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The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales #4)

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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  7,190 ratings  ·  826 reviews
How can she dare to imagine he loves her... when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess?

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke's passion.

Still, the tabloids give the marriage
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 334 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Avon (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sneha
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
UniquelyMoi ~ 1-Click RockChick

The Ugly Duchess is yet another wonderful story in Eloisa James’ Fairy Tales series. In all that it is charming, romantic, witty and sweetly sexy, it’s also heartwarming, poignant and a truly beautiful love story.
How can she dare to imagine he loves her…when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess?

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds her
...more
Elis Madison
James Ryburn, Earl of Islay, is informed by his father (a duke) that he has to marry Theodora Saxby, his best friend since they were children. Long ago, Theo's dying father asked the duke to look after Theo and her mother, and she and James have been like siblings ever since.

Seems the duke has the IQ of a radish, and he blew through the entire wealth of the duchy, then embezzled as much of Theo's inheritance as he could lay his hands on. If James isn't the man who marries her, not only will the
...more
Jill

Theodora Saxby is not beautiful. But she does possess a fortune. James Ryburn, Earl of Islay, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook is handsome. And in need of a fortune. When James is told by his father that he has gambled away the family's wealth, embezzled from Theo's fortune and that James must marry Theo for her money, James is adamantly against the idea. Afterall, he and Theo have grown up together. He loves her certainly, but in a brotherly fashion.

When Theo finds out that James was forced to ma
...more
Kajol
Rating: 2.7 stars

The misconception I had when I'd just been one chapter into this book: 5 stars. I know I'm going to give this 5 stars!

*exhales loudly*

This review can also be read on-
The Dark, Delicious and Dreamtastic.

When I started this book- when I was still on the 'Before' part- out of nowhere I had this thought that startled me into stopping, and then smiling for no reason, before I resumed back to reading.

BEFORE YOU CONTINUE, KNOW THAT THIS REVIEW IS CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS. SO PROCEED ONLY
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Didi
3.5 STARS

This is my first book by EJ, but I'm intrigued and will be definitely checking out her other work. Of course this follows HCA's 'The Ugly Duckling'. Theodora ( Theo, as she liked to be called and Daisy, as James liked to call her ), was seen as an unattractive woman or at least according to society's standards of that time. Growing up with James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, Theo learned to accept her lot in life but never let it truly get to her.
But marrying her best friend Ja
...more
Jess the Romanceaholic
This book broke my heart, in more ways than one.

I wanted, so badly, to love it. In fact, up until a certain part, I was certain I'd be rating it 4.5-5 stars!

Unfortunately, there's so much infidelity that I just couldn't get past it. Yes, he had pretty excuses, but... *queasy*

I LOVED Daisy/Theo. Loved her. And in some ways, I loved James as well. The betrayal early on was absolutely delicious, and up until the point where he dipped his wick in some foreign widow, I was hooked! But the very blat
...more
Katyana
Well, this one was a swing and a miss for me, which is a shame, because Eloisa James is usually a ton of fun.

To be fair, second-chance romances are always hard for me to get behind. I have to see some serious change in the characters in order to really buy that it would work out... otherwise, it just feels like they're signing up to be hurt all over again down the road, never having learned their lesson. They're like addicts deciding to try the pipe one last time.

I liked Theo/Daisy a lot. I like
...more
Duchess Nicole
Buddy read with Karen BookLover 12/16/12

I love Eloisa James, so my opinion may be biased. She's never over the top, and she unapologetically adds content that may or may not be realistic for her preferred Regency time period. But she sure does make me laugh with it! She's never too sexual, but she does write very sensual scenes. For me, she just really writes great ROMANCE stories. Her characters are flawed, they make stupid, stupid, STUPID decisions (James, I'm looking at you), but they are jus
...more
edzkie♥§*.*§♥
10+++ STARS!


The Ugly Duchess is my first from Eloisa James and definitely not the last. I'm gonna do a lot of historical reading this month and the following months. A marathon oF EJ' HR book!!!

From the first sentence until the last of the very love epilogue I'm still hooked with Daisy & James. You'll feel that your on Daisy shoes while reading. You'll feel her insecurities, naivety, passion, & love to her best friend who became her husband for two days. The confrontation part is totall
...more
Kate
I find myself torn on Eloisa James's books. On the one hand, she writes engaging characters and the stories of her romances are always enjoyable. For me, her biggest weakness comes when it's time to get down to the plot. That, again, was my biggest issue in The Ugly Duchess, which felt like two different books to me. I very much enjoyed the first 60 or so pages with two best friends who are young sort of falling into a marriage. I even enjoyed the fallout that resulted. But then...piracy. I shou ...more
Sha Mslvoe ♥♥♥
Eloisa James latest debut is a well worth a read. She writes a good romance and this one's no exception. I truly enjoyed this book and I didn't mind the cheating as he thought the marriage was over during they separated. And he always thought his wife didn't want him back.

I forgive all the 7 years they been separated. I forgive James for walked away after she found out her husband married her for her dowry, after she throw him out. I forgive everythings coz I love James and Theo @ Daisy.

Recomme
...more
Jen (Red Hot Books)
This book pushed my buttons in a bad way. I know many people enjoyed it. Most were able to get over the things that got stuck in my craw. But it did not work for me at all.

I had problems from the very beginning. James and Theodora grew up together. Theo had been taken in as ward of James' father. They were essentially raised as siblings. Unfortunately, Daddy Dearest lost all of his money in bad investments and some of Theo's dowry too. If anyone were to find out, he could go to prison. So he for
...more
Kelly22
4.00 Stars - Historical/Regency Romance

James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook and Theodora Saxby grew up together in the same house, Theo being the ward of the current Duke. All this time, they pretended to be not much but siblings. When James turned 20, he became one of the most handsome eligible bachelors in the peerage and so forth in the ton. But at the same time 17 year Theo was so plain, that many regarded her as simply mannish and downright ugly.

One day the duke revealed his dire fi
...more
Shelly Bell
I started crying right at the beginning because when the hero and heroine start off happy, you know something will break them apart. But I was shocked (in a good way) at where the authors took the characters and I loved every minute of this book. James was sensitive and loving at the start and not the traditional hero for a historical romance. I fell in love with him then and there and when he transformed into an alpha male, it was even better. Theo is always beautiful, but it’s when she truly b ...more
Brittany B.
I was going to read this, but I'm having a hard time,considering the reviews. Infidelity and estrangement aren't my thing. I'm having a hard enough time finishing Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas, and I knew the premise before going in...

I am surprised Eloisa James has written such a storyline... It's just not for me at the moment.
Lisarenee
Notes: I read an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of the book.

Once upon a time there was a young heiress and young Earl who were best friends. They could tell the other anything and everything. Their parents had been best friends, as well, and when Theo's father passed, James' father took Theo and her mother in. They were raised as brother and sister living under the same roof. Then one day James' father, the Duke of Ashbrook, did something that would change everything....

“You’ll have to marry her. I
...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
I wasn't terribly impressed with this book. Theodora and James marry young so their impulsiveness can be chalked up to simple immaturity, but I didn't understand these two. If they were best friends, why didn't James just tell Theodora what his father was trying to make him do? And I'm sorry, but seven years? Seven years? That's the longest sulk I've ever heard of.

I couldn't like these two if you paid me to. On top of irritating characters, there was a distinct overabundance of smarm. The sex s
...more
Felicia
Usually I love Eloisa James, but this one didn't really do it for me. Didn't love the protagonist, and there was weird pacing stuff happening, like 5 years going by and then 100 pages of things that were continuous at the end...I'm not sure. Love the author but this one just wasn't my fave!
Suzanne the Mighty (Under the Covers Book blog)
3.5 Stars

Theodora Saxby and James Ryburn, Earl of Islay and next in line for a Dukedom are the match of the season, no one expected the ugly and mannish Theo to bring the handsome James up to scratch, with such a romantic proposal, not even Theo. But she falls in love and they marry...only to be separated two days later when she throws him out after discovering that James, her oldest friend and the man she loves only married her for her dowry.

I find myself a little uncertain if how to rate this
...more
Lisa
When James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, learns what his father has done to his best friends money, he is furious. He is even more furious once his father tells him he must marry the girl to keep the scandal at bay. James can not fathom marring Theodora Saxby, and not because of her unusual features, but because she is his best friend, a friend that grew up with him like a sister under his father's guardianship. But duty abounds and he makes Daisy, as James calls her, his wife and toget ...more
Andrea
I usually love Eloisa James. I always look forward to reading one of her new books but this one missed the mark for me. I mean...the main characters get married in the very beginning and are blissful for all of a day before she finds out he lied and kicks him out and he listens and actually leaves...for seven years. And in those seven years, he becomes a pirate because that is obviously what titled noblemen do when their wife gets mad at them and tells them to leave the house.

So fast forward sev
...more
Jennifer
I am not a super big fan of this trope. Basically, we are told that Theo and James are best childhood friends, but have just a few scant scenes demonstrating that -- really, they just tell each other that they are best friends. Married two days then separated after a truly gut wrenching exchange...and seven years later he is an alphole pirate and she is called a frigid 'virago' after enduring shame, ridicule, debt, death, etc. etc.

He just didn't seem worthy, and his possessiveness made me feel
...more
Lauren
The Ugly Duchess
3.5 Stars

The first third of the book detailing James and Theo's friendship and growing physical attraction is lively and entertaining. Unfortunately, the second third focusing on their separation and lives apart (James as a pirate and Theo as a fashion diva) is drawn out, tedious and unnecessary. The last third makes a brave attempt at recovering the energy of the beginning but James and Theo's reunion leaves much to be desired.

James is charming and likable despite his questiona
...more
Stephanie
Original Post:
Yo ho, Yo ho, a Pirates Wife for He at Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust

The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales, #4) by Eloisa James
THE UGLY DUCHESS

by Eloisa James
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
and E-Book Release
Publisher: Avon (August 28, 2012)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Disclosure: ARC received at BEA signing. No remuneration was exchanged and, except as noted, all opinions herein are my own.

How can she dare to imagine he loves her…when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess?

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous
...more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Characters: I loved James and Theodora especially in the first part of the book. They grew up together and are best friends. James calls Theo “Daisy”. He doesn’t think she is ugly and never has. James loves Theo but is full of guilt for not telling Theo about the money his Father embezzled from her trust fund before the wedding. Theo is full of insecurity after being labeled “The Ugly Duchess” by the papers in London on her wedding day. Both react very badly when the truth comes out. I really di ...more
Caz
I'm not quite sure what to make of this book. I picked it up after I'd read a book which had disappointed me and was immediately captivated. Theo/Daisy and James were such engaging characters and although their progression from faux brother and sister to a pair of horny love-birds may have bit a bit quick, I thought it worked given that they're very young (she's seventeen, he's nineteen) and that their discovery that they fancied each other was so fast as to be a novelty.

Daisy's anger and sense
...more
A Tasty Read Book Reviews
Sad to say, that I hadn't read a historical in quite awhile. I have been floating along in the contemporary world and YA world, that I hadn't remembered how much I LOVE a beautifully written historical romance. So thank you Eloisa James for showing me what I was missing out on.

The Ugly Duchess shares the story of Theodora Saxby, a girl unlike the rest of her peers in looks and in attitude, but none of that has ever mattered to her best friend, James Ryburn, the Duchy of Ashbrook. They have grown
...more
Sarah
I'm a massive fan of Eloisa James's Happily Ever Afters series, I have enjoyed all of the previous books and novellas so couldn't wait to get started on The Ugly Duchess. Unfortunately I was really disappointed with this book, it just didn't meet up with the standards of the earlier stories and I think that is mainly because I have such an issue with people who cheat on their partners. I'm afraid that this review will contain spoilers because I don't think I can fully explain my issues with the ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 06, 2015 10:11AM  
  • Rough Wrangler, Tender Kisses
  • The Lady Most Willing... (Lady Most..., #2)
  • Surrender A Dream
  • Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2)
  • Lord of Temptation (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2)
  • A Perfect Groom (Sterling trilogy, #2)
  • A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3)
  • The Education of Mrs. Brimley (Chambers Trilogy, #1)
  • Bride for a Night
  • Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4)
  • A Notorious Countess Confesses (Pennyroyal Green, #7)
  • Taken by Desire
  • One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2)
  • Never a Gentleman (The Drake's Rakes, #2)
  • A Highlander Never Surrenders (MacGregors, #2)
  • A Necessary Husband (Necessary, #1)
  • Unraveled (Turner, #3)
86778
New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa's very first book that she "found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"; later People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Her novels have repeat ...more
More about Eloisa James...

Other Books in the Series

Fairy Tales (5 books)
  • A Kiss at Midnight (Fairy Tales, #1)
  • When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2)
  • The Duke Is Mine (Fairy Tales, #3)
  • Once Upon a Tower (Fairy Tales, #5)
When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2) A Kiss at Midnight (Fairy Tales, #1) Paris in Love A Duke of Her Own (Desperate Duchesses, #6) Much Ado About You (Essex Sisters, #1)

Share This Book

“My duchess,” James stated, his eyes sweeping the crowd with the air of a man who has ruled the waves. “She is not a swan, because that would imply she had once been an ugly duckling.” 17 likes
“He wanted to grow old with her, or not grow old at all.” 14 likes
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