Series: Desperate Duchesses


Four Nights with a Duke
by Eloisa James

Series: Desperate Duchesses #8
Published by Avon Genres: Historical
Source: Publisher


At fifteen, a heartbroken, embarrassed Mia Carrington swore she’d never marry Evander Brody.  At twenty-eight, Mia has no choice but to take back her words.  In order to secure guardianship of her nephew and thus protect him from his evil uncle, Mia must marry – fast.  Having just been jilted at the altar, she’s desperate enough to blackmail the long ago object of her affections.


Vander can’t believe Mia’s audacious proposal – or her blackmail scheme.  Against all better judgment, he agrees to marry Mia, but with a condition of his own: he’ll only bed her for four nights a year, and only if she begs for it.  But when Vander learns there’s more to Mia than meets the eye, he knows he’s made a mistake.  Because four nights with Mia will never be enough when he’s rapidly falling in love with his new wife.


Four Nights with the Duke is a fast-paced, addictive read filled with lively, interesting, strong-willed characters.  Author Eloisa James knows how to capture your interest and not let go, and I found myself unable to put Mia and Vander’s book down.


I absolutely adored Mia.  She has a big heart and is protective of those she cares about.  Mia’s been hurt over and over, but though she has insecurities because of it, she remains a strong, resilient woman.  I wanted to see Vander fall head over heels in love with her, because they fit together so well.  Vander inadvertently hurt Mia in the past, and he makes plenty of mistakes with her in the present.  Vander’s got hidden scars of his own that have given him a distorted view of what love and marriage would mean for him.  He’s flawed, realistically so, and doesn’t always choose his words wisely.  I actually liked that about him, because he grows over the course of the story and realizes what a treasure Mia is.


Aside from the romance, we get to see Mia and Vander’s other passions.  Vander’s for buying, breeding, and racing horses and Mia’s for writing.  Mia’s work as a writer of popular romances was particularly fun to read about, and watching her struggle with writing her latest gothic romance was delightful.  Historical romance fans will also surely delight in the nods to authors Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas that are sprinkled throughout Four Nights with the Duke.


Four Nights with the Duke is the eighth book in the Desperate Duchesses series and the second book in the spinoff Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers series.  Though Mia and Vander’s story can easily be read as a standalone, it was a treat to see Thorn and India (of Three Weeks with Lady X) and Villiers (of A Duke of Her Own) again.  But the most captivating secondary characters are those new to the series, namely Mia’s spirited young nephew Charlie and Vander’s cheerful, often-drunk uncle, Chuffy (a nod to Twelfth Night’s Sir Toby Belch).  Charlie and Chuffy bring a sprightliness to Four Nights with the Duke that I loved.


Ms. James’s stories are always wonderfully entertaining and Four Nights with the Duke was no exception.  I devoured the book in one sitting and I cannot wait to read the next Desperate Duchesses story, Seven Minutes in Heaven!


Three Weeks With Lady X
by Eloisa James

Series: Desperate Duchesses #7
Published by HarperCollins Genres: Historical
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Shayna

The next fabulous romance by New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James.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 façade, 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.

Tobias “Thorn” Dautry is the eldest illegitimate child of the Duke of Villiers.  Having made his fortune, Thorn is determined to marry a certain kind of woman, one whose reputation and lineage will seal his place in society.  But if he hopes to wed his chosen lady, Laetitia Rainsford, he’ll have to essentially woo her fastidious mother as well.  Thorn’s never been one to put on a civilized front, but he has to do so now.  Which is why his stepmother recommends he hire Lady Xenobia India St. Claire.

The daughter of a deceased marquess largely perceived to be mad, India is ready to settle down herself.  She’s secured her fortune working as an interior designer and professional organizer and is ready to retire.  The only reason she agrees to help Thorn is that she’s friends with his stepmother.  But when she meets Thorn, India is determined to give this diamond in the rough some polish.  What she doesn’t expect is to desire the man.  Thorn is determined to marry another and he’ll only break her heart.  She really mustn’t fall for him…

Three Weeks With Lady X sparkles with wit and simmers with sensuality.  I absolutely adored India and Thorn.  Their verbal sparring had me laughing out loud even as I eagerly turned the pages, waiting for their mutual attraction to deepen into something more.

Thorn had a hard life growing up until his father found him.  His time as a mudlark has shaped him into the man he is today, and he’s determined to find a sweet, caring wife who will never abandon their future children.  Thorn sells himself short by choosing Laetitia; she’s perfectly likeable and dim like people believe, but is definitely not the woman for him.  India is Thorn’s match on every level.  She too had a harsh childhood, one that has left her scarred and very much in need of love.  I just loved India – she’s intelligent, practical, and kind.  Thorn’s resistance to risking his heart causes him to make mistakes with her, but Eloisa James makes their sometimes rocky road to happily ever after well worth any bumps on the journey.

Though Three Weeks With Lady X is the seventh book in the Desperate Duchesses series, it can easily be read as a standalone.  The book’s only connection to the previous books is that Villiers and Eleanor (the hero and heroine of A Duke of Her Own) are Thorn’s father and stepmother.  That being said, if you loved those two it’ll be a treat to revisit them.  Ms. James also introduces a new character, Thorn’s friend Vander, in this book and I desperately hope he gets his own story.

There’s a reason Eloisa James is one of my favorite romance authors – her books are always fun, steamy, and deliciously entertaining.  Three Weeks With Lady X is all of these things and more.  Historical romance fans, don’t miss this one!

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