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 town. 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.
©2007 Eloisa James (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
"Eloisa James’ elegantly written historical romance, sparkles with her distinctive brand of delicious sensuality and wicked wit." (Chicago Tribune)
I love to read! With kids, that hobby is impossible...enter Audible...problem solved. Chores that I dread are now quiet time for this Mommy!!!
I can understand the frustreration in the previous reviews as this book can not stand alone. Only two characters situations are wrapped up as the others stories continue to progress until their stories are told further along in the series. Poppy and Fletch are not introduced in the first book so a great deal of time is spent developing their characters. James creates an entire world for her characters to live in. There are complicated connections that must be explained and read in order to understand. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will read the other books in the series to find out what happens to the others. A decent love scene is not revealed until the last part of the book, but is entirely worth the wait. Of course the problem between this married couple could be solved by honest conversation but that is not how things were done in those times. In my opinion that is whay I read this type of novel. I enjoy the long suffering periods of struggle between the characters as it makes the resolution so much sweeter. I missed the characters after the story was over. Since an audio book does not exist for the last remaining books in the series, I have ordered the paperbacks. I must say I haven't read a book in years preffering the flexibily of audio titles. Worth it if you like the long suffering, minimal interaction that is characteristic of this genre. Also, PLEASE READ IN ORDER!
There were things I loved and hated about this book. When Poppy met the Duke, it was love at first sight for both of them. But four years into the relationship, there is NO passion, and perhaps no love. Unfortunately, because of the way EJ crafted the characters, the reader has to blame Poppy for their failed relationship. In EJ's quest to make Poppy innocent & naive, she has (perhaps unwittingly) made Poppy stupid & annoying. I can understand that because of the time period Poppy has little knowledge of marital relations. And because of her less than stellar mother, the knowledge she does have is tainted by an extreme hatred of men. But, Poppy's continued ignorance so far into her marriage makes her do and say things that are truly stupifying. You will honestly want to shake/slap some sense into her. Sadly, it was impossible to sympathize with her. And then, when Poppy is finally able to overcome her issues, she does so in such an overly-dramatic way that it's a bit eye-roll inducing.
BUT, there are some really good parts of this book. Ironically, it's all the other plots in the story that make it enjoyable. I liked the way EJ weaved other love stories into this one. I think this what she does best. It makes you eager to read the next novel. In fact, it was my experience reading "The Duchess Quartet" series that made me want to read this one.
All in all, if you're going to read the other books in this series I think you'll have to read this one simply to understand what's going on later. But maybe you can skip some of the Poppy and the Duke portions.
The saving grace for this book may have been Susan Duerden's narration. Some of her male voices were a bit too nasal to be attractive. But overall I thought she did a good job and helped the reader stay interested.
Not nearly as much fun as the first in the series, but interesting. I didn't much care for the primary character, Poppy, for easily half the book, but I'm glad I persevered because she comes alive in the second half. The book addresses an unusual aspect of sexuality for a historical romance, and I found it compelling by the time I had finished it. Duerden does a good job, though it always takes time to adjust when a reader changes in a series. Fortunately they keep Duerden throughout the rest of the series. There are a lot of cliff-hangers at the end, so be prepared to continue on in the series. I'm glad I read it, but it wasn't as much fun as the first.
I got so tired of this book in the first half. I put my ipod in double speed to finish it. All the characters in the book were all unhappy. In the end only 1 couple was happy and the rest who knows. I will not get anymore of her books if they are like this book.
Eloisa James must have such fun writing her books because she sure writes fun books. She has endless imagination in dreaming up her clever plots and "An Affair Before Christmas" is no exception. The redemption of sweet little Poppy at the hands of her confused, disappointed and frustrated but devoted husband, the Duke of Fletcher, is full of detail, suspense, erotica and James' wonderful sense of humor.
Poppy's mother is the perfect villain and saving Poppy from her wicked control sets both Poppy and Fletch free. The perfect symbolism for this release is the scene in which Fletch frees Poppy from her hair and we discover not only the miseries that Poppy endured to try to please her husband but one important cause of her inability to respond to his amorous attentions..
Subplots also sparkle and I'm quite taken with Duke Villet. I enjoy James' plot devise wherein characters move through her books as we travel this world she has invented.
I will also note that every single James book I've read so far has sent me to the internet to learn more about some historical detail revealed in her book. In this case, it was fashion as it applied to hairdos of fine ladies.
Ms Duerden's narration is spot on. I'm so glad they replaced the person who narrated "Desperate Duchesses."
I'm also very glad I've discovered Eloisa James.
I've been reading romance novels for more than 30 years.
The series should be put in the right order. Had I not read some of the books in the series it would not have been easy to know what is going on.
Yes, but I would make sure they know the order of events. Any friend of mines has already read EJ books.
Yes, I like her narration. She really makes some the characters in EJ books for real and funny.
Yes, but not on it's own. The back ground of other characters would have to be added, It could not stand on it own without that information. Then it would be a great made for TV movie.
As I said before, I have listen to or read almost all of EJ books. She can do no wrong.
I bought this after I've already "read" Book 4 and 6 of the series. Parts related to Gemma and Villiers in this book was inconsistent with the latter story lines. Those flowed better. This one was sooooo dreary and irritating in parts I skipped most of it.
I was very entertained. Performance was well done and she has a great command of voices.
Good story line but took forever to get to the good parts. The reader was good, again just took too long, mushy parts was only in last hour.
almost couldn't get through it, but I am not one to leave a book unfinished. You get the impression you should feel like you know the characters, as if the author endeared them to you, but she never does and you never do.
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