The Duke Is Mine by Eloisa James

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Duke is Mine is an altered version of the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea. Eloisa James’ fairy tale series has been interesting so far, in that the readers get a different version of the fairy tales that we grew up with, in a historical setting and of course with her trademark humor interlaced into the story.

The Princess and the Pea is the least favorite fairy tale of mine, something about the story always making me feel incredulous. And maybe coz of that or maybe coz of reading with blurry eyes and even maybe coz of the use of a disability as a backdrop for humor, The Duke Is Mine failed to excite me. I would have been happy with the silly banter and subtle wit and wry humor usually found in Eloisa James’ books but even that seemed a little on the low in this book.

Olivia and Georgina have been ‘dutchified’ from the cradle by their parents, to fulfill the promise between Olivia’s father and the Duke of Canterwick. So, Olivia finds herself engaged to a mentally challenged Rupert heir to the dukedom and years younger to her. Olivia has never been a ‘duchess’ material unlike her sister Georgina and to her parent’s dismay has never cared about anything ‘duke’.

Tarquin, the Duke of Sconce is a widower with a marriage experience that has left him sour and bitter. Hence, it is left to his mother to find the perfect partner who would be the ideal Duchess of Sconce. As guests of the dowager duchess, Olivia knows Quin with his affinity for mathematics is the perfect match for her sister Georgina but both of them can’t deny the passion that seems to rage like a fire whenever they meet.

The romance and the banter were good and Olivia in spite of the ribbing and carless manner of speaking about Rupert genuinely seems to care and remain loyal to him. But the story lacked a sensitivity that should have been there as the portrayal of a mentally challenged person seemed unkind and callous describing the scene of the forced consummation sanctioned by the parents between Olivia and Rupert. Even more, the ending with the use of the war and the Princess and Pea story woven into the story made it a bit melodramatic.

In all, an OK read in its genre.

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He is a duke in search of a perfect bride.

She is a lady—but a long way from perfect.

Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess. So why can’t he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong, and altogether unconventional Olivia? Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper, albeit intoxicating, flirtation makes her unsuitability all the more clear.

Determined to make a perfect match, he methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion…Until, in his darkest hour, Quin begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love.

To win Olivia’s hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul…

Unless it’s already too late.

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