Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Giveaway, Review, and Excerpt of Say No to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #4) by Eloisa James (Blog Tour)

Say No to the Duke 
by Eloisa James

Could she possibly refuse a duke’s hand—in favor of a sardonic, sinful rake?

Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.

No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.

If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.

But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.

They moved toward each other as if they were following the steps of a very slow, very grand country dance. One that was danced by kings and queens and countryfolk alike.

When they were  beside  each  other, she  squared her shoulders and met his eyes. “I decided to come to you. I hope that is all right.”

“I do believe that you are the bravest woman I’ve ever met,” he replied.

He couldn’t have said anything better; Betsy felt herself begin to glow. “I haven’t been brave to this point, but I have made up my mind to change. I outlawed being nervous, but now I need to outlaw being afraid.” She hesitated. “I have chosen courage, and now I choose happiness.”

“I love you as you are,” he whispered, and then his mouth came down on hers.

Her breath caught in her throat because their tongues met as if they kissed every day, every night. He tasted right, which sent a shiver through her whole  body,  and  pushed  her  against him gently, the way a pebble might roll up a beach when the tide comes in.

One doesn’t fight the tide.

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Eloisa James is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at

Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Wildes of Lindow Castle
Format: Paperback; 432 pages
Publisher: HarperLuxe; Large Print edition (June 25, 2019)
ISBN-10: 006291149X
ISBN-13: 978-0062911490
Author's website:
Notes:  I received an eARC loan for the purpose of a review. This in no way affected my review.

Lady Boadicea 'Betsy' Wilde set her sites at an early age on marrying a Duke, and once she sets her mind on something she usually gets it. To date, she's turned down four peers and fourteen untitled gentlemen. A duke, however, has eluded her until now...

'I spoke to your father, Lady Boadicea, and he agreed that I might ask you for the honor of your hand in marriage..."  

While Betsy has always wanted to marry a duke, something keeps her from accepting...

Lord Jeremy Roden has no plans for ever marrying. He came away from the war a different person--one who's haunted by what happened to his men on the battlefield. Strangely, there is something about Lady Boadicea Wilde that makes him forget the past and focus on the here and now.  She, however, has her sights set on Thaddeus, Lord Greywick, the future duke of Eversley. While he acknowledges the two would make a brilliant match, there's something about it he can't quite stomach...

Sometimes life has a way of throwing you for a loop, and the best laid plans often go awry.
When Eloisa James is at the top of her game, her stories remind you of when you fell in love, and why you started reading romances in the first place. She has a way of capturing the magic of the moment when a person first falls in love and those feelings are reciprocated. In fact, she's managed to do just that with this entire series, and has wrapped each book in a fun, delightful, and alluring romance. This is the fourth book of 'The Wildes of Lindow Castle' series, and while you can definitely read it as a standalone novel, I encourage you to read the entire series. In my humble opinion, it will be well worth your time. The series centers around the Wilde family, and it reminds me a bit of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series, but with a slightly more scandalous family backstory. The Wildes, as the name implies, are a tad wild and are not your average family of the ton. They are a large family whose patriarch is a Duke who has been married several times. His children seem to acknowledge, yet slightly rebel against many of the society's dictates. They are a family who value loyalty above all else, especially where family and friends are concerned. They are the type who stick together through thick and thin.  

What I liked most about this story was that there were layers to it. There were layers to the characters.  Plus, there was more to the story than initially met the eye. So what started out to be a seemingly superficial story quickly turned into something richer and deeper. I was quickly hooked.

Betsy is very sensitive about the subject of her mother who ran off with a Prussian Count years ago causing a huge scandal. Betsy feels she needs to prove she's nothing like her mother, and has held herself to a higher standard. She has learned to maneuver the ton like a pro and is one of the most sought after debutantes of the season. When a duke proposes, it would appear Betsy achieved what she set out to do. The problem is that Betsy is very spirited, and is beginning to realize what she always thought she wanted might not be what she needs. She needs someone who will accept her as she is and not try to change her. She longs for adventure and, truth be told, she's not exactly the proper English Miss she's lead others to believe she is. She needs someone who will challenge her, and who truly sees her.

Jeremy is suffering from PTSD and survivor's guilt. The Wilde's are discretely helping him deal with all he's been through, but Jeremy has a long way to go. The ton are not kind in their assessment of him, and people question why he was the lone survivor of his regiment. The implications are not nice suggesting he perhaps didn't stay to the last. No one, however, is tougher on him then he is on himself. His thoughts and dreams are haunted with images of what happened, and he questions what he could or should have done differently. He misses those that he lost, but he did all he could have given the impossible position he and his men were put in. He just needs someone to help him realize that and not mince words. He fears something inside him has broken and he's believes he's too damaged to ever be in a relationship again.

I loved this novel so much that I gave it 5 out of 5 roses. The male posturing between Thaddeus and Jeremy was so much fun to watch, especially after Jeremy realized he had feelings for Betsy. Both of these men seemed to be a good match for Betsy, but only one could win her heart. I loved the way Betsy and Jeremy seemed to complete each other, and how each seemed to spring to life when the other was around. Additionally, Thaddeus' mother cracked me up with the way she surprised her son as to her true nature. Plus, I loved the twist I didn't expect or see coming. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned 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. I definitely recommend this one.

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  1. She is a new author for me. I enjoy historical romance.

  2. I enjoyed her Essex Sisters series.

  3. For some unaccountable reason, I've only read her in a couple of anthologies. I should give her books a try.

  4. Eloisa James is a new author to me. I like contemporary romance.


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