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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

REVIEW: "Three Weeks With Lady X" by Eloisa James


Three Weeks With Lady X (Desperate Duchesses, #7)
Three Weeks With Lady X by Eloisa James
(Desperate Duchesses #7)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Georgian England

Avon -- March 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES
Alpha Hero, Love Triangle

SUMMARY
Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized fa├žade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.

Exquisite, head-strong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.  But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.  Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his.  Failure is not an option.

But there is only one thing that will make India his—the one thing Thorn can't afford to lose...His fierce and lawless heart.



FIRST LINE
"Lady Xenobia, I adore you!"

MY THOUGHTS
The Desperate Duchesses series is one of my favorites by Eloisa James with its late 18th century setting and quirky characters.  One of the most memorable of these characters is the irreverent Duke of Villiers who finally gets his happy ending in A Duke of Her Own.  A big part of Villiers story is the fact that he has six illegitimate children who he publicly claims and raises with his wife, Eleanor.  Tobias "Thorn" Dautry is the oldest of these and he always intrigued me so I was glad to see him get his own story. I always find James's historicals to be both charming and eccentric with plenty of thought-provoking scenes and creativity and Three Weeks With Lady X is no exception.

The main story follows Thorn, who has grown up to be a powerful businessman despite his unfortunate upbringing, and decides that now is the type to marry.  He even has a woman in mind, Laetitia Rainsford, the daughter of an impoverished, but influential aristocrat.  In order to impress her snobbish mother, Thorn decides to hire Lady Xenobia India St. Clair who has made a living helping the ton with a variety of tasks such as decorating a home and hiring the proper staff.  But, as expected from a historical romance, things don't really go as planned when love gets in the way.

I absolutely adored Thorn's character!  He was admirable in his ability to move up from his early years as a mudlark to such an innovator and business owner.  Despite his current position, Thorn never forgets where he came even if it is causes him to feel unworthy.  I liked how much he admired India for her abilities and independence.  And India is another successful historical heroine for Eloisa James!  She is very skilled at writing intelligent, but realistic women who readers can easily relate to and root for.  I loved the fact that India was the 18th century version of a career woman and that she had the determination to create her own happiness.  It was also great to see her overcome her own vulnerabilities related to her neglectful parents and upbringing.  I found it very easy to understand how Thorn and India could be attracted (both physically and emotionally) to each other and thought it gave the whole story a mature feel.

I also enjoyed the large cast of the side characters that added to the fun and biting humor of the book.  Some of the ones that stood out the most to me were Thorn's best friend, Vander, who I'm hoping gets his own story soon, and Thorn's newly acquired ward, Rose, who redefines my impression of precocious children.  I also liked the way that she developed Laetitia's character from someone who was thought to be a pretty, but stupid girl to a confident young lady who has her own sweet love story on the side.  And, while we didn't get to spend much time with them, Thorn's old mudlarking friends were very fun to read about and I liked how they showed a different side of him.  The only character I didn't care for (and that was on purpose) was Laetitia's overbearing, attention-seeking mother who got her comeuppance in the best way by Thorn's wonderful parents.

Like most of Eloisa James's historical romances, Three Weeks With Lady X is a nice balance of rapid pacing and slow burning romance.  The story starts off quickly and very rarely settles down except during the more intimate scenes between Thorn and India.  There is a lot going on, but I never felt like it was overwhelming or hard to understand.  This speaks a lot to the author's writing skills and her ability to pace her books perfectly.

Overall, I found this book to be another successful and entertaining romp in Georgian England.  I am ecstatic to see Eloisa James return to the world of the Desperate Duchesses and I can't wait for more!

4 STARS



STEAM LEVEL
Fever -- Definitely graphic, but still emotional descriptions.


FAVORITE QUOTE
He stood, and she looked up at him. She did not hold out her arms, but it seemed he was expected to pick her up."Didn't you announce that you don't like to be carried?"
"I make exceptions when I am ill shod."
The child stared back at Thorn as if there was nothing odd about her speech. He gathered her up into his arms and remarked, "At least you smell better now." He glanced down in time to see cool gray eyes narrow."So do you," she said.


BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Desperate Duchesses
2. An Affair Before Christmas
3. Duchess By Night
4. When the Duke Returns
5. This Duchess of Mine
6. A Duke of Her Own
7. Three Weeks With Lady X
8. Four Nights With the Duke (Coming December 2014)

CHALLENGES READ FOR
 

6 comments:

  1. I haven't read anything by Eloisa James, but I always find her story kind of interesting. I tried reading one of hers, but I really struggled with it. It felt very slowly paced, but maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. This one definitely seems amazing, though.

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    1. She is one of my favorite authors, but her style does take some getting used to. She is a Shakespeare professor and there are obvious hints of that in her writing. EJ is also a fan of "soap opera romances" with there being one main romance, but lots of side characters and subplots going on in the background. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I have only read a couple books from this series and enjoyed them. I do want to finish the rest of the series, and ever since I heard that this was out, I have been wanting to read this one. I do love the slow and steady romances, and Eloisa James does them well.

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  3. Like Quinn I found Eloisa's story interesting too ! I usually go for more contemporary romances, so I may try hers out to shake things up. I'm such a noob to these, do these need to be read in order ?

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    1. Any of the DD books can be read as a stand-alone, but I think a reader would get more out of it if they read the first six in order. This particular book (#7) starts the next generation so I think a newbie could jump in pretty easily. I also recommend Eloisa James's Fairy Tales series which is made up of a stand-alone fairy tale retellings...my favorite is When the Beauty Tamed the Beast. Thanks for commenting!

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  4. Nice review! I've been meaning to try some of Eloisa James's books. I think I've read one, but it was a while ago.

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