Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Duke Is Mine (Fairy Tales, #3) by Eloisa James

  • Title: The Duke Is Mine
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Historical Romance/Fairy Tale Remake (Princess and the Pea)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Original edition (December 27, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0062021281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062021281
Author's Website: http://www.eloisajames.com/

Once upon a time a commoner made a pact with a Duke. The Duke's first born son and the commoner's first born daughter would wed. Sometimes even the best made plans go awry because fate has other plans...

Olivia and Rupert were betrothed before either of them were ever born. Olivia's father and the Duke of Canterwick became best friends while at Eton and made a pact that the Duke's first born son and Olivia's father's first born daughter would wed. Olivia and her sister were raised to be perfect Duchesses studying all the things a proper Duchess should know and then some. Her fiance, however, wasn't quite right in the head. His father stated his son "wasn't breathing at birth, and the doctors believe that had an effect on his brain." That is the true reason the Duke agreed to let the pact stand and allow her to marry his son. He needed someone who could run things for his son and Olivia has the brains and the temperament to do so. Olivia had resigned herself to her fate many years ago and while she might not be ecstatic about it, she had accepted it. That, however, was before she met Tarquin (aka Quin), the Duke of Sconce...

Rupert, Olivia's intended, has decided he will not marry until he has won "glory" for his family name by fighting in the war. He is the type of individual who cannot be reasoned with once he's made up his mind. Before going off, however, the official betrothal contract was signed with the understanding that the said fiances would "shake the sheets" prior to the actual marriage in case the future Duke, his father's only heir, should be killed. Hence, whether the actual marriage ever came to be, if Olivia should find herself with child, her son would be in line for the title of  Duke. While Olivia did not seek out another fate than the one she had been dealt, sometimes even the best laid plans have a way of not working out.

When Olivia meets Quin he is in the market for a wife. Her sister, Georgiana, is one of the front runners for the vacant position. Going by common interests and the like, Georgiana and Quin seem perfect for each other. The only problem is that Quin is instantly attracted to Olivia. The sparks between the two are instantaneous and their first meeting starts off with a very steamy scene. That may partially be due to the fact she was caught in the rain after an accident and the outfit she wore once soaked, left little to the imagination.

Now Olivia is in quite a predicament. She doesn't wish to betray either her sister or Rupert, but the lure of having a love match is much more appealing than her current circumstance. Dare she even hope the Duke could ever be hers?

Where is the fairy tale tie in to the Princess and the Pea? ***Slight Spoiler Alert*** Well, toward the end Olivia becomes a prisoner of sorts and is held in a cell. To keep the damp off of her some of the guards donated their mattresses to her---14. At one point a sympathetic guard leaves a key under one of the mattresses. Hence, it might not be a pea, but key does rhyme with it. lol ***End of Spoiler***

I usually love Eloisa James' books I could only give this one a 2.5 out of 5 roses. Sorry Ms. James. I didn't find the attempted "tryst" with Rupert very funny and while I sympathized with Olivia's plight, I didn't really care for the way the situation was handled. ***Slight Spoiler Alert***Additionally, I thought the turnabout in Georgia's feelings toward the Duke of Sconce a bit too quick. One minute she thinks she's found 'The One' and the next there are no sparks without event a kiss? Seemed a bit too hasty and convenient to me. Perhaps it was a very loyal and perceptive sister's way of letting her sister be happy? I just wasn't sure.***End of Spoiler*** Also, the whole France encounter and mattresses just seemed rather odd. I kind of felt like the author decided at the last minute to try to make the story tie in to a fairy tale. So while I really liked the middle, the beginning and the end just didn't have that special quality I usually find in Ms. James' books. Hence, my 2.5 rose rating. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, however, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

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