ARC Review: The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James

Posted August 29, 2012 by Suzanne in Reviews / 2 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review: The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James
The Ugly Duchess
by Eloisa James

3.5 Stars


Released: August 28, 2012
Series: Fairy Tales #4
Published by Avon
Pages: 334
Format: ARC

Theodora Saxby and James Ryburn, Earl of Islay and next in line for a Dukedom are the match of the season, no one expected the ugly and mannish Theo to bring the handsome James up to scratch, with such a romantic proposal, not even Theo. But she falls in love and they marry…only to be separated two days later when she throws him out after discovering that James, her oldest friend and the man she loves only married her for her dowry.I find myself a little uncertain if how to rate this book,  there were things I really liked about it, but other aspects that didn’t sit very well, overall I think it was good, but for me not the kind of book I will remember long are I have finished it.  However, I love the idea rewriting fairy tales, something this series is based on, and the story of the ugly duckling who then blossoms into a beautiful swan is something that appeals  to me as someone who loves a plain Jane kind of story.

The problem I had with this book wasn’t the characters who I did really like, especially the Theo she was a strong, funny heroine who I enjoyed reading about, and James and Theo had great chemistry, not only sexually but I felt that the love they had for each other, even when they were angry, shone through.

It was the pacing, it was very odd and I didn’t like it. It started off really well, introducing the characters and their relationship with one another, but then when they get separated it really slows down and skips through 7 years of time giving you brief glimpses into their lives, then at the very end when they are reunited it picks up again, but it seems to end rather quickly. It was almost like a really long novella, and I think it would have almost been better off as one, starting from when they were reunited and maybe telling the story of how they came to be married in flashbacks, it wouldn’t have had this large and slightly tedious section in the middle then.

It was an enjoyable read though, the characters were likeable and the love story was sweet but full of some really good steamy sensuous scenes.

*ARC provided by publisher

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About Eloisa James

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa's very first book that she "found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"; later People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists. After being a finalist for a RITA—the top award in the genre of romance fiction awarded by the Romance Writers of America—over ten times, she won in 2013.

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Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
Gosh, we all seem to be admitting our ages…and I hate that I am at the point in life when admitting my age is a “thing”…whodda thunk it? I was kind of hoping I would remain 21 forever. However, I have moved out of that New Adult stage of my life and am now strictly in the Contemporary Romance age zone of 28. I would prefer to be in an Urban Fantasy arena, but I don’t think I own enough black leather. However, I could probably squeeze into some PNR, I am fully prepared to give a horn job to my favourite demon, or suck on my sexy vamps…fangs and I am definitely up for some heavy petting with some fine looking shifters. Than again their’s always Sci Fi…I am fully prepared to do the right thing and help some poor alien race with more 6 packs than a supermarket repopulate their planet. Not that I am loose woman or anything.

Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?
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Thanks for the review – I’m still waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail


Thanks for the honest review Suz!