Three Weeks with Lady X

Desperate Duchesses
Narrated by: Susan Duerden
Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (521 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller Eloisa James's fabulous new novel!

Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized facade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.

Exquisite, headstrong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.

But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.

Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option.

But there is only one thing that will make India his. The one thing Thorn can't afford to lose - his fierce and lawless heart.

©2014 Eloisa James (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Setting: London and environs, 1799
Genre: romance
Narration was great, because...Susan Duerden.
Tobias "Thorn" Dautry, the bastard son of the Duke of Villiers, is looking for a wife. He's made his choice, Laetitia Rainsford, a beautiful well-born lady. Now he just needs to get his new country estate in order. Lady Xenobia India St. Clair is the one to do just that. At the recommendation of his step-mother, Thorn hires her to do her magic in decorating, staffing, and organizing Starberry Court.
India, as she is known by family and friends, is smart, beautiful, and talented. Her talent for organization came out of a very disorganized childhood. She is the only child of a probably mad marquis and his wife, who were known for their flakiness. They forgot to pay bills, didn't keep a governess on an ongoing basis, and sometimes even forgot to feed their child. They died in a carriage accident when she was 15 years old, at which time India went to live with her godmother.
We met Thorn in A Duke of Her Own when he was a 12 year old mudlark. He was rescued from that life when his father took him away and installed him in his own. Thorn played a relatively large part in that book, as the Duke of Villiers tracked down all of his offspring. As a bastard, he had no place in society, so he became a man of business, buying and fixing factories. He wants a lady of the nobility as a wife so his children will have more consequence than he has.
This novel shows the growth of both characters over the course of the three weeks India is setting his household to rights, and through the house party to which his intended and her family have been invited. There are letters between the two that are quite amusing, as well as increasingly amorous face-to-face meetings. All of Thorn's plans are complicated by his gaining custody of the five year old daughter of his childhood friend Tom. While Thorn recognizes his friend in Rose, everyone else sees him in her gray eyes. So he has to keep Rose out of sight until he has Laetitia betrothed to him.
This is a most wonderful novel. The main characters are three dimensional and substantial. Thorn is as strong in character as he is physically. India is independent with the strength born of hardship. Laetitia is timid and agreeable, but with a growing sense of self. Laetitia's mother, Lady Rainsford, is a bit shallow, but that is appropriate for her. The plot is believable and compelling. It draws emotion out of you through both action and dialog.
This book is one I shall revisit in the future.

12 people found this helpful

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Great listen

This was a good listen from start to finish. I hop around from book to book but when I started this book I couldn't stop. I'm listening to 4 different books right now and this was the best one. Well worth the credit, I'm moving on to the next in the series!

4 people found this helpful

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Delicious Romance, Great Story, Lovable characters

Book 7 in the "Desperate Duchesses" series is one of the best and may even be THE best. Thorn Daughtry, illegitimate son of the wily and fascinating Duke of Villiers, is a character as fascinating as his father. The romance between him and Lady Xenobia India is charged with sexual passion and complicated by Thorn's plan to wed another woman who he feels is "perfect for him" because of her sweet and pliable nature. The sparks that fly between Thorn and India are amusing and delicious, as is their developing romance - a romance they both believe is doomed from the start. While this is easily a stand-alone read, the story is particularly rich for those who have been following the series as it brings back many characters for substantial roles in the plot. Just the interaction between The Duke of Villiers and his oldest "bastard" child, now grown, is priceless. I have given this the highest rating possible because it is just that well-conceived and well-written. If you haven't read any of the earlier books, it would be especially helpful to at least read "A Duke of Her Own" if you want to pursue the larger story. But this is a nearly perfect book all on it's own, and Eloisa James at her best.

4 people found this helpful

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Soooooo cute!

I think we can all agree that the times were really hard on women even 100 years ago. Men had it all and women were chaperoned and watched so carefully because most girls seemed so susceptible to “sin” and ruination. And it was ridiculous that the Ton’s standards dictated keeping employment out of the aristocracy. Well this story is also about those limitations and forgoing of one’s chastity over the desire to experience passion. But then again, the men in our historical romances never disappoint so an offer of marriage is always accompanied with the indiscretions. This book had some very funny lines and I enjoyed reading it. A definite 4.5 but since we can’t score like that I just gave it a 5. It won’t disappoint.

4 people found this helpful

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Fun romance

India, who is Lady X, earns her own keep by decorating people's houses and staffing them with servants. She is an expert at the job and is paid well. She is from the nobility, but her parents were very flighty and poor. They were killed in a carriage accident and India went to live with her godmother and started getting paid for her organization services. Her friend Eleanor, a duchess, asked India to help get her stepson's house ready so that he can get married. The stepson, Thorn, is the bastard son of Eleanor's husband. He has become very very wealthy due to his business sense and inventions. Thorn plans to wed a rather dimwitted girl from the nobility in order to raise his reputation among the ton thus allowing him to have children who will not be looked down upon. Thorn and India become very attracted to one another as she stays three weeks in his house setting it to rights and staffing it with servants. At the end of three weeks Thorn will host a house party for his intended bride and her mother, who he must win over in order to get married. Just before he dies, Thorn's friend sends his six year old daughter to Thorn for him to take care of. She is a really cute and precocious little character. India and Thorn write notes back and forth between the country home and his place of business in London as India works on the house. The notes are funny and sexy. When time comes for the house party, the situation becomes dicey with various couples, triangles and misunderstandings. Thorn's intended bride's mother is one atrocious and despicable woman. Thorn's friend, Dandry, is a great character and so is the Doctor that comes to the house party to monitor the intended bride's mother.

There is plenty of chemistry between Thorn and India and several very erotic scenes. I cared about both of them but I did want to slap Thorn around somewhat. He could be quite mean sometimes. All in all, this is a really great book and held my attention throughout. Susan Duerden is one of the best narrators in the business. I always enjoy listening to her. Even though this book is part of a series, it is definitely a stand alone book.

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Really enjoyed the first part of the book.....

This is my first Eloisa James book that I managed to finish without skipping chapters and going straight to the end.

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Lady X

Three Weeks with Lady X is a charming and refreshing novel. I loved the main characters of Thorn and X.

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I must say that the combination of Wiriter, Eloisa James and Narrator, Susan Duerden is always such a pleasure. The stories and characters always come to life and they never disappoint.

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Light hearted AND well written

I love everything about this book! The characters are well developed and their interactions feel authentic. There’s just the tiniest amount of ridiculous plot twists to make it fun. There is humor and drama and strength and vulnerability. I will read more of her books for sure!

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Absolute Perfection

I think this book and and When Beauty Tamed The Beast are Eloisa James’ finest works. And that’s really saying something, as I think Eloisa James is the epitome of a romance novelist, the best I’ve had the pleasure to read.

I don’t care for angsty books, that are mostly long drawn out misunderstandings that a two minute conversation would fix. I really don’t like where the main characters are in conflict for most of the book and then come together happily in the last couple of chapters. Four Nights With The Duke was just such a book and I HATED it.

This book is so charming, witty and fun. I had a smile plastered on my face the entire time. Thorn is my favorite male character in all of EJ books, and Xenobia India my favorite female.

For me, this is it, the perfect romance novel. Add in Susan Duerden narration and it’s the perfect audio romance novel. Just perfect.