The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James
Publisher: Harper Collins
Length: Full Length (400 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle
Destiny will be decided between the sheets in this all-new tale of “The Princess and the Pea.”
For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick—hardly a Prince Charming—feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, a perfect match for her in every way . . . every way but one. Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia.
Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him— a desire they are both powerless to resist. When a scandalous affair begins, they risk losing everything—Olivia’s engagement, her sister’s friendship, and their own fragile love. Only one thing can save them—and it awaits in the bedroom, where a magnificent mattress holds life-changing answers to the greatest romantic riddle of all.
Two Dukes for this Duchess in training. One who suffers from a mental deficiency and yet has strong emotional desires to bring glory and honor to his family. The other who has such an abundance of intellect he has trouble comprehending delicate emotions in people he meets. She’ll either be the caretaker for the one or source of constant consternation for the other. In the end, a love and courage neither one expected turns this clever retelling of The Princess and The Pea into an adventure that spans two continents.
Fans of Eloisa James have come to expect her characters to be surprising and bit quirky. She’s outdone herself in The Duke is Mine. Olivia’s character is almost too liberated for the time period she lives in. Rather than acting the part of a future duchess she tends to say the first thing that pops into her head. She’s brash and yet sensitive, she’s courageous but caring and it all works for this novel. Olivia is brought up knowing she has a duty. She’s accepted the fact that her life will never be her own but at the same time she’s determined to be true to her own personality to severe displeasure of her parents.
Quin as the hero had me a little concerned in the beginning. He doesn’t come across as being a leading man at first. To be honest he allows his mother to pretty much run his life while he whiles away the day considering math theories. Like Olivia, Quin is bound by duty. He has homes, lands, tenants and his mother to provide for. Thanks to his mother, his life has always been staid and organized. Then fate brings Olivia into his organized world. Can he learn to embrace her bold personality? Will he find the courage he didn’t know he possessed when love and honor lead the way.
The Duke is Mine is one of those stories that you aren’t sure why you enjoy it, but you keep reading because it’s so different from a typical Regency romance. I knew I liked Olivia from the beginning. She was refreshing and yet I knew she couldn’t possibly end up with Rupert. She wasn’t meant to be any man’s caretaker or brooding mare. Rupert is precious but he just isn’t meant for Olivia. I can’t say anything bad about Rupert’s character because he is so earnest and his disability is certainly not his fault. The fact that they have been promised to each other since before birth on top of the fact that their parents are determined that they wed no matter what, kept me reading. It’s also what will have me re-reading this terrific book again.
This isn’t a light read but it is a fun read, if that makes sense. The dialogue is pretty humorous and just when you think the story is all about Quin and Olivia finding love you remember Rupert is still in the picture. You won’t want to miss the exciting and fantastic conclusion. This is a perfect book to pick and read on a cold winter’s night but be forewarned you may lose sleep to finish it in one setting. The Duke is Mine is the third Fairytale revisited by Ms. James along with a couple of novellas. If clever, unique, fun stories are what you crave than this is the series for you.