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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 22 July 2017
It is a pity that the authoress felt this story needed so much sleaze. She has good plots and plenty of humour, yet as you progress through the books the "dirty talk" gets more prevalent. Also if she wishes to use such language, then stick to the modern period as like so many things language is period based. This means that a lot of the words were unknow durning the time they are based in. Perhaps she is worried she will not scintilla her audiences, but only confuse them by using the correct time based terminology. "Gay" is a typical word that has changed over a period of time, to my father a GAY person was easy go lucky and happy, to my children it means same sex relationships. I have one more book to read and I am not looking forward to it and will not bother with any others. In this way she is like Stephanie Lauren, started off good, ended up chapter after chapter just dedicated to sex etc and the story line gets totally lost.
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on 7 December 2014
This started off quite well but, by about the mid-point, it had become both tedious and rather silly. The writing is poor in places and when the book showed every sign of droning on without signs of improvement, I bailed out - something I very rarely do. This is the first Eloisa James novel that I've tried and will almost certainly be the last.
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on 20 April 2014
It was delightful to read Tobias' grown up story! I am such a fan of Ms James, and am hoping that all the Duke of Villiers offspring are getting their own books.

I know that people give out about the Americanisms that slip into the text, but they are so, so few — the humour and the general heart-warmingness of this series more than makes up for it.
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Eloisa James can write, I will give her that. This book had so many really great major characters, not the least of which was our own heroine, India, who had worked long and hard to make a life for herself decorating homes for her wealthy clients. Then, there's our boy, Tobias Dautry (Thorn) who has been a stand-out since he was introduced as the Duke of Villiers' eldest bastard son in "A Duke of her Own." Of course we can't forget Vander who was included for some extra eye-candy, or in this case "imagination candy" and is sure to soon have a book all his own - I for one, look forward to reading his story.

To fill out the storyline, there were some awesome minor characters. I loved little Rose, Thorn's ward, who was orphaned following the death of her "mudlark" father and turned up very unexpectedly in Thorn's arms and heart. I do believe that was when I fell in love with Thorn. Although an illegitimate son, he never forgot his humble beginnings and was loyal to a fault so to speak.

I even liked Laetitia or "Lala" as she was called by her family and friends. We know from the outset that once Thorn chooses Lala as his future wife for reasons other than love, he is doomed to failure so it's not a spoiler to give this away. From Thorn's and India's first encounter, when they meet to discuss her restoring/redesigning the home he has purchased for Lala, we immediately know he is done for - the only thing to be determined is how long it will take him to realize he's a goner. Their notes to one another as she sets about decorating his home are very entertaining.

The fire between Thorn and India was f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s. India's wounds from her past and Thorn's concerns that he was not good enough for a lady caused some misunderstandings between them, but that is, after all what makes the book.
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on 26 March 2014
I couldn't wait for this book and it didn't disappoint. It has everything that makes a great book for me. Love lust romance heartbreak passion and heady sexual encounters. Eloisa James writes the best stories EVER !! She is a literary genius !! NEXT PLEASE !!!
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on 22 July 2014
A higher-end regency read. The characters are well developed for a regency romance, perhaps due the nature of this book being part of a dynasty (had never read prior pieces). They are believable and flawed, and I was pleased to see even the simpleton being fleshed out with more of a plot role than a simple obstacle to be navigated. The adjunct of the child was delightful and well-written, lifting this book out of the ordinary for me. The male character's background of mudlarking was new to me and intriguing to explore, however it came up in flashbacks and dreams too frequently, with all all the overdone effect of a hollwood blockbuster rather than a realistic piece of literature. The female character was well developed if a little too naieve, and I found it jarring that the two were left unchaperoned and essentially cohabiting during an era where a marquess' daughter would certainly not have been allowed to endanger her reputation.

Altogether a little more depth and spice than a standard regency romance, and well written.
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on 13 April 2014
The title does not mean quite what you expect. It is a surprise package, well written and crafted as all her Regency books are. I enjoyed it so much that I will be checking out the other Desperate Duchess series. Read and enjoy.
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on 10 April 2014
What can I say fans of Eloisa James of which I am one certainly won't be disappointed - SUPER!........
Well worth buying.
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on 1 April 2014
I was delighted when I first read an Eloisa James but sometimes she loses the plot. Lady Xenobia has made a very lucrative career in decorating and creating the perfect home for people whether it is painting or finding the right staff. She starts working for Thorn (Tobias) Dautry the illegitimate son of the Duke of Villiers (A duke of her own Read that book ) who wants to marry a Lady Letitia (Lala) the daughter of a snobby hypochondriac Lady Rainsford. Xenobia's task is to turn the country estate that Thorn has bought into a fitting home and setting for his lady and his family. To convince the mother he is a worthy as well as wealthy match. The secondary characters are delightful and are a great supporting act. I love Vandor, Dr Hatfield, Rose and the rest of them, but what ruins the whole book is the way the author tumbles H & h into a Hammock, it is not needed as a plot device and ruined the story. If it had been a paperback I would have thrown it across the room, sexual tension does not always need sex to be convincing. I had to work hard to finish this book, it did get better. I will stop putting Eloisa James books on automatic order from now on.
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on 25 November 2015
I liked the orphaned daughter and the terrible prospective mother in law but the main characters just we're not fleshed out enough to really feel their turmoil. Having said that James is one of the better regency writers and the editing was excellent as there were no Americanisms.
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