Eloise James

My Last Duchess

My Last Duchess (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #0.5)

By:

Eloise James

Blurb:

Hugo Wilde, the Duke of Lindow, has a drafty castle, eight naughty children—and no wife. Ophelia, Lady Astley, has a fine house, one well-behaved daughter—and no husband.

Hugo takes one look at Ophelia and loses his heart, but she doesn’t want more children or a castle. She takes one look at him and heads for her carriage.

Desperate to find a duchess, Hugo identifies an appropriate lady to woo. Yet when he meets Ophelia again, the duke realizes that he will marry her, or no one.

Now he faces the greatest challenge of his life.

He must convince Ophelia that their blazing sensuality, his exquisite castle, and his eight charming children add up to a match made in heaven.

When duke finds his duchess, can he win her heart?

Review:

My Last Duchess works as a standalone novella. You don’t have to have read the other books in the series to appreciate it. Just keep in mind that it’s shorter than your standard novel.

Often, with these novellas, there is a lot of fan service to the point where it’s confusing, but that was definitely not the case with My Last Duchess. It was a nice, spicy, love at first sight, romance about the parents of characters we’ve already met. I like those.

Say No to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #4)

Say No to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #4)

By: Eloise James

Blurb:

One little wager will determine their fate—a daring escape or falling into temptation with a rakish lord.

Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.

No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.

If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.

But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.

Review:

Betsy and Jeremy made a nice couple, and I liked that they didn’t fall into bed quickly. I’m not usually a fan of love triangles, but it was fairly obvious, from the beginning, that the duke never stood a chance.

Betsy has been haunted by the fact that her mother abandoned her children for a man she wasn’t married to. So Betsy set out to prove that she was as far from her mother as possible. She was the belle of the ton and turned down numerous proposals. She decided to either never wed to prove society wrong, that blood will not, in fact, tell, or marry someone and live a passionless existence. Thankfully, that gets worked out.

Jeremy is how from war and dealing with PTSD. He spends most of his days drinking in the billiards room, conveniently Betsy’s favorite place.

Say No to the Duke has lots of banter and great side characters. Betsy’s adventure is a bit disappointing but probably realistic. There was a surprise reveal at the end, which added some excitement. Overall, it was entertaining.

4/5

When Beauty Tamed the Beast

When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales #2) By: Eloise James

Plot:

Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she’s betrothed to a Beast.

Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman.

Linnet is not just any woman.

She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks.

Yet Linnet has no idea of the danger posed to her own heart by a man who may never love her in return.

If she decides to be very wicked indeed . . . what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?

Review:

Linnet, Beauty, is gorgeous and she knows it. I appreciate that, it annoys me when beautiful characters on her level somehow magically don’t realize it. What makes her even better, she doesn’t abuse her looks. She uses them, of course, but they haven’t made her a horrible person. She’s fun and smart and witty and once she got away from her family the book was great to read.

Piers, the Beast, is going to be a duke and due to a childhood incident he has muscle damage to his leg which causes him to be in constant pain. Think Dr. House. He’s an ass, but he’s so much more redeemable than House is, he can be mean but he’s never intentially cruel. Well, once but he was hurting so it was forgivable.

The ending is very climactic, I was on the edge of my seat, and I cried a few times. Also, holy cow Eloise James sex scenes are…well they’re very good.

I liked this book a lot even though I was prepared to hate it since Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite movies. After looking ahead in the series, though, I’m kind of concerned because the upcoming stories have no appeal to me. I will get to them, but I’m not in a rush.

4.5/5

A Kiss at Midnight

A Kiss at Midnight (Fairy Tales #1) By: Eloise James

Plot:

Miss Kate Daltry doesn’t believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.

Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he’s anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.

Gabriel likes his fiancée, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn’t love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.

Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.

Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble . . .

Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune . . .

Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.

Review:

I’ve been meaning to read an Eloise James book for years, I’ve actually had this one on my kindle for a while, but for whatever reason didn’t get around to reading it until now.

Kate is treated like a servant by her step-mother but isn’t quite sweeping cinders in the fireplace. She’s smart and opinionated and kind. She’s stuck where she is because she doesn’t want to leave the people beneath her without protection from her step-mother.

The prince, Gabriel, is stuck in a moldering old castle with all his batty relations because he’s the only one that can take care of them because he’s a prince. His reasoning is kind of weird and I guess you’re just supposed to accept that people in that time relied on others to take care of them, even though they themselves have a social standing.

Anyway, they meet, tease each other, fall in love, have sex, she runs away for reasons, he follows over a month later, they live happily ever after.

Sorry, I actually liked the story, except that when Kate and Gabriel have sex for the first time it’s while his fiancé is downstairs in the ballroom dancing at the party for her arrival. I realize he’s only just met her that day, but it doesn’t say anything good about either of them that they couldn’t restrain themselves.

The whole night was supposed to be their only night because he had to marry for money. Only, after she runs away he realizes that he can’t live without her and finds a way to make it work. Of course, Kate ends up having her own massive fortune and he didn’t need to figure anything out, but still. If he loved her so much that he couldn’t be in her presence without getting a boner why couldn’t he take the time to figure out the finances and just send his fiancé on her way?

Oh well. It was an entertaining story and I want to read the next.

3/5