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Eloisa James

Desperate Duchesses: An Affair Before Christmas (Paperback)

Average Rating:out of 5 stars
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<p>Magic under the mistletoe . . .</p> <p>One spectacular Christmas, Lady Perdita Selby, known to her friends and family as Poppy, met the man she thought she would love forever. The devilishly attractive Duke of Fletcher was the perfect match for the innocent, breathtakingly beautiful young Englishwoman, and theirs was the most romantic wedding she had ever seen. Four years later, Poppy and the duke have become the toast of the <em>ton . . .</em> but behind closed doors the spark of their love affair has burned out.</p> <p>Unwilling to lose the woman he still lusts after, the duke is determined to win back his beguiling bride's delectable affections . . . and surpass the heady days of first love with a truly sinful seduction.</p>

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Magic under the mistletoe . . .

One spectacular Christmas, Lady Perdita Selby, known to her friends and family as Poppy, met the man she thought she would love forever. The devilishly attractive Duke of Fletcher was the perfect match for the innocent, breathtakingly beautiful young Englishwoman, and theirs was the most romantic wedding she had ever seen. Four years later, Poppy and the duke have become the toast of the ton . . . but behind closed doors the spark of their love affair has burned out.

Unwilling to lose the woman he still lusts after, the duke is determined to win back his beguiling bride's delectable affections . . . and surpass the heady days of first love with a truly sinful seduction.

Desperate Duchesses: An Affair Before Christmas (Paperback)

Specifications

Language
English
Series Title
Desperate Duchesses
Publisher
HarperCollins
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
388
Author
Eloisa James
Title
An Affair Before Christmas
ISBN-13
9780061245541
Publication Date
November, 2007
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches
ISBN-10
0061245542

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(2.6)out of 5 stars
5 stars
0
4 stars
1
3 stars
7
2 stars
1
1 star
2
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
Charming historical ro...
Charming historical romance. Part of James' Duchess series. The prose is excellent, the characters are interesting, and the historical accuracy seems pretty good. This is the Georgian period, not regency, but James seems spot on.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(1.0)out of 5 stars
This is book two in th...
This is book two in the DD's series, but I've read them out of order (do NOT do that!), and the only reason I finished reading this story was Villiers. I was so glad that at least one third of the story involved him and the consequences he suffered because of the duel he fought. The relationship he cultivated with Charlotte the spinster, was vastly entertaining and I had so much fun following that story.As for the main plot, characters and substance of the story? It left me wanting and I found it lacking in all the areas that makes romance, a romance.I barely liked this couple. The heroine wasn't just naïve, she was downright ridiculous. I had somewhat better opinion of the hero, but even he couldn't salvage this story. My advice to you is to read Villiers parts, and skip the rest.Melanie for b2b
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
Charming historical ro...
Charming historical romance. Part of James' Duchess series. The prose is excellent, the characters are interesting, and the historical accuracy seems pretty good. This is the Georgian period, not regency, but James seems spot on.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(1.0)out of 5 stars
This is book two in th...
This is book two in the DD's series, but I've read them out of order (do NOT do that!), and the only reason I finished reading this story was Villiers. I was so glad that at least one third of the story involved him and the consequences he suffered because of the duel he fought. The relationship he cultivated with Charlotte the spinster, was vastly entertaining and I had so much fun following that story.As for the main plot, characters and substance of the story? It left me wanting and I found it lacking in all the areas that makes romance, a romance.I barely liked this couple. The heroine wasn't just naïve, she was downright ridiculous. I had somewhat better opinion of the hero, but even he couldn't salvage this story. My advice to you is to read Villiers parts, and skip the rest.Melanie for b2b
Charming historical romance. Part of James' Duchess series. The prose is excellent, the characters are interesting, and the historical accuracy seems pretty good. This is the Georgian period, not regency, but James seems spot on.
This is book two in the DD's series, but I've read them out of order (do NOT do that!), and the only reason I finished reading this story was Villiers. I was so glad that at least one third of the story involved him and the consequences he suffered because of the duel he fought. The relationship he cultivated with Charlotte the spinster, was vastly entertaining and I had so much fun following that story.As for the main plot, characters and substance of the story? It left me wanting and I found it lacking in all the areas that makes romance, a romance.I barely liked this couple. The heroine wasn't just naïve, she was downright ridiculous. I had somewhat better opinion of the hero, but even he couldn't salvage this story. My advice to you is to read Villiers parts, and skip the rest.Melanie for b2b

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 11 reviews
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Charming historical ro...

Charming historical romance. Part of James' Duchess series. The prose is excellent, the characters are interesting, and the historical accuracy seems pretty good. This is the Georgian period, not regency, but James seems spot on.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

Summary: Poppy and the...

Summary: Poppy and the Duke of Fletcher met in Paris and fell madly in love. However, thanks to Poppy being conditioned to think that women can never enjoy sex, relations between them have grown cold and frigid. It'll take a special Christmas to bring them back together again. Review: After the disappointment that was Desperate Duchesses, I thought that Eloisa James would improve if I gave her another chance. I have enjoyed some of her books in the past and she has a knack for amusing subplots and great secondary characters, not to mention an eye for historical detail. But what I've come to realize is that whenever I pick up one of her novels, I look for those things and practically ignore the main romance. Which, for a romance novel, is probably not a good sign. Why do I dislike many of her romances? Mostly, the genre cliches. The excessive sentimentality, the sideline homophobia (because men and women! come together like cookies and cream! so there can't possibly be any alternate sexualities that matter!), the creepy idealization of French culture, the naive heroines, the hyper manly heroes, the requisite "aww, aren't we happy with our brood of five million children?" epilogue. Yeah. You've seen it before and you see it again. Poppy had her decent moments, such as her interest in the natural sciences, but her overwhelming naivete and sweetness was too much for me to stomach, especially when James tried to give her some forward-thinking, modern qualities as well. There are authors who can combine these two sets of qualities together and make it work (that is, create a 3D character), but James isn't one of them. At her worst, Poppy seemed like a case of trying to have your cake and eat it too. Look, she's smart and strong and operates on some feminist ideals sure to appeal to the modern reader! But look, she's also demure and shy and easily convinced by everyone around her! She has no dark moments, only angelic ones! Weird. It's a shame that Poppy and Fletcher's romance bored me to tears. Because James really is good at constructing other types of stories. I absolutely loved the plot with Villiers, Charlotte, and Dautry. The interaction between Villiers and Charlotte fascinated me, and I would have loved to have seen an entire book revolve around them instead of boring old Poppy and Fletcher. Villiers himself is a great character, both cynical and dark but with sartorial elegance, hooray! He isn't afraid that liking fashion means he's a woman (which, gods forbid, is the Worst Thing Ever). So I will continue reading this series, mostly because Eloisa James continues to draw me back with her intriguing secondary characters that I want to see appear in future books. It's funny, but I think I would appreciate her in a different genre. Maybe more of a comedy of manners? I would love her romance novels as long as she left out the romance, haha. No, really, I'm serious. Conclusion: Poppy and Fletcher who?

Helpful?
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

This book is actually ...

This book is actually three stories - Fletch and Poppy's, Jemma's, and Charlotte Tetlock and the Duke of Villiers'. Unlike in her other books, it's hard to say which one is really dominant - they're given close to equal time. The main story - Fletch and Poppy's - is, in my opinion, the weakest, replaying parts of "Your Wicked Ways" that were done better there - the innocent bride who finds sex horrible and it tears apart their relationships, but they actually still love each other...blah, blah. Read "Your Wicked Ways" - it's better. However, the Duke of Villiers is a fantastic story, and his story - even though he's in bed the whole time, recovering (very slowly and painfully) from a sword wound he received in a duel in "Desperate Duchesses" - it's the part that captures you and keeps your interest.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

Summary: Poppy and the...

Summary: Poppy and the Duke of Fletcher met in Paris and fell madly in love. However, thanks to Poppy being conditioned to think that women can never enjoy sex, relations between them have grown cold and frigid. It'll take a special Christmas to bring them back together again. Review: After the disappointment that was Desperate Duchesses, I thought that Eloisa James would improve if I gave her another chance. I have enjoyed some of her books in the past and she has a knack for amusing subplots and great secondary characters, not to mention an eye for historical detail. But what I've come to realize is that whenever I pick up one of her novels, I look for those things and practically ignore the main romance. Which, for a romance novel, is probably not a good sign. Why do I dislike many of her romances? Mostly, the genre cliches. The excessive sentimentality, the sideline homophobia (because men and women! come together like cookies and cream! so there can't possibly be any alternate sexualities that matter!), the creepy idealization of French culture, the naive heroines, the hyper manly heroes, the requisite "aww, aren't we happy with our brood of five million children?" epilogue. Yeah. You've seen it before and you see it again. Poppy had her decent moments, such as her interest in the natural sciences, but her overwhelming naivete and sweetness was too much for me to stomach, especially when James tried to give her some forward-thinking, modern qualities as well. There are authors who can combine these two sets of qualities together and make it work (that is, create a 3D character), but James isn't one of them. At her worst, Poppy seemed like a case of trying to have your cake and eat it too. Look, she's smart and strong and operates on some feminist ideals sure to appeal to the modern reader! But look, she's also demure and shy and easily convinced by everyone around her! She has no dark moments, only angelic ones! Weird. It's a shame that Poppy and Fletcher's romance bored me to tears. Because James really is good at constructing other types of stories. I absolutely loved the plot with Villiers, Charlotte, and Dautry. The interaction between Villiers and Charlotte fascinated me, and I would have loved to have seen an entire book revolve around them instead of boring old Poppy and Fletcher. Villiers himself is a great character, both cynical and dark but with sartorial elegance, hooray! He isn't afraid that liking fashion means he's a woman (which, gods forbid, is the Worst Thing Ever). So I will continue reading this series, mostly because Eloisa James continues to draw me back with her intriguing secondary characters that I want to see appear in future books. It's funny, but I think I would appreciate her in a different genre. Maybe more of a comedy of manners? I would love her romance novels as long as she left out the romance, haha. No, really, I'm serious. Conclusion: Poppy and Fletcher who?

Helpful?
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

Rather confusing with ...

Rather confusing with three main couples intertwined in some way. This book could probably have been three separate books as it had the different main couples. I would have enjoyed having some of the characters a bit more fleshed out.

Helpful?

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