• When the Duke Returns

  • By: Eloisa James
  • Narrated by: Susan Duerden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (360 ratings)

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When the Duke Returns

By: Eloisa James
Narrated by: Susan Duerden
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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about When the Duke Returns

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Duke vs. a Duchess....... an entertaining match

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This may be my favorite in the series so far!

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.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Narrator's voice is unpleasant and distracting.

Have enjoyed reading other books by Eloisa James. I cannot bear listen to this narrators voice.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I'm getting P.O.'d with the author.🙄

*Slight Spoiler Alert*


Look, its an OK series, I wouldn't say don't read it...I'm just generally pissy about entitled grown ups not so grown ups. I'm also annoyed none of these books can truly stand alone.

Can I just get a story at a time? Is that too much to ask?

Then, will the blind stop leading the blind? All the ladies in this book keep turning to Jemma, when she's got her own damned house to clean and by all accounts (four books worth) has been regularly getting into issues with her husband since 6 months into her marriage. Ran to France for revenge against his cheating ways. Came back to England cause he passed out (from an illness he refuses to get medical opinions on) and attempts to continue her revenge by tempting the man's best friend. Give me a break😒. Jemma's book is up next, so maybe I'll sympathize a bit more. But I doubt it and I digress.

Isidore is so ungrateful its not funny. She was married before she reached maturity through proxy. Her husband takes off, likely because of his nightmare of a Mama and she mad cause the man didn't cheat on her and remained a virgin? Someone, hand me a glove, she needs to be slapped into the reality of the world she lives in. I think that's the gripe I have with Isidore - she wanted her husband home, he came home, that wasn't enough? I tried reading this from 23 year old's perspective but I was never this sheltered and dunce at 23. I mean, heeeeellllloooo, you got him back - now be his wife. That's not to say Cosway wasn't problematic, but she beat him in every way. Just dotty.

The only character I truly love in this series, for all his shit, is Villier. He's👏🏾 the 👏🏾on👏🏾ly👏🏾reason👏🏾 I keep reading the series 1) because Eloise was smart enough to save his story for "last" ( not counting the numbers series) and as I said, 2) each book in the series has several plots being executed at the same damn time🤦🏿‍♀️. So, I'm stuck having to read all of them just so I'm prepped for Villier😍😍😍😍. Like I said, not telling folks not to read but figured I'd keep this review honest.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

I absolutely love this story. It’s truly beautiful and I love how the hero and heroine find themselves also while finding and learning about each other! It’s a really great read.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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Great Novel

The novel was great and interesting but the readers accents and voices were terrible especially the male voices.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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no

if every other chapter was not a completely different story then I could get into this but it was irritating at best

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Hard to get into

I liked most of the characters but it took 3/4 of the book to get moving "felt like a car that kept trying to start". Seemed to repeat the situations several times . I had to make myself finish. Susan Duerden was wonderful as usual. If the beginning had been as strong as the end woukd have been a keeper.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

ENJOYABLE ROMP WITH CUTE CHARACTERS

They were married by proxy when quite young and had never met. When the finally did, many years later, the attraction was immediate. However, they were opposites - he quiet, contemplative, and more introverted. She was open, outgoing, and knew what she wanted in a husband. The ending was inevitable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I like this series

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would , but could you tell me if this book any different then Duchess in Love
It sound like the same story all over:)

What other book might you compare When the Duke Returns to and why?

See above

What about Susan Duerden’s performance did you like?

I love her narration: very sensual

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reactions, but a nice listen while driving to and from work.