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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag, 2 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: The Duke is Mine: Number 3 in series (Happy Ever After) (Paperback)
Olivia Lytton's whole life has been tailored to one goal - marriage to a duke. She's always known that one day she will be the Duchess of Canterwick. Except her bridegroom is five years younger than her, and sadly not right in the head. But if he'll make a bad duke, Olivia knows she'll be a worse duchess. She's too buxom, intelligence and witty, not to mention fascinated by bawdy jests. Positively vulgar!

Thankfully her twin sister Georgiana is every inch the lady. Which will make her the perfect match for the Duke of Sconce. Except this cold, intelligent duke can't take his eyes off Olivia - and she feels just the same. But with the duke's mother picking out his bride and Georgie claiming Sconce is perfect, how will Olivia ever find her own happy ending?

Thank goodness! Eloisa James has finally returned to heroes who respect their heroines. I've always loved how EJ's different heroes handled falling in love, until her last three, who all slept with a gently bred, unmarried girl and then refused to marry her. Not so with Quin. True, he spends plenty of time fighting his attraction - with good reason - but once he succumbs, he goes all the way. What a relief.

Elsewhere Olivia is an interesting heroine. I'll admit I found her constant wit pretty boring to begin with. The way she treats Rupert (to his face, at least) made me think differently, and I liked her best when she was defending him to others (less so when she's talking about him with Georgie). I also liked how she brought out a different side in Quin. I didn't like him much at first either, but he definitely grew on me. I loved how his and Olivia's relationship developed.

However, the start is a bit shaky and the end turned into a bit of a farce. It might have contained the fabled mattresses, but after what went on in the middle I found it a little too silly. Then there was Rupert, poor Rupert. I couldn't help wondering and worrying about him throughout the story, which distracted me the whole time. Then there was Georgie of the ever-changing moods. Talk about a personality switch!

So in all, for me this was a mixed bag. A wonderfully romantic middle with an intriguing hero and heroine, but with a slow start and a silly end. Still, it restored my faith in EJ's heroes. Next up, The Ugly Duchess. Should be interesting.
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