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The Duke is Mine
The Duke is Mine
In an offbeat take on the traditional fairy tale The Princess and the Pea, Eloisa James brings us the story of Olivia Lytton and Tarquin, the Duke of Sconce. Quin, who's been raised to be the consummate aristocrat, broke with tradition, falling madly in love (or at least lust) with his first wife. This ended in an absolute nightmare when his wife drowned while attempting to run off with one her many lovers, along with his young son. When it's obvious that Quin must remarry to produce another heir, he leaves the selection of his bride to his mother, trusting in her worthy judgment. To this end, Olivia's sister, Georgina, who has been chosen as one of two potential candidates, is invited to the state for a series of 'tests'.
However, it's Olivia who captures Quin's attention. Unfortunately, Olivia's hand has been promised from childhood to a duke-to-be, Rupert, who just happens to be simple-minded. Although she is head over heels with Quin, when she hears that Rupert has been gravely wounded in battle, she feels honor bound to help him. In the midst of his rescue, Olivia is captured and imprisoned. It's while Quin is carrying out a daring rescue that Olivia makes creative use of a stack of mattresses in her cell.
Will Quin be able to stand up to his mother's ruthless and relentless demands that he marry a 'proper' debutante? Will Georgina forgive Olivia for stealing her potential position as a duchess? And will Olivia's mother surrender the idea of having not one, but two duchesses?
The Duke is Mine is classic Eloisa James, providing a rich sense of history, without bogging the reader down with clichéd details. Her unerring sense of humor bubbles forth in both the inner points of view and the actions of the characters, creating many laugh-out-loud scenes. In fact, it's probably a wise idea to read this tale in private to avoid being overheard snorting, which is clearly defined within these pages as being terribly inelegant! Ms. James combines this with a sweet romance, which still has an undeniable sensuality that makes for some breathless reading indeed! Although, it did take me a chapter or two to become fully involved with this story, I was quickly imbedded; as usual, it was almost impossible to put it down, let alone go to sleep with the plot twists running rampant in my mind. I highly recommend The Duke is Mine to anyone who enjoys Happily Ever After's!
Reviewed by: Lynn