Desperate Duchess

Eloisa James, Author
Eloisa James, Author . Avon $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-078193-4
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-180046-7
Book - 978-0-06-202542-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-204075-6
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-144399-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 400 pages - 978-0-06-144396-1
Hardcover - 525 pages - 978-1-4104-1635-3
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-144394-7
Hardcover - 426 pages - 978-0-7505-3415-4
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If Shakespeare had written an 18th-century romantic comedy, it might look something like this novel. In her latest, veteran James offers a larger-than-life portrait of Georgian England, complete with oversexed aristocrats, posturing courtesans and a feuding duke and duchess. At the heart of it all is Roberta St. Giles, an ingenue who’s intent on marrying the duke of Villiers, a chess player and notorious womanizer. Roberta, the daughter of the poetry-addicted “Mad Marquess,” wants nothing more than an unsentimental husband like Villiers. But in her quest to become the sort of woman who would attract the duke, she finds herself falling for Damon Reeve, her tutor in the art of pleasure. James embellishes her tale with a number of characters, each with their own desires, vices and schemes. At times, the profusion of people and plot threads overwhelms the primary romance. Roberta, in particular, pales next to the vivacious but unhappily married duchess of Beaumont, who begs for her own story. Despite this lack of focus, James pulls everything together in the final third, making for a colorful, spirited romance that will leave readers desperate for a sequel. (June)

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