When I saw that The Ugly Duchess was available for review, though, the plot blurb drew me in immediately. James has an understandably rocky relationship with his father, whose irresponsibility has long been apparent. James just knows that Theo will discover the truth and be devastated. He hates both the idea of hurting her and the inevitable end of their friendship.
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Perhaps if she napped, she would wake to find that this day had never happened. Perhaps she was in a fever dream. After all, the fairy story was supposed to end when the Ugly Duckling became a swan.
Everyone knew that swans got everything they wanted. Beautiful people always did. To solve all the problems in one smooth move, he demands that his son James marry Theo — even though she is very ugly. As the newspapers hail her the ugly duchess and her likeness shows up in shop windows rudely drawn, as the truth about the financial state of the estate and what the old duke has been doing come out, it just keeps getting worse and you know it will explode at any moment.
The tension and humor, love and drama are all artfully woven together in this exceptionally written love story. A simple tale really, of two lifelong friends who discover they love each other, get torn apart by tempers and unfortunate circumstances, and then are at long last reunited and hopefully able to reconcile. I found a lot to love about the Ugly Duchess, in fact with each page I turned I looked forward to seeing what Eloisa James would present me with next.
She made the characters come to life, the love story totally believable, and had me laughing, crying, and enjoying every single page. The scenes between Theo and James ranged from light and funny banter to emotionally charged to ones filled with sexual tension — or a little of everything.
He never thinks of her as ugly, or as lacking in any way at all. I absolutely loved this as opposed to the more typical handsome man who sees the errors of his ways and discovers the beauty too late. He had backed her against the wall and a hand was now wrapped around her breast. Theo I had mixed feelings about, but ultimately I appreciated the moments of weakness and vulnerability the author showed us with her.
Would the woman who was picked on and made fun of pick such an individual to be friends with? What does this say about her that she likes to judge and pick at other people? These details did not take away from my overall enjoyment, but I was aware of them and they seem notable enough to mention in my review.
One of my favorite aspects of this story is that James and Theo are married so young, but that they separate almost immediately and then reunite years later after both have had solo adventures, successes, and have lived in very different ways. While we see glimmers of that childhood shared bond and their true love when they first reunite, we also see how the adult Theo and James are truly meant to be together. Balancing humor, emotion, and beautifully written characters, this book really showcased Eloisa James at her best.
Her artful storytelling, beautiful way with words, and ability to add so much into this story and weave it into a beautiful tale of love really impressed me. Awwww I would love to read this one :D I read her previous one and it was nice to see a twist to the old stories. I love this series! Excellent review May! Interesting to see an opinion on the other end of the spectrum.
This book was almost a DNF for me. I definitely can see how this book would really work — or really NOT work — for a reader. She has quibbles and problems. Without reading the book, I can understand why she would be friends with a not-so-pleasant person.
Or so society tells me anyway. And I liked the balance of sensuality and humor. I think Eloisa James is such a great writer — I always love reading her work. Great review!
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Acceptance of a free copy does not guarantee a review or a positive review. We do earn a small commission on links to Amazon. Kini kinilei1 l Goodreads. Sheena readingvixen l Goodreads. DMV Romance Events. Comments Awwww I would love to read this one :D I read her previous one and it was nice to see a twist to the old stories. Definitely need to give this one a try. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
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REVIEW: The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James
Perhaps if she napped, she would wake to find that this day had never happened. Perhaps she was in a fever dream. After all, the fairy story was supposed to end when the Ugly Duckling became a swan. Everyone knew that swans got everything they wanted.
The Ugly Duchess
Review: The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James
By Eloisa James. James Ryburn, Earl of Islay, and heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, opened his mouth to say something, but a mixture of fury and disbelief choked the words. What have you done? James spat the words.
How can she dare to imagine he loves her…when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess? Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn , heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months. Theo would have given it a lifetime…until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry.