The Duke Is Mine Mass Market Paperback – Dec 5 2011
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From the Back Cover
This Duke is Mine
He is a duke in search of a perfect bride.
She is a lady—but a long way from perfect.
Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess. So why can't he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong, and altogether unconventional Olivia? Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper, albeit intoxicating, flirtation makes her unsuitability all the more clear.
Determined to make a perfect match, he methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion…Until, in his darkest hour, Quin begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love.
To win Olivia's hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul…
Unless it's already too late.
Don't miss a new version of The Princess & the Pea, asking an age-old question: What is a perfect princess?
About the Author
Eloisa James is aUSA TodayandNew York Timesbestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. (Her husband is an honest-to-goodness Italian knight!) Eloisa's website offers short stories, extra chapters, and even a guide to shopping in Florence.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
She was betrothed as a child to Rupert, Marquess of Montsurrey, who was severely injured during his traumatic birth, leaving him with the intellect of a charming and earnest 11 year old boy. Rupert has been drilled to present an adult appearance, writes poetry, and volunteers for the British army, but marriage to him will compel Olivia to function as his caregiver and estate administrator.
Her secret love, Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, is a handsome, brilliant mathematician, who has already lost one wife and a child due to his inability to read other peoples' emotions correctly, predict their emotional reactions accurately or express his own emotions. An isolated mathematical genius with almost no friends, Tarquin's life is managed for him by his overbearing widowed mother, who wants to marry him off to Olivia's extremely proper bluestocking sister.
An alert modern reader will quickly grasp that Olivia is facing a lifetime coping with either an intellectually disabled spouse or a spouse with Asperger's Syndrome.
Olivia herself is atypical of Regency heroines, describing herself as fat, loud and fond of risque jokes. Not your standard Regency romance novel lead characters, to put it mildly. Part of the allure of the novel is wondering how the author can produce a HEA ending from these unpromising elements.
Despite the tough medical problems of the male leads, the plot is surprisingly humorous and filled with genuinely romantic sexual episodes. If you are interested in a Regency romance that takes parts of the genre's conventions and stands them on their heads, you'll like this novel.
I gave it four stars instead of five stars because I felt that the novel took too many liberties -- during the last third of the book -- with the actual history of the Napoleonic wars and the British army's real life behavior. But if you are not a strict history buff, such liberties will not be a problem.
I am now rereading the novel, after a first reading where I rushed through it. I am savoring it at leisure.
This really isn't a review since I didn't finish the book. The Duke is Mine is the first book I've read by Eloisa James. I've heard great things about this series so I jumped at the chance to read this book. I like historical romances and while I know that things back then were different and certain behaviors were more acceptable then than they are now, I could not get past how Olivia, the heroine, treated Rupert. Olivia has been engaged to Rupert since she was 10 and he was 5 years old. Now that he's turned 18, they are now to be married. Olivia hates Rupert and calls him all kinds of names like "Foolish Fiance" and "Half-wit husband". Well it turns out that Rupert is mentally disabled and is dim-witted. And the treatment of him is downright horrible. Olivia and her sister, Georgina are constantly talking bad about Rupert and making nasty, snide remarks. So far, the heroine has not endeared herself to me and I'm wondering if she ever will. The straw that made me decide to finally quit the book is when Rupert's father locks Rupert and Olivia in a room, to make them have sex in hopes of getting Olivia pregnant, hoping that her pregnancy will seal the deal with the marriage. Because Rupert is mentally disabled, he unable to get aroused and of course Olivia is pleased and tells her sister that obviously Rupert needs more than a willing woman to get himself up to the challenge. And this is when I stopped.
When I read a romance, whether it be historical, contemporary or erotic, I want to liket he characters. Everyone in this book seems downright cruel. I've spoken to other friends who've read this book and they told me if I'd kept reading, that Olivia redeems herself. I'm all about redemption in a story but I don't see how I could have liked Olivia. Just the little bit I read left such a bad taste in my mouth. Once a character has utterly turned me off, it is hard for me, personally, to find any redemption in that character.
Even though The Duke is Mine didn't work for me, I am not turned off by the author. I figured maybe this wasn't the best book to introduce me to Eloisa James. Better luck next time, I guess.
The story is rather like a blueberry muffin. There are good bits here and there, amid the bland parts, and there are occasional air pockets. The characters and dialog are sometimes too cute for their own good. The conversations are filled with 21st century phrases (a reference to "wardrobe malfunction," for instance, brings to mind Janet Jackson rather than ladies of the 1800s). Lapses in logic pop up -- for instance, the very micro-managing mother of the two sisters has devoted her entire life to getting her girls married off to dukes, but when the younger has a chance to achieve this goal, mother stays home and sends the girl off with her unconventional, rowdy sister?
The plot is a re-imagining of the fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea," although only a few elements of that story appear and seem thrown in as an afterthought with little to do with the story. Most of the book is entertaining, until the plot seems to veer off the reality chart completely at the end.
Readers who enjoy stories with as much realism as a fairy tale will love this book. There is some amusing conversation, as well as an abundance of batty characters. Such readers will find this tale a good way to spend a chilly winter evening, but I'll hold out for an eclair of a book rather than a blueberry muffin.
Rupert, the future Duke of Canterwick, has been brain-damaged since birth, and while he has a sweet disposition, he has the maturity of a twelve year old boy. Olivia is mostly resigned to her fate- which is to produce an heir, be the care taker of her mentally incompetent husband, and to run his estate. That is, until she meets Quin, the Duke of Sconce, who is allowing his mother to choose a bride for him. The two sisters come for a visit (or interview) and the dowager Duchess of Sconce loves Georgina, and hates Olivia- which shouldn't matter really, since Olivia is engaged to another Duke. Georgina thinks Quin could be her handsome prince- unfortunately so does Olivia.
This very little not to like about this book. The characters are beautifully written. I couldn't help but like Olivia's hapless fiance, his forthright father, her dutiful sister, and willful future mother-in-law. Olivia herself was lovable and believable, and Quin's character was revealed in more depth throughout the story- the reader gets to know him gradually as Olivia does. The dialogue was well done and at times laugh-out-loud funny. The story even took an adventurous turn towards the end.
The romance between Olivia and Quin was beautifully written- there was just the right amount of tension between them. There is usually some sort of device in romantic novels keeping the hero and heroine apart- in this case it was a particularly believable one. Olivia didn't want to be in love with her sister's beau- I can't imagine anything worse. The whole book was very compelling and enjoyable- I read it in one sitting because I simply didn't want to put it down.
This is a rare romance novel that I will keep to read again- highly recommended.
Anyway, Olivia, our non-funny heroine, is plump and self-conscious about it. Indeed, we are reminded of it throughout the tale. I really didn't find anything to like about her until the tailend of the story. For all of her self-consciousness about her figure, she had no problem being nasty about her unwanted betrothed, who, we learn is a gentle and kind soul without a mean bone in his body. The scene in the library where she and Rupert were to "consummate" their betrothal just disgusted me.
I am truly tired of lust taking over a romance novels. The only thing that Quin, our hero, seemed to feel for her was hot, raging lust over her ample curves. Did I mention Olivia's ample curves? Because she has them. Bless Georgiana, her sister, the one meant for Quin was just a stick. Quin's character was slightly more believable. His struggles understandable.
The secondary characters were plentiful and unnecessary, particularly at the end where the story takes a wild jerk to the left and craziness. Although I was very touched by Rupert's 'rescue'.
As with "When Beauty Tamed the Beast" we are left with a story better left untold. I don't know why we keep seeing plots like this coming from Eloisa James, she has some older work that is truly good. I can't recommend this one.