When you're the oldest daughter, you don't get to have any fun!
Witty, orphaned Tess Essex faces her duty: marry well and marry quickly, so she can arrange matches for her three sisters - beautiful Annabel, romantic Imogen, and practical Josie. After all, right now they're under the rather awkward guardianship of the perpetually tipsy Duke of Holbrook. But just when she begins to think that all might end well, one of her sisters bolts with a horse-mad young lord, and her own fiancé just plain runs away.
Which leaves Tess contemplating marriage to the sort of man she wishes to avoid - one of London's most infamous rakes. Lucius Felton is a rogue whose own mother considers him irredeemable! He's delicious, Annabel points out. And he's rich, Josie notes. But although Tess finally consents to marry him, it may be for the worst reason of all. Absurd as she knows it to be, she may have fallen utterly in love....
©2005 Eloisa James (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
Superb narration. Flawless. Decent story -- the first of a series, each featuring one of four orphaned Scottish sisters and riffing a Shakespearean play. This one, alluding to Much Ado About Nothing, is witty, sweet, funny, and explicitly smexy, but the pace is slow at times. Starts getting good after the half-way point. Totally loved the hero, Lucius, and his horse-whispering wife, Tess. Not crazy about the moonstruck sister, Imogen. Wish the author had reduced her role in the story.
Susan (narrator) did a wonderful job of expressing the characters emotions and voices. I have not liked all of Susan's narrations finding her singsong in the past annoying. However she has improved and her dramatization of the dialogue is superb.
The character development in this book was excellent. Each character had a personality that was recognizable and had depth. The story was creative, with sensuous and romantic love scenes that were not gratuitous but effective in developing the romance. The dialogue was natural and witty and one scene particularly poignant and realistic. Thank you Eloisa for a wonderful novel!
This story was just okay, not bad, not great either. I really really liked the hero, Lucious Felton, he was awesome! The heroine a bit wishy washy at times.
The switching back and forth between the sisters and who they were going to marry was a bit confusing and I didn't really care for that. First one sister is going to go after Mayne then the other will go for Lucious then maybe Holbrook, then they switch, or get jilted.... that was a bit annoying. Then one sister Imogen was sort of stupid and annoying at times.
There was some good chemistry between Tessa and Lucious and there was a couple of nicely written sex scenes, so if you wondering if there is sex in Eloisa James books there is. Not explicit sex, all romantic sex scenes.
Later on in the book it does get better though. It didn't turn me off to read the next book in the series but I also started a different book and will come back to this series later.
The plot and story line was not the best and like I said these girls couldn't make up their minds. But there is a lot of dialogue throughout the entire book and that was great! (I like lots of dialogue)
As for the narration, its Susan Duerden so you know your getting the emotion and the men sound like men, mostly they all sound the same though. and of course you get the sing song voice and drawn out consonants. But she is far from the worst narrator.
I liked all the character development. I thought the story line moved really well and the relationships developed were fantastic. There's one part that I absolutely sobbed. Couldn't be helped. Excellent excellent story. Bravo
I found this book to drag somewhat. There were so many characters and sisters and suitors and their mothers that I could not tell who was with who. With all of these people involved in this story, you would think there would be some romance a little steamier than a stolen kiss... maybe it's just me but I like my romance novels a little steamier than this one...sorry!
The plot and too many characters were confusing. It took me a while to figure out who the hero/heroine were. Their story was jumbled into all the other plot strings.
No. I give up on Ms. James. I went to my wish list and removed all of her titles. My first read of her's was "3 weeks with lady X", but nothing I have read has come close to that book. I actually re-read that novel and enjoyed it more ( after about the 10th time), more than this book
She is excellent. Even though I disliked the most sad/miserable scenes , her performance was so fantastic I started to cry. That is why this book was bittersweet for me. I did not want so much sadness in a romance, but Ms Duerdan's performances of these tragic characters is wonderful.
Whenever I listen to a book and their is a bad narrator, I always think " Susan Duerdan could have made the book so much better"
Imigen & Drayvan . There was very little about them I liked until their last scene together. They were both too selfish and focussed on only one thing. All they had that made them acceptable in the story was that they were beautiful...not enough when you can't see the character, just listen to their self-indulgent behaviour.
I wish Ms James would write as if her audience were adults. In the story she uses the phrase " and again" to infer that the h/h had sex. If she is not going to describe the scene, then don't bother to mention it. Another phrase " and an hour later" allows her to skip over scenes. Why refer to something you don't plan to describe?!?
Also I thought the scene where the parrot ( yes, a parrot in regency England) urinates on the heroine was stupid/nasty. The hero undresses the heroine afterwards to allow her to have a bath. They end up having sex instead of her cleaning herself. The thought of not taking steps to clean off the parrot urine, but go into a sex scene ( which ms. james does not describe..again) was awful. She took more time describing the parrot urinating on the heroine, than the love scene between the h/h. Not sure why, but someone really loves parrots!
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