Eloisa James returns with another fabulous romance in her New York Times best-selling Desperate Duchesses series!
As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him - so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.
Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia's audacious proposal, but there's one thing he won't give his inconvenient wife: himself.
Instead he offers Mia a devil's bargain.... He will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.
Which Mia will never do.
Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: He must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart - and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can't afford to lose.
©2015 Eloisa James (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
Geez I am glad this book is over. I will probably catch grief for this review but I have to be honest, and in my opinion this was a struggle to get through.
The book started out good, but by chapter 10 it started going down hill. I want to delete chapter 25 completely from the book. Actually I would have liked chapters 11-32 deleted and this been a novella, it would have been better..
He is a total jerk for the entire book until the last 5 minutes. She is so insecure it's pathetic. You can't save a character in the last 5 minutes or 5 pages of a book.
He talks to her like she's a piece of crap at the same time all he thinks about is plunging into her. He is constantly talking about sex, sex and more sex that it becomes annoyingly repetitive. (don't get me wrong I like sex in my books, but his constant thoughts were just bad or badly written? hmm...)
She is constantly talking about herself being ugly, fat, not good enough, hates her breasts, hair, stomach, legs, butt and everything else on her body. She is also somewhat of a prude, surprisingly to me because she is an author. Even the crippled boy wasn't as insecure as she is. She had some back bone at times but then contradicted herself the next sentence by saying she wasn't good enough! Ugh ...
This story was a big disappointment to me. I just finished Three Weeks with Lady X a few days ago (loved it by the way, great story) and Vander's character was completely different in that story than in this story. He wasn't a total A-Hole in that book, Sorry to say, but the author ruined a great character from her previous book and made him the hero!
There is way to much angst in this book. The "chemistry" is forced and did not seem genuine. Not sure but maybe it was because of the characters themselves. (he's a jerk, she's overly insecure). So I couldn't even enjoy that progression.
There is lots of dialogue (I like lots of dialogue) however, the dialogue suffered because of the characters themselves... getting that repetitive feeling yet? Good, because that's what your getting with this book repetitive A-holeness and insecurities.
The story that our heroine, Mia, is writing throughout the entire story was better. It was fun reading her "notes" at the beginning of each chapter. So there is that.
In my opinion a sex maddened A-hole, hero and an insecure prudish heroine do not make for a good historical romance story. Just sayin....
I have read several Eloisa James books and this one was just not good, it was annoying and frustrating hoping for these characters to change or something, anything, before the last 5 minutes.
As for the narration, it was great! Susan Duerden did a fantastic job. She is becoming a favorite narrator. She reads with lots of emotion and the men sound like men.
I have listen to some books recently that weren't bad, but from the beginning you can tell "Four Nights with the Duke" was written by an experienced and extremely talented author.
As a 15 year old girl Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington fell in love with the future Duke of Pinder, Evander Septimus Brody, and writes him a secret love poem, which falls into his and his buddy's hands at a party given by Evander's parents, the Duke and Duchess of Pinder. Unknown to the boys who are ridiculing her, Emilia is listening from her hidden position behind the sofa. When she can't take it any more she jumps up, grabs her poem and tears it up, declaring she would not marry Evander if he was the last man on earth.
Thirteen years later finds Emilia blackmailing Evander, now the Duke of Pinder, into marriage. Believing she has loved and wanted him all these years, he adds a caveat to the marriage contract to punish her. He will withhold himself from her, granting her four nights per year, enough time to beget an heir.
Susan Duerden gave a great performance; she does male voices well.
Warning: explicit lust scenes.
The only positive thing I can say here is that I finally have and excuse to use the term Ninny
The heroine of the story is a complete and utter NINNY!!
OH MY GOD. ..I'm so fat...I'm so short..I'm so fat, I'm so short and on and on and on...with a pause to cry every other chapter...I couldn't even finish. what happened to the brave girl at 15 that faced down 3 nasty teen boys? and Van ..I was excited to read his story then realized what an asshole! constantly nasty about his mother constantly blabbering on about how his wife is so in love with himfor no reason besides a poem a girl wrote at 15 ?get over it... had to stand outside her door while she cried her eyes out because he was a terrible jerk to her and have a hard-on disgusting!!... I had such high hopes after reading Three weeks with Lady X... which was very witty and funny and romantic , with just just a touch of melodramatic misunderstanding. . all romance novels have character flaws and I grow to love them but this was just ridiculous
I read reviews about this book, how Bander is an ass & Mia has no self esteem...well, if you expected Evander Septimus Duke of Pindar to be anything less than a total prick, then you have not read the previous novels in the Duchess series. I love his character; and this book actually (finally) explains the sardonic and scathing way he treats people.
I liked the character of Mia because she was real. Many women struggle with poor self image, especially those that were "branded" by evil teenage boys in high school. It was a different time, the fashion was to be tall, skinny, and French. (Okay, so not much has changed). But I enjoyed the character arch of Mia. Where she began and where she ended up are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Can never say enough about Susan Duerdan; she amazes me with all her books.
This is an amazing book, when you read those that preceded it & understand the characters you're dealing with.
On my re-read & re-read again list for sure!
I liked the storyline a lot, plot was very interesting and characters were described so well you can completely imagine them. I especially loved the interactions of the Duke with Charlie. Some lines were hilarious. The only thing I did not like about the book was the heroine's insecurity and the doubts that both her and the hero had. I believe this changes characters from mature behaving adults to silly people who can behave irrationally and immaturely. So this is my two cents. Hope you all will also enjoy this book as much as I did or perhaps more :).
This story has an endearing plot with lots of heart. The love scenes are not only romantic but sensuous with lots of emotion and heart. The vulnerabilities of the characters are brought out during the love scenes and give the individuals depth and believability. Eloisa James has never disappointed me. The narrators sing song narration is a little grating at first but her voices during dialogue overshadow this aspect and I got used to it after a while.
I love Eloisa James and I love most all of her books but this just was not one of my favorites... which I know is bound to happen every once in awhile. This the second time I read the book and still I feel disappointed at the characters and the plot.
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