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5.0 out of 5 stars A Darling Book: Unique Hero and Heroine Fall in Love...Again
I started this book not expecting much based upon other reviews. But having read Eloisa James' books before and thoroughly enjoyed them, I thought I'd take a chance.
Once of the special things about Ms. James books is that her characters and plot lines are a little off the beaten path so to speak. That is to say, she just doesn't churn out the typical Regency Romance...
Published on May 9 2004

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3.0 out of 5 stars This is not the best work of Eloisa James
I thought this book had a lot of great potiental, but in the end it just did not live up to what I have come to expect from Eloisa James. This book was so predictable that I had to really push to finish it. I found that Helene was not all that wicked after all; more like dimwitted and Rees was just a spoiled, out of control, baby that really needed a swift kick in the...
Published on May 16 2004 by bookjunkie22


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4.0 out of 5 stars an interesting premise, May 24 2004
This review is from: Your Wicked Ways (Mass Market Paperback)
Forget the extremes of characterization and give this book four stars if only for its daring premise: the hero is not an accomplished lover, and the heroine is not unknowingly sensual or alluring-- at least until she is transformed as a result of a temper tantrum. Any admirer of this genre will soon surmise that all the males in romance fiction are masterful and considerate lovers. Makes the average female wish she might have been born in another era. True, these English males are prone to make stupid mistakes because they fail to communicate at some dramatic juncture, and thereby hangs the suspense of the tale.
This is a nice read because it goes against the grain. This hero is clueless about what women want from a man. The heroine is much more in line with the stereotyped female of her era--clueless about sex and love between men and women, though she does have female friendships down pretty solid.
The funniest quirk of the book is, it begins with letters dated in March 1816 and ends, presumably a year (or 3?) later, with letters dated January 1816. Editors slipped up there. This, however, is not critical to the plot, which constitutes a mild summer suntan read. If your budget is tight, get it used and enjoy!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Overbearing Hero and dimwitted heroine:, May 19 2004
This review is from: Your Wicked Ways (Mass Market Paperback)
I was looking forward to this book having read the previous ones in this series however, it was a disappointment. Rees is just awful and his character didn't get any better. Helene gave in to him at every point. For a woman who lived apart from her husband for 10 years, you would think she would have developed some backbone and maybe a brain to go in her head. The entire premise was faulty and not in the least romantic. The idea of having a mistress esconced in the house with his wife as romantic would require me to suspend my brain from functioning. Although well written, the plotline and characters leaves much to be desired! I truly hoped and expected a better book from Ms. James!
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3.0 out of 5 stars This is not the best work of Eloisa James, May 16 2004
This review is from: Your Wicked Ways (Mass Market Paperback)
I thought this book had a lot of great potiental, but in the end it just did not live up to what I have come to expect from Eloisa James. This book was so predictable that I had to really push to finish it. I found that Helene was not all that wicked after all; more like dimwitted and Rees was just a spoiled, out of control, baby that really needed a swift kick in the butt more than he needed Helene. I was very disappointed that Helene, who is supposed to be this head strong woman would move back in with Rees while his mistress still lived there! That showed a lack of good judgement that any really head strong woman would never of had. I was not impressed with how easy it was to put Rees and Helene back together as a couple with all the other things that Rees was doing in the story showing that he had not changed at all. I gave this story a 3 stars for the subplots that it had, because if Rees's brother was not part of the plot then I do not know that I could have finished this book. I hope with future books Eloisa James goes back to writing with her usual flare for romance and humor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Darling Book: Unique Hero and Heroine Fall in Love...Again, May 9 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Your Wicked Ways (Mass Market Paperback)
I started this book not expecting much based upon other reviews. But having read Eloisa James' books before and thoroughly enjoyed them, I thought I'd take a chance.
Once of the special things about Ms. James books is that her characters and plot lines are a little off the beaten path so to speak. That is to say, she just doesn't churn out the typical Regency Romance with the dashing hero, brave to a fault, devilshly handsome, sometime cad, master of the bedroom, need I go on.....? No, her characters have some flaws - not a lot of them thank God or they might be totally irredeemable, but enough to see them through the growth process in the story line.
In this story, we have two very young people, Rees the Earl Godwin and Helene, who were initially drawn to each other for a variety of reasons, and run away to Gretna Green to get married. They both share a passion for music and believe this mutual interest plus their love will be all they need to make a good marriage. However, they soon discover that marriage takes more than a few songs and stolen kisses to make it work.
For one thing, the wedding night left a good deal to be desired. Shy and uncertain about what to expect, Helene felt inadequate. Her husband, also leery of the night before him, stayed down in the tavern a little too long and arrived at their bedroom completely foxed. [The reader will not discover what caused this disasterous first night until later in the book when Helene and Rees finally confess their fears and disappointments about that night and learn that both of them had been virgins.] The marriage starts off badly, and leaves both mentally scarred about their respective inadequacies. Finally, in a fit of temper, Helene throws the chamber pot at her husband; and Rees, who has had enough of this unsatisfactory marriage, throws Helene out of his house. She then goes home to live with her mother, and for nine long years is virtuous and miserable. Though they stay married, Rees goes on to live the life of a supposed "Rakehell" breaking every taboo mostly to irritate his demanding father and miserable becasue he misses Helene.
As the years pass Helene realizes that she would like to have a child. She asks Rees for a divorce and he refuses because of the damage that it could do to their reputations. After Helene receives a "make over" in her wardrobe to more sensually show off her lovely figure, and a completely new hairstyle that enhances her lovely face, Rees sees her in a whole new light. He decides that if she must have a child, it should be his; and after some length of discussion finally persuades her that she should move back into his home for a month until she conceives.
From there the real romance begins, but not in your typical way. For one thing, Rees insists that Lina, his opera singer and former lover remain in his house so that she can practice his songs for the opera he is writing. This brings about some amusing and awkward moments between Helene and Lina.
As Rees and Helene mature, each learn the pleasure of discovering who their lover really is. It is delightful to watch them grow together to finally understand that what brought them to each other initially could be built upon and transformed into a truly beautiful marriage of mind, body and spirit. (I don't mean to be cliche here, but that's how I saw the book. In one sense it sort of reminded me of "Enchanted April" as the characters who thought they knew all about each other found entirely new and attractive aspects to their loved ones - facets that they had never appreciated or understood fully before.)
There is a secondary plot concerning Rees' brother Tom, the Vicar, who oddly enough falls deeply in love with Rees' former lover, Lina. It seems Lina has outgrown her relationship with Rees and hasn't been intimate with him for over a year. She and Tom, however, set the sparks flying whenever they're in the same room.
I found this book to be delightful and a real change of pace from the usual Regency Romance. Although none of the characters has the sort of perfection that I also love in Regency heros - you know tall, dark, handsome men, too charming for their own good to hide their tortured souls because of some life altering event in their past..... Rees is nothing like this. Oh, he's a rebel alright, kind of a Regency "Bad Boy." But it's fun to watch him grow in character, and of course, Helene is right there with him learning about herself and gaining self-confidence along the way.
A great book with a lovely ending, and one I recommend to all.
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3.0 out of 5 stars If you don't mind a not so likable leading man . . ., May 4 2004
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This review is from: Your Wicked Ways (Mass Market Paperback)
The last of the DUCHESS IN LOVE sequels is the story of Helene and her estranged husband Rees, Earl of Godwin. Helene desperately wants a child but given the fact that she and her husband have lived apart for years, she has no hope of conceiving one. She decides to brave scandal and ask Rees for a divorce - which he flatly refuses to give her. She then decides that she'll just take a lover and get her child that way - serve Rees right! She basically gets a makeover, cutting her hair and dressing more fashionably and daringly the better to lure a potential lover. And attract men she does - most particularly the Earl of Mayne who becomes infatuated with the new Helene. But Rees discovers what she's up to and thwarts her plans by stating that if she wants a child, she'll have to have it with him. They agree to a secret one-month reunion in order to make a baby. What an eventful month it is!
We also meet Rees' estranged brother Tom (notice how Rees is estranged from everyone in his life?) who happens to be a vicar, and Rees' mistress Lina, an opera singer whose only real remaining appeal for opera composer Rees is her voice (they stopped being lovers months ago). Lina is not a "fallen woman" per se. She truly fell in love with Rees (he fell in love with her voice) but has become disenchanted with him and now has nowhere else to go. Besides, Rees has promised her the lead in his new opera so she continues to live in his house. But we can see the budding attraction between Tom and Lina. While Tom and Lina are sweet and likable characters, I have to say that Rees just may be the most selfish leading man I have ever read! What's weird is that I found myself liking him a bit anyway - just as everyone in his life does! He occasionally displayed that "little boy lost" quality, though I think the author could have made him a bit more likeable. He's a lousy lover who has never learned how to give a woman pleasure in bed (the reason that his marriage to Helene fell apart). But when he and Helene reunite for baby-making purposes he does try to make it good for her to avoid the mistakes of their first times together - and he does improve as the story progresses! But I can imagine that many readers will find no redeeming qualities in Rees and that's a shame and a big fault with this story. He never really acknowledges the changes in Helene, though I suppose you are supposed to get that he has loved her for herself all along? Anyway, I think you get the gist of how this ends but not until the epilogue do we finally see the kinder, gentler, less self-involved Rees. Though not a great book, I enjoyed it despite the failings of Rees' character. One question, though: What happened to Carola? I thought all four of the friends would make an appearance in this last DIL sequel and was a bit surprised that she was not even mentioned.
I have a feeling that we will be seeing the Earl of Mayne (one of Helene's suitors) in a story of his own someday. His character received quite a bit of development for a secondary player. If so, I look forward to it because he was really sexy!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Empty., May 4 2004
By 
MaryGrace Meloche (Ontario, Canada.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Your Wicked Ways (Mass Market Paperback)
Now, this was not fun! The charm found in Ms. James' "Wild Pursuit" was missing from this sequel. Although the book was a pleasant read, the enchanting jealousy and the incredible lust found in the parent book wasn't found in these pages.
This is a story about beginnings, a second chance at love for two pathetic people. Helene Holland wants to get on with her life, she wants a divorce from Rees Holland, the miserable man she married many years ago. But more important, Helene wants a life filled a child. Helene wants a baby. However, she must conceive a child before the divorce, to avoid a beastly scandal.
Over afternoon tea, Helene and her lady friends draw up the plans for the fertilization. Helene needs a donor, someone she can entice to her bed. Dumbfounded by his wife's plans, Rees decides to provide his services -- but at a cost. Rees Holland will supply the much needed assistance, if Helene will assist him with his project - a mediocre opera. Yet incredibly, this deplorable man is not finished with his demands. If Helene truly wants a baby, she must live in his home and coexist with his mistress. What an idea!
With such a farcical storyline, why did I rate the book 3 Stars and not something lower? Because the author pens a good subplot working with Rees' mistress and his brother, Tom. Their scenes together are the highlight of the book. I enjoyed seeing Lina, the story's soiled dove, achieve a happy ending. A shame Eloisa James did not devote "Your Wicked Ways" thoroughly to this couple.
Eloisa James can entertain her reader. Her writing style is smooth and humorous, and her characters have unique interests, but the trick to a good page turner is delivering a satisfying story. The Rees and Helene story is too empty.
Grace Atkinson, Ontario - Canada.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wicked? Well - more weak than wicked., April 25 2004
By 
A. Santiago "ardith" (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Your Wicked Ways (Mass Market Paperback)
Eloisa James has a witty style, but I find myself disappointed in this book. The fourth of a quartet, I was hoping for more zing in Rees and Helene. Ok, so I know from past books that Rees is an ass and Helene can be a touch judgemental, but here was a chance for them to shine.
I agree with other reviews that the secondary romance of Rees' brother was much more interesting. I found that for all the build up, there was definitely something lacking in the final tale.
Helene finally breaks loose from her shell, determined to have a child no matter what her ass of a husband thinks. He's had a bevy of women in his bed. Not to mention that he's installed his latest mistress in what are supposed to be HER chambers in the house they shared before their youthful marrige fell apart.
What we have learned from encounters and hints in the past books is that Helene loved her husband and they ran off together, creating a scandal in their youth. But neither of them were happy about it afterwards. Apparently young Rees was quite bad in bed. Quite. (No wonder Helene was never tempted to stray.... She thought it was no good anyway.)
After all her friends find love and start families, Helene decides to fight for her dream of having a child. She wants a divorce. Too bad Rees won't allow it. Too costly and scandalous. (Of course, this from a man with a mistress in his wife's chambers.)
After Rees finds out she is determined to have a child no matter what, he decides he better take some action.
What follows is not quite what I hoped. Instead of making him beg or work for her love again, Helene follows his dictates. Instead of experimenting with the power she has discovered she has over other men, she gives into his demands.
Rees is not really a likeable man. I was hoping that with Helene coming out of her shell, she would be given a chance to test her wings. Maybe I was looking for redemption in Rees case.
I give her a 3 only because I know she is capible of a better story. Eloisa James is clever, creative and witty. I look forward to more books from her. I'd say that this one is not the best one she's written, but I'm definitely waiting to read more from her.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Poor story, April 21 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Your Wicked Ways (Mass Market Paperback)
It was technically well written but I too wanted to kill the main characters. I wish the story would have been about his brother the vicar, he and his romance was far more interesting.
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1.0 out of 5 stars i tore it up in frustration!, April 19 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Your Wicked Ways (Mass Market Paperback)
I wish i could give it no stars. This book made me cry in frustration. I literally threw it against the wall and tore it up. It does indeed start well with a promising premise, but the moment the heroine starts to come into her own (and meet a great new guy) the jerk of a husband returns. Make no mistake, he is a jerk. Self -centered, inconsiderate, mean, and downright cruel at times to Helene. I couldn't fathom why she would want to be with him. I don't want to give the plot away for anyone who wants to read it but he treats her in a way that no woman should be treated and she takes it! She just goes along with every stupid demand he makes on her. It was surprising that a woman who could stand to be away from him for 10 years would give in so easily.
All of the secondary characters are fascinating. And although I tore the book up in frustration, I would like to read other books by this author. But don't read this one if you have any self respect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars James does it again!, April 13 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Your Wicked Ways (Mass Market Paperback)
Wow just when I think Eloisa James has done the best work she can do and that she'll never top herself she blows me away again. I loved everything about this book: the characters, the story, the writing, all of it. Rees was a fitting adversary for the very strong Helene which also made him the perfect love for her too. I couldn't wait to see how everything turned out and was up late reading several nights in a row. Highly recommended.
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Your Wicked Ways
Your Wicked Ways by Eloisa James (Mass Market Paperback - March 11 2004)
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