When the Duke Returns (Kembalinya Sang Duke)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  3,583 ratings  ·  227 reviews
Lady Isidore Del’Fino, Duchess of Cosway, adalah wanita cantik berdarah Italia yang keras kepala dan mudah emosi. Selama sebelas tahun ia menunggu suami yang belum pernah dijumpainya sejak pernikahan mereka. Isidore lalu menyusun recana untuk membuat suaminya kembali dan menyempurnakan pernikahan mereka, walau harus membuat skandal. Karena hanya dengan demikianlah ia bisa...more
Paperback, 452 pages
Published October 3rd 2011 by Dastanbooks (first published 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about When the Duke Returns, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about When the Duke Returns

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Julie (jjmachshev)
Reviewed for queuemyreview.com; book release Dec08

Just how long is ‘too’ long to wait for your man? In times of yore (it’s a historical!) there existed a practice of marriage by proxy. Meaning one member (usually the man) wasn’t actually present at the ceremony but the couple was considered legally wed. Then once the absent member showed up and consummated the marriage, all was normal. Eloisa James uses the concept of a proxy marriage in her latest book, “When the Duke Returns”. Her heroine has...more
3.5/3.75 stars
When the Duke Returns kept me engaged from start to finish and I read it in a day - but it was my least favorite in the series so far. Maybe it was because I just didn't like the premise and the hero. Isidore and Simeon were married by proxy 12 years earlier - she was 12 and he was 18. He then left to go to Africa and kept no contact with her and virtually no contact with his mother. Isidore is Italian, both her parents died suddenly and she was left alone in the world, save for he...more
Tammy Walton Grant
I like this author, I liked the story, I even liked the premise - both virgins. I was surprised how sexy she was able to make Simeon -- and how sensible his decision to remain chaste was. Their scenes together were well done but the dirty girl in me would have liked it a bit steamier. I wondered too, how the author would explain Simeon's knowledge of things like oral sex and where his fingers should go, when the author told us next to nothing about him. Guess he was born knowing; this is fiction...more
RAGE warning for: abuse of Buddhism, Orientalist stereotypes that just stepped out one of Edward Said's footnotes.

This is the first book I've read by Eloisa James, so I don't know whether it's representative of her work.

I bought it randomly at a used book store because I'd heard good things about James's writing and the premise appealed to me: The heroine was married to the hero by proxy as a child, but it's been years and they haven't met. She has been waiting patiently for him, but when they m...more
Laura the Highland Hussy
This wasn't quite a 4 star read, but the ending of it was just fabulous, so I bumped it up.

I haven't read the rest in the series (I know, I know, bad Highland Hussy! Read in order!) so I'm hoping that would help as well.

I think that from the first page I just adored Isadore. She is beautiful, spunky, witty, and fun to read about.

I didn't like our Duke, though.

I liked him in the first few pages, but then as I got to know him, I began to dislike him. A lot. And not because he's a virgin at 30 (Se...more
Mistress   ~ ♠ Mistral's Kiss ♠ ~ (Mist)
Isadora has been married to the duke of cosway for 11yrs
never in that span of time has he bothered to meet the young lady he married by proxy. She played the meek wifely role for sometime
waiting for his return but as the years passed she said to hell with it
and indulged in seemly wicked activities to get his attention.
Well it worked, his Duke-i-ness has finally decided to make his presence known.

The very beginning of the story is enchanting which was entriely unexpected; since I hadn't cared for...more
Ummu Auni
Despite the lower rating compared to Duchess By Night, I found myself enjoying reading this book.

Isidore had been married by proxy at the age of 12, and her husband, the duke, at the age of 18. For such at tender age, the marriage was never consummated and the duke never returns home. He went adventuring somewhere in the Sahara dessert, or at Nile river. Isidore got tired of waiting and coveted for her husband to return to her, went to Lord Strange's scandalous home in ensuring that the duke ret...more
I guess I must have liked this book, because I read it straight through in one sitting (forsaking various useful tasks). James' books can seem scattered, and this one is no exception--the constant jumping between characters and locations can be maddening, but it keeps you turning pages. Isidore is alternately charming and grating, as is her maybe/maybe not husband (although he's been laden with all sorts of anachronistic new-agey beliefs he picked up in foreign climbs). What makes James' books s...more
Rating: 4 out of 5.

I didn't like the ending so much. I wish it could have been simpler. I also wish that we got to see the Duchess solving other issues in their area and her explaining to the Dowager that her behaviour is unacceptable... Except we get an ending about convicts escaping..
Ana T.
Although I have already reviewed This Duchess of Mine I did read this one first and so in the correct order. Isidore has been a secondary character in the previous books but besides being very beautiful there isn't anything else to make her stand out and I must confess I had no great expectations for this book. The most original thing seemed to be the fact that the hero was a virgin at 30 which, while original if we consider the amount of romances published, sometimes works and other times doesn...more
I read another review from a reader stating that James's "Desperate Duchesses" series improves with each book. I think she finally hit her peak with this one. It really was the perfect historical romance with a hot blooded Italian and an eccentric, reluctant duke who runs about the countryside in short trousers (oh, the scandal!).

I loved that our heroine, Lady Isidore, was completely unwilling to compromise her beliefs, opinions, and ideas because a man and--more specifically--her husband told h...more
Kathie (katmom)
I found this one on a VIRGIN HERO list. Yep, Simeon is 30 and a virgin. And yet, very hot...his wife, by proxy, is 23 and has been married to him since she was 12. Don't worry...he's been GONE this entire time.

To say they were both PRIMED by the time they actually meet would be an understatement.

Their snark was run to read.
This is actually 3.5 to 3.75 stars. I would have marked it 4 stars, but something about the end turned me off a bit.

Isadore was more fun than I would have imagined after the last book, and Simeon was seriously drool-worthy.
(view spoiler)...more
May Mostly Romance
When the duke returns ของเอลอยซ่า เจมส์

หนังสือเล่มนี้เป็นเล่มที่สี่ในชุด Desperate Duchesses ที่เล่าเรื่องเหล่าบรรดาดัชเชสจอมวุ่นทั้งหลาย และเล่มนี้ก็เป็นเรื่องราวของไอสิดอเร่ ผู้ที่เป็นดัชเชสตั้งแต่อายุสิบสองปี (โดยการแต่งงานด้วยตัวแทน) และรอคอยการกลับมาของดยุคของเธอจนกระทั่งบัดนี้เธอก็อายุได้ยี่สิบสามแล้ว

ตอนต้นของเรื่องนี้เป็นฉากหนึ่งในเรื่อง Duchess by night (ซึ่งเป็นเล่มที่สามในชุด) แต่ไม่จำเป็นต้องอ่านเล่มก่อนหน้าทั้งสามเล่มหรอกนะคะ เพราะยังไงก็รู้เรื่อง มันไม่ได้เกี่ยวพันกันมาก อาจจะยกเว้น...more
A friend of mine once commented that James has an uncanny ability to make her supporting cast more interesting than the leads in her novels. I find this hard to dispute, especially given that Isidore was such an intriguing character in the previous novel but manages to fall flat in this one. Interestingly enough, however, this still isn't the primary problem with this novel, which is twofold in nature. First, much of the first few chapters of this novel hinge heavily on having read 'Duchess by N...more
(From my book blog)

Yeah, there is no mention of a masked ball at any point in the book. Excellent cover choice.

Okay, so Isidore and Simeon were married by proxy when she was 12 and he was … older, and she expected him to show up and collect her when she turned 16, but Simeon was too busy off traversing the globe and learning the ~*~ways of the world~*~ to make it back. The book opens when Simeon has finally got his (sexy, sculpted) ass back to England to see Isidore. Isidore has never met Simeon...more
Ah, Eloisa James. What can you say? She knows her history. This book, " When the Duke Returns" is a part of the Duchess series. ( can be read out of order). This is a light historical romance set in the late 1700's, regency England. Lady Isidore was married by proxy as a child. Her "husband" Simeon never came to claim her on her 16th birthday. She is now 23 and the Duke has finally shown up. However, he has been changed by his "middle way" life in Africa. He attempts to control his feelings, ang...more
This book would have better if there hadn't been so many chapters devoted to the next book in the series (Desperate Duchesses - This Duchess of Mine). 10 of the 42 chapters are dedicated to being a "teaser" for the next book.

The heroine in this book is as near to perfect as I have ever found in a romance. She is a wonderful blend of strength and fragility, neither too brittle or too docile. The hero seems odd, cold and unemotional. This is not true, he just more complex than many other heroes w...more
Of the first 4 books, When the Duke Returns comes in as my second favorite after Desperate Duchesses.

Isidore is my favorite lead heroine thus far in the series (though I suspect Jemma might oust her from that position as I continue to her book), she's a fiery Italian with a big heart and some realistic insecurities about her husband of eleven years that she's never met! Simeon has spent those years adventuring in Egypt and picking up some eccentric behaviors (in the mind of the English court at...more
Jenny J
Romantic fluff, but not one of the better ones. The first half was enjoyable--Our Heroine is independent and capable, Our Hero a truly well-developed character, and the banter between them was wonderful. Until it came time for the "romance"--the love scenes were awful, the power games the two leads played were disturbing, and the ending was one of the most random in all of Romance. Seriously, where the two should have had a heart-to-heart and confessed their mutual respect for each other, instea...more
Susan (susayq ~)
4.5 stars

Why has it taken me so long to get back to this series? I think this is my favorite so far. Isidore and Simeon demonstrated the old adage of opposites attract to perfection. She tried his patience and his calm with her fiery personality. They had me laughing at their snarky conversations.

If you've read my reviews for the previous books in this series then you know of my love for Jemma, Duchess of Beaumont. She once again shined in this book. As did Villiers. I'm excited that her book...more
E.J. Needs A Day Job...And NOT Writing Romance Books...

My only issue with Susan Duerden doing the audiobooks for Eloisa James is that she makes the women characters sound like ditzy, immature, childish females. The tone of voice she gives to the women is irritating and makes you want to NOT even be bother with the book all together. Also, her men sound the exact same in EVERY Eloisa James book… The Duke of Cosway sounded like VA from “Desperate Duchesses book 1” and like Thorn from “Three Weeks...more
Zel Polev
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The book is a far cry from the romance novels I usually read. The hero isn't some boring guy that just runs around being a rake. Instead, he's traveled the world, found the source of the Blue Nile, and most strangely for a romantic hero, he's a virgin at age 29. He's returned from his world tour to discover that his home is a disgusting mess that's fallen apart under his late father's and now his mother's control. His wife that he married by proxy is a demanding, spirited thing that alternativel...more
It had some fantastic bits and it had some terrible bits and this is always my problem with Eloisa James. I just can't decide whether or not I like her books overall. In this one, the characters and their interaction are interesting, and there is some truly superior detailing going on with the setting. But somehow, things are uneven; it just doesn't pull together as a wallop of awesomeness nor even competence, and for that I'm really not sure it should get more than a two...
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
I've rarely vacillated so hard on what I thought of a book. In the beginning, I found the male lead kind of annoying and was kinda meh on the book, but then as the relationship developed I thought I might love, love, love this book and then the last 7% of the book lost me entirely. But in honor of the soaring love I felt for the middle 75% of the book, I'm going to rate this one a "like."
Lisa Creane
This was my Mom's favorite romance in a year or more. She absolutely loved it. I have to say she might have a sturdier disposition than me because on of the key plot points is so gutter-worthy I got a little ill but I've never appreciated potty humor. Most people do.

Like a lot of Eloisa James's Fairy Tales series, there are modern love issues embedded in the marriage. Isidore doesn't mind (much) being married off at age 12 by proxy to an absent young man she'd never met, but she does feel the s...more
I absolutely loved the fact that the hero was a virgin in this story. What a fun twist for a change! He had been exploring Africa for years and had chosen not to risk diseases while there. He was smart, virile, sexy and chaste!
I really DIDN"T like the two competing and mostly unrelated story lines running throughout the book. I would much prefer focusing on one couple at a time.
Well...I think my cravings in this genre are satisfied. I was a little yawnsville because I read 3 of them in a row. Don't get me wrong, enjoyable, but not challenging. This is a series I might pick up sporadically when I'm bored because the world is interesting enough fluffy-guilty pleasure.
It was a cute read though the first part was really excruciatingly tedious. I hated the main character and his beliefs while Isidore was vivacious, confident and as opposed to most heroines of that era, remarkably intelligent.

The points that lowered the rating for me:
1. It was really a two-person story with the ancillary characters either superfluous or living disjointed lives that were described for the sole purpose of setting the ground for a sequel. So Jemma's story ended on a pretty serious...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Before the Scandal (Notorious Gentlemen, #2)
  • Your Scandalous Ways (Fallen Women, #1)
  • To Seduce a Sinner (Legend of the Four Soldiers, #2)
  • Wed Him Before You Bed Him
  • Seducing an Angel (Huxtable Quintet, #4)
  • The Lady Most Willing...: A Novel in Three Parts
  • Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2)
  • Untouched
  • The Outlaw and the Lady (Daughters of Fortune, #1)
  • The Book of Scandal (The Scandalous Series, #1)
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...
When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2) A Kiss at Midnight (Fairy Tales, #1) Paris in Love The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales, #4) A Duke of Her Own (Desperate Duchesses, #6)

Share This Book

“I don't want to have to earn love by giving up my ability to make decisions that determine how I live.” 12 likes
“They were partners. She would always make impulsive decisions and he would make slow, reasoned ones. He would always be a little terrified that she would look at him with the scorn he saw in his mother's eyes. And she would always be a little terrified that he would look at her and not love her enough.

In short, they were made for each other.”
More quotes…