THE DUKE IS MINE (Fairy Tales #3)
by Eloisa James
PUBLISHER: Piatikus Books
RELEASE DATE: Jan 2012
FORMAT: Paperback. 400 pages
GENRE: Historical Romance
Destiny will be decided between the sheets in this all-new tale of “The Princess and the Pea.” For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick – hardly a Prince Charming – feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, a perfect match for her in every way… every way but one. Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia.
Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him – a desire they are both powerless to resist. When a scandalous affair begins, they risk losing everything – Olivia’s engagement, her sister’s friendship, and their own fragile love. Only one thing can save them – and it awaits in the bedroom, where a magnificent mattress holds life-changing answers to the greatest romantic riddle of all.
Having ready both of the other books in the series, I have to admit that I liked this more than When Beauty tamed the Beast, but slightly less than A Kiss At Midnight. The characters seemed to be more well rounded in “The Duke is Mine” and their actions were not out of character, as they were in the second book.
The hero and heroine of the book are a delight to read. Olivia has been betrothed from the age of five, to the son of a family friend. She knows she has to conform to the expectations of society for a woman of marriageable age. She has a rather dry and vulgar wit, which is a pleasure to read. I found myself laughing at the conversations she has with her sister, though it’s usually at the expense of her betrothed. Some people may find this in bad taste, especially when we find out that her betrothed, Rupert seems to have the mentality of a person much younger than his eighteen years due to an incident that happened during his birth.
However, Olivia is redeemed from seeming as cruel due to two reasons. One is the heart to heart that she has with Rupert’s father, where he gives her this information. From here we see a significant softening of Olivia and she becomes Ruperts protector and champion in many ways.
What must be remembered is that during this time period, the medical understanding and dealing with any sort of mental illness was very primative. Anyone who was seen as mad or below average intelligence were normally hidden away from society, in an asylum if you were poor or in the country if you were well off. So for Rupert to have this afflication and be the only heir to his fathers estate was unusual and I couldn’t help but feel for his character.
All he would like to do is to take care of his dog and to bring family honour by fighting Napoleon. He knows that it is his duty to marry Olivia, but he manages to keep putting it off.
Quinn, our hero in the story has a very strong resemblence to Mr Darcy, except he knows he must marry as his duty. He just decides to let his mother pick for him, hence the gathering of young ladies at his estate. There isn’t much to say except he is your typical alpha male. I neither liked him nor disliked him. Though at the end he does come through.
And now I come on to the part of the book I disliked the most. The conclusion to the story. It shifts to France for reasons that I won’t divulge so as not to spoil it for those who want to read it. All I will say is that it seemed very contrived and only used as a device to get the hero and heroine together as quick as possible. This is what changes the book from a brilliant book to just a very good book.
The book was an excellent regency romance, only let down by the last few chapters, which were very out of place and only used as quick way to conclude the story.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1. A Kiss Before Midnight
1.5 Storming the Castle
2. When Beauty Tamed the Beast
2.5 Wining the Wallflower
3. The Duke is Mine
4. The Ugly Duchess
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