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Once Upon a Tower (Fairy Tales, #5)
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Once Upon a Tower (Fairy Tales #5)

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  3,734 ratings  ·  519 reviews
Once upon a time…

A duke fell in love


Gowan Stoughton of Craigievar, Duke of Kinross, values order and self-control above all else. So when he meets a lady as serene as she is beautiful, he promptly asks for her hand in marriage.

With a lady

Edie—whose passionate temperament is the opposite of serene—had such a high fever at her own debut ball that she didn’t notice anyon
...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Avon
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Barbara Ok. The answer is in the author's notes at the end of the book and apparently, it was "Just Like Heaven" not the "Sum of All Kisses." I knew that…moreOk. The answer is in the author's notes at the end of the book and apparently, it was "Just Like Heaven" not the "Sum of All Kisses." I knew that James had collaborated with Quinn to write a couple books.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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UniquelyMoi ~ 1-Click RockChick

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I’m a huge fan of Eloisa James’s Fairy Tales series, each book a delightful, sexy, poignant retelling of a time honored classic fairy tale. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Pea… all wonderful stories revisited, their happily ever afters given a lively, fresh twist. And now it’s ‘Rapunzel’s’ turn to be freed from the tower she’s locked herself away in, but can her Prince Not-So-Charming convince her to let him in, before it’s too late?

On the Cover:

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A d
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Marianne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
As with Eloisa James' many other works, particularly the Duchess series, the supporting cast of characters and their histrionics threaten to overwhelm the main characters and their plot, but thankfully did not in the end. Like the rest of her "Fairy Tale" series, the fairy-tale-retelling aspect is quite, quite overreaching. For the majority of the book, there was nothing in it that could be remotely connected to the Rapunzel tale besides a balcony scene and Gowan's silly fantasies regarding the ...more
Lisa
Gowan Stoughton of Craigiever, Duke of Kinross, is organized and precise and everything follows a routine, just as it has for years. Knowing it is time to marry, when he meets the lovely Lady Edith Gilchrist and dances with her and finds her serene and likeable, he promptly asks for her hand in marriage. Edie, who was suffering from a high fever and was not quite herself the day of the ball, or after when she agreed to the marriage, finds herself betrothed to a man she knows nothing about. They ...more
Caz
I think that Once Upon a Tower is something quite unlike most of the other historical romances I’ve ever read. In fact, I almost hesitate to call it a romance, even though the hero and heroine DO get their HEA and have to go through hell to get it. I can also see why the book has received mixed reviews because some of it makes for uncomfortable reading. That doesn’t mean that stories have to be comfortable to be enjoyable – far from it, but in Once Upon a Tower I think that some of the issues th ...more
Laura the Highland Hussy
3.5

review posted on Got Fiction? Book Blog

I liked this, but for all the awesomeness of the plot, I just didn't love it.

This book just wasn’t for me, but at the same time, I really couldn’t tell you why. Most of my friends gave it 5 stars, and yet for me, I had no problem putting it down. This makes it kind of hard to review.

I like the plot of this book, and I really like how the majority of their problems stem from such realistic events. Like marrying someone you don’t know, and then learning to
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Elis Madison
Eloisa James has done it again.



At least for a few pages towards the end, that was me.

If you guessed this one would be a sendup of Rapunzel, you'd be right.



Toss in some Shakespeare



Shake well and serve.

Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, is a filthy rich duke, and he can buy any bride he chooses. He finds himself in bloody England, dragged off to be introduced to some chit named Edith. You couldn't pick a more Sassenach name, could you? But he takes one look, and, BAM!!



Turns out Edith Gilchrist is
...more
Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)
2.5

Meeeeh. I love fairy tale retellings, but didn't really like this one. I hated Edie's stepmother, Layla, so much, it kinda distracted me throughout the rest of the book.

Layla came into scenes at the worst time possible and gave the most shittiest advice I've ever seen a person give to another person. If I had to blame one person in the whole book for messing up Gowan and Edie's marriage in the first place, it would be Layla

But I guess I liked Gowan and Edie so much that I decided to go with
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Michelle
Eloisa's books make me so HAPPY! I giggled and sighed (with more than a brief detour of sobbing) my way through this latest gem. (view spoiler)
Jo ★The Book Sloth★
I am kind of sad to admit that this was my least favorite book in the series so far. I had high expectations to be honest. I have loved all the book in the series so I thought I'd fall in love with this one as well.. Not so much. Still I liked the book. It had some really strong moments.

What I disliked most of all in this book is the stepmother. Layla wasn't a bad person. She was actually someone I would have liked if she didn't have such an inclination on giving all the wrong advise to Edie. Sh
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Amanda
I tried to read this and wanted to like it. But it just wasn't happening for me. I've noticed that Ms James' novels start off rocky for me and I usually end up enjoying them by the end. I feel like I gave this one a fair shot and at 53% I quit.

To start off, the hero "falls in love" with the h after seeing her, dancing with her twice, and not speaking at all. Well, other than to ask for the dances. That was strike one, but it could have been overcome! But instead it got cheesier. And plotless. I
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Arshia
When reading Eloisa's novels I have to be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride. I experience joy, despair, laughter, & anger just like the characters. Sheer perfection can be found in her writing. This was a very refreshing look at marriage and it's intricacies. The pacing of the story had me skipping ahead to read a bit more and then go back because I didn't want to miss a word. The story flowed in such a manner that I had to know what happened next; it was uncomplicated with it's ...more
Lauren
Once Upon a Tower
2 Stars

Series note: None of the books in this series are connected and each can be read as a standalone.

Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, is handsome, wealthy and in search of a wife. Upon seeing Lady Edith Gilchrist at a ball, Gowan, completely smitten by her stunning beauty and quiet manner, decides to ask for her hand immediately. Little does he know that passionate and feisty Edie is nothing like she seems, and when the truth emerges, these two headstrong lovers find themse
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Stella
Although I have Eloisa James' Fairy Tales series on my TBR list and I prefer not to read series out of order Once Upon a Tower was only the second book in the series I have read, saying it so those who fear not having read the previous books is a prerequisite know that the books can be read as complete standalones.

Once Upon a Tower was my favourite Eloisa James novel to this day. It was fun, sexy with both the heroine and hero being characters I could like.

Edith (yep, had a hard time accepting t
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Lover of Romance
"You're my heart, Edie. My Everything"

When Gowan first see's Edith, he knows he must have her as his wife. As he is business partners with her father, it is a very simple matter for them to become engaged. He just never expected to feel so alive and is anxiously waiting for when he can truly take her as His. Edith is suprised but not shocked when she learns of the engagement, without her consent. She knows her father has her best interest at heart. After seeing her father and step mother, have
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Cally
I usually like Eloisa James' style, but there was something annoying about this one. Short list of the major annoyances:

1. The humour was lacking, and when it was there, it was a bit forced. A lot of the time it read like the author was trying to make this funny but the banality of the story overpowered these attempts.

2. This read less like a happy romance (only reason I'd pick a book like this) and more like a guide for fixing certain marital troubles. The major conflict was the difficulty of f
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Yodamom
2.7 stars
I really love this authors retelling of fairytales, normally. This one missed the mark for me. I liked it, it was enjoyable but it lacked something that I found in the other books in the series. I never felt the characters drama, I just couldn't connect with them. He seemed to drift from one action to the next and I just didn't feel him and he was the one I wanted to like the most. I wanted more on him, what I got was a lot of business, a lot of responsibilities and blankness. The femal
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Laura (Kyahgirl)
2/5; 2 stars; C+

Ok, I will say right off the bat that I'll give Susan Duerden, the narrator,4/5 stars. She did a competent job with various female and male voices. I probably would have abandoned the book if a weaker narrator had read the story.

Considering how much I enjoyed another book in this fairy tale series, When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2) by Eloisa James, this book was really disappointing. The disappointment is greatest for me because this is author is one of the only romance authors I've read who does a pretty good job defining som
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Susan Gorman
I stayed up until 1:30 am this morning to finish Once Upon A Tower, Eloisa James' retelling of the fairytale Rapunzel.

Tower held my attention and I loved how James wove in snippets from Shakespeare and included classic musical pieces throughout the novel.

I enjoyed the letter writing between our hero Gowan,the Duke of Kinross and Lady Edith our heroine which take place in chapter five. The letters give the reader a hint of the main character's personalities and the story ahead.

Gowan is a larger
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A.
Content warnings, if needed, include: painful PIV intercourse (addressed by the narrative), the hero has a yell-y tirade at the end of the second act (also addressed, & foreshadowed early on).

French fries on a cupcake, this was emotionally exhausting. E X H A U S T I N G. Or maybe it's the hour (3AM). Maybe it's Maybelline? No, I think this book just messed me the frick up. Harrowing and absorbing and ultimately relieving in the way it is when a narrative actually addresses the unlikeable th
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DemetraP
This was a historical romance with a virginal hero and a virginal heroine. They get married very quickly, and spend most of the book having problems in the bedroom. Neither one of them knows what they are doing so she doesn't like it and he feels like a failure.

I give the author points for creativity in the plot but I don't read romance novels to watch the characters struggle in that area.

The secondary plotline involved the heroine's stepmother and father having marital problems. They both tho
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Melissa Spencer feehan
I pre-ordered this, and read it in one sitting. It was wonderful! I'm a picky reader, my favorite authors are Judith McNaught, Julia Quinn, and Eloisa James. Its a short list. I'll be honest, books can get expensive, so I like ones that are well written with enough of a story to satisfy me and draw me in. Eloisa James delivers with this one.

The hero is a scottish man in a kilt. A ROMANTIC SCOTTISH MAN IN A KILT. As always, the woman is beautiful, but she has unique talents and quirks. The story
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Rosalia
No spoilers, but a comment: This story was filled with so much truth, heart and vulnerablity (not to mention humor) that it makes it one of my top 5 romance novels. I haven't been this invested in a story since Judith Mc Naught's Almost Heaven. These Scottish men and their capacity to love, at the hands of phenomenal women writers, are amazing. Loved the book.

I need an extra star for this one.
Letitia
Rating: B+ ... Heat: Warm

Lady Edith Gilchrist was brought up to be a proper English lady. The only daughter of an Earl, it’s no surprise that her debut is a resounding success. Edie, who is a talented musician and spends every waking moment with a cello between her legs, is considered a diamond of the first water. She has an almost ethereal glow to her as she dances that night and, coupled with her quiet demeanor, she’s what every young man simply can’t resist. If only that glow wasn’t due to a
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Caz
I found this rather a difficult book to rate, because it’s quite unlike most of the other historical romances I’ve read or listened to. At times, I almost forgot I was listening to a romance because there were so many uncomfortable moments that made it almost too realistic to be termed a romance.

That’s not to be taken as a damning criticism, however. I think that Ms. James has touched on something in Once Upon a Tower, which is actually very honest and, in many ways, timeless. She’s fashioned a
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[Aengell]
Wow, just... Wow!

Once Upon A Tower was a great read, surprisingly refreshing with a fair share of great humour and a very endearing romance!

Goran Stoughton of Craigievar, Duke of Kinross, values order and self-control above all else. So when he meets a lady as serene as she is beautiful, he promptly asks for her hand in marriage.

Edie—whose passionate temperament is the opposite of serene—had such a high fever at her own debut ball that she didn’t notice anyone, not even the notoriously elusive D
...more
Becca
I had been so excited to buy this book. I love when the hero and heroine are less experienced sexually as it usually has more layers and more exuberance. I immediately dove into this book, even though I was in the middle of another. I was so disappointed. These characters did not talk to each other...it was the greatest misunderstanding I have ever seen and some of the things the characters said to each other were just plain awful and not redeemable. The story contained too much sexual dysfuncti ...more
Minesweeper
It pains me to give this book such a bad rating. I actually liked the story until about 3/4 of the way through, but at that point, the characters had my blood boiling with outrage on the hero's behalf - I'm looking at you, Layla, Edie's dad, Gowan's servant who so far showed nothing but contempt towards the heroine (hence whose reaction came out of nowhere), not to mention Edie, herself, whose melodramatic actions by themselves might have been tolerable but, combined with the those of her relati ...more
Mandy
Wow! I’m the most unobservant person in the world. I’m only now making the fairytale/Rapunzel connection. Oops. Oh, well.

As always, I turn to historical romance when I want fluffy escapism that will end happily ever after without anything too dramatic happening. This kinda met those qualifications, but it frustrated me too much for me to truly enjoy it.

I think it’s funny when there’s bad sex in historical romance novels. Strike that. I think it’s funny when there’s bad sex anywhere. The issue i
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ARomanceLover
The Duke has never been impulsive until he spots Edie across a ballroom. He rushes her into marriage and they find out how they fit together. I love that James writes about how un-fairy-tale-like real marriage is, even if both people love each other.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 23, 2015 07:31AM  
wow 1 11 Nov 19, 2014 07:59PM  
  • It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green, #8)
  • The Lady Most Willing... (Lady Most..., #2)
  • If You Give a Rake a Ruby (Jewels of the Ton, #2)
  • In Love with a Wicked Man
  • How to Tame Your Duke (A Princess In Hiding, #1)
  • Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6)
  • Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)
  • The Luckiest Lady in London
  • The Bride Says Maybe (The Brides of Wishmore, #2)
  • How to Entice an Enchantress (The Duchess Diaries, #3)
  • What the Duke Desires  (The Duke's Men, #1)
  • Lord of Wicked Intentions (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #3)
  • The Devil Wears Kilts (Scandalous Highlanders, #1)
  • How to Lose a Bride in One Night (Forgotten Princesses, #3)
  • I Married the Duke (The Prince Catchers, #1)
  • The Laird (Captive Hearts, #3)
  • The Other Guy's Bride (Braxton, #2)
  • Say Yes to the Duke (House of Brady, #3)
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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)
  • The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales, #4)
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

“She shrugged and, with one
gulp, drank half a glass of champagne.
“How long has she been like this?” The look on Edie’s father’s face was edging from half to threequarters
barbarian.
“Oh, about two years,” Edie said, considering. “In the stages of marital harmony, I’d say the two
of you are at about stage eight of ten—ten being the slough of utter despond.”
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“she fell asleep listening to the call of the river as it rushed to the sea.” 4 likes
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