head in annoyance. Then you have to add in the surprisingly frequent amount of spelling and grammar mistakes littered throughout the text as well as some baffling instances of repeated words.

I've read and very much enjoyed Eloisa James before but I would only recommend this book to avid fans or those reading The Duchess Quartet in order. It's not truly terrible but it just didn't grab or hold my attention to any degree. 3 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars love this, 9 Mar 2013
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as with all her books, just fabulous! well rounded characters, good storyline. I have loved everthing so far she has written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 12 Feb 2013
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I enjoyed the dry humour and characters in this book the story was light and entertaining. I will definitely put it in my favourites and read it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely Enjoyable, 14 Jan 2013
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Really enjoyed this story, the second in the Duchess quartet. It isnt necessary - strictly - to read them in sequence but it does help, more than most series novels because the characters are very intertwined and often the main plot of the novel has actually begun in the previous work. More than begun really.... she really starts the story in the book before - if you see what I mean.
However, this is just an excellent, funny, sensual, romantic story which I thoroughly enjoyed and would definitely keep for re- reading. Both the hero and heroine are thoroughly likeable and attractive and I found the situations in which thy found themselves very amusing.
Do read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book!!, 10 Jan 2013
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I would recommend everyone who loves Eloisa James books, or just wants a good romantic story, grips you from the beginning! Looking forward to the next two!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great little find !!!!!, 5 Jan 2013
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I am a historical romance junkie ,I love them. Eloisa James doesn't disappoint with the success quartet, this is the second book and I am now hooked. Darby is a great romantic lead , and its lovely that Henrietta has been faced with a physical disability and has the strength in character to overcome society's discriminating and archaic ideals. I am now off to buy the third book in the series.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilty Pleasure, 17 Dec 2012
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I love Ms James's books . I enjoy the witty dialogue, the delicious heroes and the fact that eventually true love will triumph.
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Fool for Love: Number 2 in series (Duchess Quartet)
Fool for Love: Number 2 in series (Duchess Quartet) by Eloisa James (Paperback - 25 July 2013)
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