The Duchess of Cosway yearns for a man she has never met...her husband.
Married by proxy as a child, Lady Isidore has spent years fending off lecherous men in every European court while waiting to meet her husband. She's determined to accept him, no matter how unattractive the duke turns out to be. When she finally lures Simeon Jermyn back to London, his dark handsomeness puts Isidore's worst fears to rest - until disaster strikes.
The duke demands an annulment.
Forsaking his adventuresome past, Simeon has returned to London ready to embrace the life of a proper duke, only to find that his supposed wife is too ravishing, too headstrong, and too sensual to be the docile duchess he has in mind. But Isidore will not give up her claim to the title - or him - without a fight.
She will do whatever it takes to capture Simeon's heart, even if it means sacrificing her virtue. After all, a consummated marriage cannot be annulled.
Yet in forcing Simeon into a delicious surrender, will Isidore risk not only her dignity - but her heart?
©2008 Eloisa James (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
I love being swept away by a new romance and thankfully Audible's ever growing Library means I get to indulge myself over and over again
Firstly, this is actually book 4 in the Desperate Duchesses series - I hadn't realised this and listened to it as a stand alone book, whilst this didn't detract from my enjoyment of it in any way, there were often chapters relating to another couple's marriage which I suspect may have been from previous books and it did not conclude their relationship which will be book 5 in the series This Duchess Of Mine. My point is, reading them in order would be beneficial but not absolutely necessary.
Coming back to this book, which I thought was funny, charming and a sweet romance about 2 virgins who were married by proxy at a young age finally meeting 11 years later (still virgins) and coming to terms that they are not each others 'ideal' partner and yet the chemistry is there. So, should they get an annulment or consummate their marriage - which proves easier said than done. Good likeable characters that make you want to scream, but it was also touching and tender and, of course, it's a ridiculous tongue in cheek romp in the eighteenth century and the epilogue has a surprising twist too!
Worth a credit? Yes definitely a typical E.J. story.
We first see Lady Isadore finally meet her duke at the end of the previous novel, "Duchess by Night." In "When the Duke Returns" we learn more about that first encounter and at last discover why Simeon stayed away from London, indeed all of Europe, for so many years. Neither Simeon or Isador is what the other expects, but they're immensely attracted to each other. More importantly, their relationship teaches them more about themselves and eventually they're able to see that their differences can make for a good partnership.
Initially, Simean was a difficult hero to fall in love with. He seemed like one of those people with a lot of "book smarts" (in his case gained from extensive travel) but limited real-life experience. One of the things I love about this book is that their first few weeks of marriage reveals that despite her gender, and societal constraints on women, Isador's beauty hides an interesting combination of business acumen and empathy.
EJ continues to tease us on the triangular relationship between Jemma, Elijah, and Villiers. Ironically, as Jemma & Elijah's marriage grows stronger, so does the friendship between Elijah and Villiers. I look forward to seeing the repair of this marriage, and this friendship. And I can't wait to finally see Villiers finally fall victim to love :)
P.S. Susan Duerden continues to be a wonderful narrator.
Yes, the narrator brings out the emotions in both of the main characters as they interact with one another.
both Isador and Simeon. Isador is a very strong minded woman and yet she doesn't try to get her on way even when she's wrong nor does she try to show that she could take care of herself even though she can, just to prove to him that she could,( you know the type where the female lead is always trying to prove to the male lead that she is as smart or as capable as a man so she tries to prove it anyway she can just to be contrary), and Simeon is alpha male enough to acknowledge that Isidor, is smart and able to take charge of certain things and yet not be intimidated by her strong character so he doesn't try to force her to see things his way and the fact that they both try to compromise enough to see each others view points make me like this story very much.
Yes, she does a good job. I like her voices both male and female. As a matter of fact I prefer her voice to that of Rosalyn Landor, because, Ms. Landor's male characters sound like some old stodgy uncle or grandpa and the same with the female characters, the voices of the female character sound to me that of an old aunt or a grandma's voice, stiff and too low to be a young woman's voice. I love listening to Susan Duerden's character voices she acts out the emotions of each one of her character and you can hear it in her voice. I am very pleased with her narration. I wish she would do more of these. I always listen again and again to the stories she narrates, she makes the stories enjoyable to listen to.
Yes, I like how Isidor and Simeon declared their love for each other, it made me cry.
Aside from the subplot of the stuffed up toilets, which wasn't to my liking at all, I don't know how the author came up with that type of scenario for the two main characters to get together, if one ignores those parts that mention it, this was a pretty good story.
So far, the most memorable book of the series. I wasn't crazy about the Italian accent, but it didn't matter once I got to know the characters - I shouldn't give away why. The build up to their inevitable love scene(s) was a lovely tease. The ongoing subplot with Jemma, Villiers and Beaumont (sp?) is getting more complex - love it.
Have enjoyed reading other books by Eloisa James. I cannot bear listen to this narrators voice.
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