The Taming of the Duke (Essex Sisters, #3)
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The Taming of the Duke (Essex Sisters #3)

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  2,889 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Imogen, Lady Maitland, has decided to dance on the wild side. After all, she's in the delicious position of being able to take a lover. A discreet male who knows just when to leave in the morning.

But Lady Maitland is still under the watchful eye of her former guardian, the wildly untamed Rafe, the Duke of Holbrook. He believes she is still in need of a "watchdog." She laug...more
Paperback, 392 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Avon
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Community Reviews

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Melody
I really really love the character of Rafe. Love and adore him. Eloisa James is one of my favorite authors so it kills me to say this because I was really looking forward to reading this. I was disappointed with this one and it's only because of the plot and set up of the story and how it was dragged out. Still a great read I'd recommend it but compared to the other in the series this was disappointing for me.

*SPOILER ALERT* I really liked the idea of Rafe's long lost brother Gabe coming into th...more
Ruth
I loved, loved, loved this book. I loved the way it was written, the hero and heroine, the secondary characters, the plot, the epilogue, everything!

Where to start?

The heroine is a passionate, but soured widow, guilty for luring her deceased, arrogant husband into marriage, and embarrassed for the lack of passion in their short marriage. That's a lot of emotion for one person to walk around with, and she retreats into a bitter, bitchy exterior to hide her pain. She's also smart and sassy.

The hero...more
skein
awkward awkward awkward awkward.

SCENE ONE!
A Duke (Raphael) meets up with long-lost-half-brother-doppleganger (Gabriel) who has unintentionally sired a child on an actress who doesn't want the baby at all but will only give it up if her career is catapulted by Gabe's brother's fortune

SCENE TWO!
The brothers invite a bevy of ladies to visit and act in the play -- Rafe's mother had a playhouse and it was very popular in the ton -- naturally. One of them (Imogen) was married briefly to a man she stol...more
Sarah MacLean
these are all 5 star books...but I so loved the last of the series...so so so loved it, like dogeared copy loved it...that i have to give the other sisters 4 stars in order to officially show my devotion to Josie & Mayne.
Blodeuedd Finland
I didn't even know that there were two other books about the main characters sisters, and you really don't have to know that to read this book.

Lady Imogen Maitland is a widow and in the position of taking a lover. A man who knows how to keep quiet.

But she is still under the wathcful eye of her former guardian, rafe, the duke of Holbrook. he believes that she still needs someone who watches her. But she laughs at the idea that a lazy drunk of a man can do anything. Why should he have anything to...more
Suzie Quint
I can't decide if this book deserves 2 stars or 4 stars.

On one hand, I very much enjoyed Rafe. I liked that he doesn't come on stage initially looking like the classic romantic hero. He also made me laugh. That's the 4 star part of the book.

The two star part of the book (view spoiler)...more
Isis FG
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yackie
2.5 Stars

CAUTION SPOILERS

I wasn't fond of the younger Essex sisters since reading the first book in the series. Book 2 changed my mind on Annabel and I was hoping that this book would change my thoughts on Imogen (even though they'd gotten even worse after the second book). Unfortunately, my dislike of her did not go away in this book, it just kept getting worse.

I'm in no way a prude. I'm all for a woman making the first move and going after what she wants. But the way Imogen threw herself firs...more
Amber
I can't explain my feelings about this series. I start hating the plot, characters, everything. The I love the last third of the books. I eventually like the main hero and heroine and am satisfied with the ending. However for this book, I kept hating Imogen. I thought I might grow to like her like I did Tessa and Annabel but no, I hated her. I felt no sympathy for her, Nothing. I feel that Rafe is too good for her. Actually, all the characters are better than Imogen. Not to mention that I didn't...more
Liz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lita Bouquard
Imogene is the Essex sister that is the least likable to me. Most of the time she has been relentlessly pursuing the duke, or being hateful to her sister Tess. Imogene widowed young and has been careless about her reputation which has affected her sisters. In this book 3 she agrees to return to her guardians home as she was only married 2 weeks before becoming a widow.
Rafe has been a drunk for 6 years since his brother died. He discovers he has another brother and a niece. While he comes to te...more
Elis Madison
This is one of those books where the title has nothing to do with the story. Well, there is a duke, but I can't see where he was tamed.

Imogen, the widowed Lady Maitland, lives with her guardian, Rafe, the drunken Duke of Holbrook. Rafe’s illegitimate brother Gabe and Gabe’s illegitimate daughter Mary have just moved in, and the rest of the cast of the series is coming to stay so that Gabe’s ex-mistress, an actress who lost a big part in London because of her pregnancy, can put on a showcase pla...more
Jen
What I love most about Eloisa James is her ability to take unlikely heroes and heroines and turn them into extraordinarily likable protagonists. In this novel, our unlikely hero is Rafe--the alcoholic, careless Duke of Holbrook. And our heroine is the newly widowed--and recently spiteful--Lady Imogen Maitland.

It can't have been an easy task to create a hero out of an alcoholic. But James managed to do it with finesse. While I initially disliked Rafe earlier in the series, I learned more about hi...more
Amy
I loved the first two in this series. I love Eloisa James. But Imogen was the worst heroine I've read in a long time. She was horrid throughout the first two books, and even during the third she never really took on any redeeming qualities. Rafe was a fantastic hero, but by the end I was rooting for Miss Pythian-Adams to get the guy.
Shelley
Imogen falls for her former guardian - or maybe his near twin brother. Or maybe her guardian pretending to be his near twin brother. It was fluffy and enjoyable until the end when the main plot point (guardian pretending to be his near twin brother) never actually got resolved. Last line, surprise! Cop out. Total cop out.
Jillian
Loved this addition to the series. I wasn't a big fan of Imogen.. not exactly sure why. But in the end the story line was perfect, love the twists that James puts in her writing... especially with the Essex sisters.
Ron
Mar 16, 2008 Ron rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: romance
Eloisa James wraps up the Essex Sisters series by putting Rafe in the romantic spotlight, and acknowledging all that drinking he's been doing over the last three books in the series... a fun ending to a fun quartet.
Vicki
Thoroughly enjoyed Rafe in the prior books in the series and was disappointed to see his character wasted in a pairing with heroine who thoroughly annoyed the crap out of me in the entire series...
Kyraryker
Ok, so I am seven chapters in and haven't come up with anything to really discuss about this book. It is not grabbing me at all yet. The storyline of Rafe trying to stop drinking and why he is doing it is probably the aspect of the book I like the most so far. I guess I can be happy about the fact that this seems to be all Imogen's story as her other sisters aren't honing in on her time so far. The author does seem to be bringing back the character Gillian ( Draven Maitland's fiancée before Imo...more
Cheryl
This is book 3 of the Essex Sisters Quartet, and I really am so glad that I bought these on a whim from thriftbooks. Most romance novels seem silly or banal or just annoying. I've settled for other writers just because their writing wasn't as bad as others I'd picked up.

James is challenging. Sure, she sticks to the formula, but you know what? I want a happy ending. I want the couple to have to overcome some hardships and then, finally, find each other and live happily ever after.

I wasn't sure wh...more
Sarah
I'm going with 3 1/2 stars here. I love Eloisa James, and her writing is just as good in this book, but I just couldn't love this book.

As I said before, this book is written in little vignettes much like "Love Actually" the movie, but it isn't done quite as well. For example, when one of the heroes (yes, there are two of each) kisses his intended you have no warning. One minute they are talking and the next he kisses her then apologizes and runs off. Doesn't sound too bad, right? The problem is...more
Lori McD
3.5 stars

Imogen finally takes Center Stage -- not because she thrust herself into the spotlight, but because it was truly her turn. Imagine that!

Mixed review here... admittedly Imogen is not my favorite sister. She's simply behaved so badly in both of the previous books, it's difficult for me to like her or relate to her. But I knew that this was coming, and I knew that she was destined for the Duke from book 1. I suspect Ms. James knew it all along, too.

But there's a certain amount of ickiness...more
Netha
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh mo baca buku ini males duluan secara diantara ke 4 kakak beradik essex aq paling ga suka dengan imogen.
tp berhubung udah baca buku 1 & 2 mau ga mau harus terus baca apalagi ada cerita ttg Miss Pythian-Adams, mantan tunangan draven maitland yg ditinggalkan karna maitland kawin lari dengan imogen.

aq malah lebih suka miss phytian-adams yg smart dibandingkan imogen yg egois.

imogen, lady maitland, menjanda setelah menikah dgn pujaan hatinya hanya selama 2 minggu.
pernikahan yg ka...more
Erin
I enjoyed this book - definitely more than I enjoyed Josie and Mayne's book, which I read first.

I thought Imogen was a termagant - god did she get on my nerves. But in a good way? She nagged Rafe to death, but for his own good, which I definitely appreciated. Really I thought he was the saving grace of this book. Rafe's alcoholism, his earnest desire to change, his pursuit of Imogen, his loving attitude toward his family, all great. I thought the alcoholism was handled realistically, and it jus...more
Wirya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alisonclaire
4.5 stars.

I *love* Imogen and Rafe. The only thing that keeps me from being completely obsessed with this book is the fact that the ruse went on way too long -- which I think was a distinct choice made by the author. She was trying to emulate a Shakespearean farce, I think. However, it kept the book from being satisfying to modern readers. I totally get why that is a dealbreaker for most people. However, for me, I love them together too much to let it totally ruin my enjoyment of the rest of th...more
Adele
I really wanted to enjoy this book and there were some moments which I did. Unfortunately the vast majority of the book either bored or angered me. Imogen was a particularly irritating character and Rafe needed a swift kick but at least there was a valid reason behind his insecurities. The ending was particularly terrible - I was finally enjoying it and then all the panic just blew over. I personally would have at least had some form of mixed reaction! Having said that, I think Josie's story cou...more
Joanne
Love, love Eloisa's books.........The Taming of the Duke is a great Historical read........lot's of romance, sensual, funny, Imogen, Lady Maitland wants to dance on the wild side. Her husband died young, so now, she's ready to kick up her heals.........But her former guardian is still watching her movements as though she was under age.......he is the Duke of Holbrook, Rafe.

He feels that she is still in need of a protector/guardian.....Rafe, the Duke, has a drinking problem, but why does he drink...more
Robin (RBBR)
This time we get to read Imogen's story and either I'm developing some sort of mental block against 3rd Books or for some reason the pace of them just starts out slow and as a rule they aren't true page turner's. This one although I was looking forward to it before I started it just didn't strike my interest as much as I thought I would but I'm glad I did and after a slow start IMHO it picked up some pace and turned out really good. This seems to be the case with all the Book 3's I seem to come...more
adventurat
Book three of the Essex sisters, and this one deals with Imogen - Lady Maitland, widowed after an ill-advised marriage that lasted all of ten days in Book One - and her former guardian, Rafe Jourdain, Duke of Holbrook.

Good characterization, especially of Rafe. It's hard to make a drunkard into a hero - especially a romantic hero - but he gives up the drink, stops feeling sorry for himself, and pursues Imogen, who, he realizes, he's always loved. The device that prompts his sobriety - an illegit...more
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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
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“End the affair briskly, and without allowing the slightest room for doubt,' Griselda continued. 'Tell the gentleman that while you are grateful for the lovely time that you spent in his company, you have seen the error of your ways and wish to lead a celibate existence. You can add some flummery about his having given you pleasure you never experienced before, if you wish.'
Imogen nodded, wishing she had Josie's little book to take notes in.
'On occasion, a hitherto rational man might act in a thoroughly distracted fashion when you inform him of your wish to end the relationship. I generally inform them that while I am not betraying poor Willoughby (he /is/ dead, after all), I have decided, upon reflection, that I am betraying myself. They never have any adequate rebuttal, and you can part on the best of terms.”
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“She gave a sigh and turned to meet Rafe's sardonic glance.
"He's not for you," Rafe said, leaning close to her.
"I can't think what you mean," Imogen said loftily, accepting a glass of lemonade from Brinkley.
"You know precisely what I mean, you little witch," Rafe said, and there wasn't even a gleam of amusement in his eyes. "You mean to have him, don't you? I've seen that look in your eyes before. That look has had you in trouble before.”
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