Thursday, July 23, 2009

When The Duke Returns - Eloisa James

The Duchess of Cosway yearns for a man she has never met . .
. her husband. Married by proxy as a child, Lady Isidore has spent years fending off lecherous men in every European court while waiting to meet her husband.
She's determined to accept him, no matter how unattractive the duke turns out to be. When she finally lures Simeon Jermyn back to London, his dark handsomeness puts Isidore's worst fears to rest - until disaster strikes. The duke demands an annulment. Forsaking his adventuresome past, Simeon has returned to London ready to embrace the life of a proper duke, only to find that his supposed wife is too ravishing, too headstrong, and too sensual to be the docile duchess he has in mind. But Isidore will not give up her claim to the title - or him - without a fight. She will do whatever it takes to capture Simeon's heart, even if it means sacrificing her virtue. After all, a consummated marriage cannot be annulled.
Yet in forcing Simeon into a delicious surrender, will Isidore risk not only her dignity - but her heart?

Although I have already reviewed This Duchess of Mine I did read this one first and so in the correct order. Isidore has been a secondary character in the previous books but besides being very beautiful there isn't anything else to make her stand out and I must confess I had no great expectations for this book. The most original thing seemed to be the fact that the hero was a virgin at 30 which, while original if we consider the amount of romances published, sometimes works and other times doesn't.

I must say in this case it didn't, at least for me. Isidore's husband, the Duke of Cosway, returns from his travels, only because Isidore travelled to the house of a well known debaucher, after many years of being married by proxy and decides to take his wife home. He needs to put his affairs in order because the estate has fallen into disrepair due to the mismanagement of, first his late father and then his mother. He also wants to put his marriage in order and starts by telling Isidore he wants to have a marriage ceremony. I didn't quite understand the why of this, they were effectively married and it didn't seem to me that there was a valid reason for another ceremony except perhaps to delay the intimacy between them. Which leads to the problem of him being a virgin, I never understood why he was one either, there didn't seem to be a particular motive and I found it odd that an almost 30 year old man had never felt the urge to at least experiment, especially as he seemed to have had access to beautiful women in his travels. The explanation he gave was that after a tumultuous childhood he wanted to be in control of all of his emotions, while I can understand that and in part accept it I think it was taken too far, especially as we didn't have much information on the man who helped and tutored Cosway into becoming what he is.

The conflict between him and Isidore starts because he wants a quiet, biddable wife, so he can be in control, and it is clear that she is everything except that. He starts speaking of wanting an annulment and so there's one more reason to delay their intimacy. But Isidore is quite determined and in the end she manages to conquer her husband and convince him that what he really wants is being married to her.
A big part of the story is also dedicated to the Duke and Duchess of Beaumont. So much in fact that I started wondering what they would be doing in their book as it seemed most of their problems had already been addressed in this book. Not to mention that that might also have contributed to weaken Cosway and Isidore's story...

I really hope Villiers story fulfills my expectations...

Grade: 3.5/5


  1. I'm reeeeally staying away from this one! :-s

  2. LOL yes I can't say I would recommend this one as a stand alone and as you can see my enjoyement of the series hasn't been as much as I hoped.

  3. Engraçado falares desta autora... ontem li o segundo livro dela e, é oficial, os livros dela não são pra mim.
    AS histórias têm interesse, até meio... depois, estranhamente, descamba, soluciona-se tudo da noite pró dia e todos felizes... hummmm... não gosto muito disso, confesso... acho que ela devia "puxar" mais pela narrativa e manter um pouco do suspense!!!

    Em contrapartida, estou cada vez mais a gostar dos livros da Mary Balogh!!! :P

  4. Pois eu ando a sentir exactamente a mesma coisa. Se o ultimo desta série for igual aos anteriores vou deixar de a ler... ah a Balogh é mesmo uma das minhas favoritas e fico muito contente por estares a gostar... :-)

  5. Ok...guess this one wasn't the best of the series;) Thanks for the review.


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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