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This Duchess of Mine (Desperate Duchesses #5)

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3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,095 Ratings  ·  322 Reviews
No man can resist Jemma's sensuous allure . . . Except her own husband!

Wedding bells celebrating the arranged marriage between the lovely Duchess of Beaumont and her staid, imperturbable duke had scarcely fallen silent when a shocking discovery sent Jemma running from the ducal mansion. For the next nine years she cavorted abroad, creating one delicious scandal after anoth
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Mass Market Paperback, 370 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Avon
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Dukes... Bring 'em on!
22nd out of 337 books — 657 voters
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Best Historical Romances - Married Couples
30th out of 369 books — 673 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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seton
May 27, 2009 seton rated it liked it
Eloisa James writes light historicals often featuring multiple and ongoing storylines. She is not your typical Avon historical author. She has an unpredictable disposition as a writer and marches to her own drum, so to speak.

First of all, let me say that this is a charming story. EJ has a witty, amusing style and the book proceeds at a steady pace with no noticable lull. I liked it but ultimately, I was not fully satisfied with the story she told here. It's all about expectations.

This book cann
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Claire
Apr 04, 2011 Claire rated it did not like it
Infidelity galore.

After his marriage, the hero continued daily trysts with his long-time mistress supposedly because, he wanted to show his colleagues that he's not sexual deviant like his late father. Yeah, right, as if jumping from the conjugal bed to the office desk was more palatable conduct than his deceased father's.

And then, for revenge, the heroine engaged in her own liaisons in Paris to shock husband into fetching her. Not content with that, she further raised eyebrows upon arriving i
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Shawna
3 stars – Historical Romance

This is a rather odd reunion romance about a married couple who've been separated for 9 years due to immaturity, ego, lies, infidelity, misunderstandings, pride, jealousy, and betrayals but suddenly find themselves obsessed and in love with each other like a couple of giddy, infatuated teenagers. Most of the book is a long-drawn-out build-up to their first reunion love scene, a chess game played in bed, that's one of the most unusual of any romance book that I've read
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Susan (susayq ~)
I have waited a long time to read this book. And I'm not just talking about the actual time between the reading of this and when I read the last one in the series. I'm talking about the fact that I've been waiting for Jemma's story from the VERY BEGINNING of the series when she stole the show in the first book. The wait is over and I'm here to tell you, it was worth the wait and it was everything I expected and more :)

Even though Jemma and Elijah have been married for almost 10 years, they've li
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Anzu The Great Destroyer
Aug 04, 2011 Anzu The Great Destroyer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hopeless romantics
Recommended to Anzu by: Aly is so frigging bored
A girl’s guide to saving her train-wrecked marriage.

This story had a bad start from many points of view. First of all we knew that Jemma and Elijah’s situation was bad from the start. He cheated on her, she caught them, he told her that he loved his mistress and she left him. Nine years of failed marriage are difficult to overcome. The second problem is Elijah’s heart. He knows he is going to die soon and his situation is getting worse by each passing day. The story started when Elijah wants to
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Ivana Azap
Nov 11, 2015 Ivana Azap rated it it was amazing
Actually, I needed more time then it should to read this story. Beginning was little boring, so I left this book to stand at my "currently reading" shelf for too long.
But, I must say that it was remarkably good idea, to decide to read this story after all. Because it was gooood!!! Romantic, sad, hot etc. And I loved Villiers :D
I would like to see, who became his duchess ;)
Recommendations for this book ;)
Dangermousie
But there was one thing he had to know. He cupped her face in his hands, noting absently that his fingers were shaking. "Will you forgive me?"
She blinked: "For what?"
"For not being able to stay with you forever. Because I would, Jemma. I promise I would."
"I know," she whispered, brushing his lips with her own. "I know."


This is a perfect book. Honestly, I could just leave my review at that one sentence and it would be complete. It is perfect. I read it in one sitting, not able to believe that Elo
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Krista
Jun 15, 2013 Krista rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, historical
Book five in a series and the one I've been looking forward to through all of the previous books. The hero (Elijah) and heroine (Jemma) have been married for nine years but they got off on the wrong foot and have been living apart for all but the past year (during which the first four books occur). Now Elijah's heart is failing and they need an heir, plus they have both learned and grown so both now want to reconcile. Of course there are still significant issues to resolve, or else we wouldn't h ...more
Zumbagirl
Well, I've been dying to read Jemma's story - but I have to say, I was a little disappointed. While this book was engaging - read it in one day - the silly subplots took away from the story rather than making it better. Jemma and Elijah have decided to finally consummate their marriage - again - after nine years of separation. But, of course, they are both very insecure and struggle with how to handle their new arrangement. Elijah has been working himself almost to death at his job and Jemma wan ...more
Ana T.
Jul 16, 2009 Ana T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, read-in-2009
I am a bit undecided on how to grade this book. Although it is not worse than any of the others in the series the truth is that it did not live up to my expectations. I spent the first 4 books of this series thinking that Jemma and Elijah, the Duke and Duchess of Beaumont, were the most interesting characters of the group even if they are just secondary characters. James had announced book nº 5 would be about them so I dutifully read them all, with my expectations rising, just to get to this one ...more
Marzena
Aug 06, 2012 Marzena rated it did not like it
Shelves: romance
That's the book I borrowed for my grandmom, but decided to read it anyway as she liked it.

What a piece of crap it was! Let me start with saying, that's not quite what I expected, although I wasn't expecting much. This book is part of the series Duchesses-themed. It turned out that duchess as book's heroine isn't the only thing the series have in common, but the heroes as well. It would be fine if other characters would get only a mention. Instead, what I read in this book seemed to be written a
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Lindsay Allison
Jul 04, 2012 Lindsay Allison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
This is my favorite book of the series, without a doubt. This book was about Jemma and Elijah, the Beaumonts who have appeared in each of the previous four books in this series. To me, their building story was often just as interesting (if not more so) than the main story in those books.

Jemma and Elijah had an arranged marriage over eight years ago, but when Jemma walked in on her husband and his mistress, she took off for France, where she lived scandalously and extravagantly for the next eight
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Amy
May 28, 2009 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, read-in-2009
I was very much looking forward to reading Elijah and Jemma's story, after their recurring, 'teaser' appearances in the other stories. But after reading it, I'm a little disappointed. If you've never read Eloisa James before, don't start with this one - I think it's her weakest so far.

First, I found the illness plot to be ridiculous - there's no way in this genre that the hero and heroine are not allowed to live happily-ever-after. James should have cured Elijah in the first chapter and found an
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Katie
Jan 09, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it
I finished this a few days ago, so this won't be the best review, but this was another good one! What I find really interesting is that, to a large extent, the relationship was resolved in the past books. They had more or less decided to be together. So this book is a lot of figuring out what that means (and some spoiler-y stuff). Which I liked!

(view spoiler)
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Maria
Jun 27, 2013 Maria rated it it was amazing
I remember loving everything about this book, and read it a few times! I still think of Elijah & Jemma sometimes. They are my favorite Duke & Duchess!! : D
Sherly Septiani
Nov 10, 2011 Sherly Septiani rated it it was amazing
Definitely my favorite book of the series, this is the BEST!!! I'm a fan of Eloisa James, but to me, of course she can do a little wrong.

I don't blindly love all her books. But this one is different. From so many books by her I read, this is the best. I'm moved by reading it. The story was so powerfully moving! It's her masterpiece, if I may say. I enjoyed the story so much that I didn't want it to end. The understanding between Jemma and Elijah was touching, although they had been fighting on
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Kit★
Sep 07, 2011 Kit★ rated it really liked it
Ok, I read this series all out of order, so this was the last one for me. I think I may have even been looking forward to this one the most. Even though Villiers is my favorite character, I was dying to find out how Elijah and Jemma were going to patch things up and get their HEA. Throughout this whole series, they were great characters, and I was wanting to know more about them. This book answered my questions rather well. Jemma is a strong character, with an outgoing personality, definitely ha ...more
JoAnn
Jul 12, 2011 JoAnn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, favorites
This is the last of this series for me because I started with the last book. As I filled in the bits and pieces of Jemma and Elijah's story, I was not sure what I was going to think of this book, but I was very anxious to read it.

Shortly after their arranged marriage Jemma finds her husband and his mistress on the desk of his office at Parliament. When Elijah, who she has fallen in love with, tells her that he loves his mistress she is devastated and runs off to Paris, where, after waiting sever
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Belinda Kroll
Sep 14, 2010 Belinda Kroll rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, romance
Those of you following me on Twitter might be surprised I finished this book. I'm certain my mother is, as she gave up on it. I had my misgivings because it felt as though the tension keeping Elijah and Jemma apart was, well, grasping at straws. It was far too obvious that they cared for one another, and the way Jemma in the early pages of the book seems to be manipulating anyone and everyone to begin the seduction for her estranged husband because he "needed some fun" really annoyed me.

It took
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Kimberly
Oct 13, 2012 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Recommended Read

My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/revie...

As a newlywed, Jemma, the Duchess of Beaumont, had her heart broken when she discovered her husband had a mistress. Having fled to France, Jemma set herself up as the fashionable, scandalous duchess everyone now talks about. But when her husband, Elijah, collapses in the House of Lords, Jemma returns to England. The duke and duchess may need to create an heir, but what each truly desires is for
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Cik Aini
After reading When the Duke Returns, I had to read this one since there are sprinkles of plot with regards to Jemma & Elijah.

Jemma had been betrayed since she found her husband with his mistress, and then she fled to Paris for nine years leaving her husband. And now, Elijah called upon Jemma since he needed a heir after suffering mild heart attack (Well, what else do you expect from those log heads??)

I wanted to slap both of them because being log heads and illogical in reasoning when it cam
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Eviltwinjen
Jun 10, 2009 Eviltwinjen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
OK, so I am admittedly a crazy Eloisa James fan. To me, she can do little wrong. That said, I don't blindly love all her books. Even the excellent Desperate Duchesses series has had its uneven spots. The best thing about the series has been been the ongoing story of sophisticated Jemma and her estranged husband. I was almost disappointed that Jemma's book had arrived--I was enjoying her story too much to want it to end. But This Duchess of Mine is, I think, Eloisa James' masterpiece. I laughed o ...more
Karen (Au Boudoir Ecarlate)
J'ai hésité entre 1 ou 2 étoiles, et finalement j'ai mis la 2e pour les passages avec Villiers qui sauvent le roman du vide abyssal...
Shen
4 Time Is Precious Stars

”Life should not be measured by time. The only thing that counts is how one uses the time one has.”



After four books of their relationship teasers, Finally! Jemma and Elijah’s story!!

After 10 years of estrangement, Jemma has returned to England to give Elijah an heir. They are as different from each other as oil and water and can never seem to agree on much until she learns of his bad heart and that he may not have a lot of time left, and now that is all she wants with h
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Dinjolina
May 08, 2012 Dinjolina rated it it was ok
Mrs. Giggle, whom I 100% adore, has said it all in the review on her blog/site.

http://www.mrsgiggles.com/books/james...

This book was a pretty boring mess, really. :/
And i 100% did not understand why he cheated 10 years back. It was such stupid reason, I would have felt better if he was just a moron that wanted to cheat.
willaful
Oct 30, 2009 willaful rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who have to complete the series only
I read most of this book with my mind in a state of perpetual "huh?" Why did she do that? Why did he say that? Nobody acts like this! For some reason it held my interest enough to keep me reading and by the end I had developed some fondness for the characters, but I think it's one of the weakest of an overall pretty weak series.
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
Duchess Jemma Beaumont wants her husband Elijah's heart at her feet but doesn't expect to get it. She can home from France in the hopes of having Elijah's heir. Elijah Beaumont is working himself to death because he thinks that's all he'll have with his wife Jemma. Yet neither of them think that the other one wants more with the other. Duke Leopold Villiers can't have the woman he wants but wants to make sure his childhood friend Elijah has that chance. With so many missteps can Elijah and Jemma ...more
Sandra R
Mar 26, 2015 Sandra R rated it really liked it
Hovering between a 3 star and a 5 star for me.

Why ? I don't play chess - those scenes made me zone out (so 3 stars)

I loved the dresses, the time period, the side characters, the witty writing and the steamy scenes (when they finally happened) - so 5 stars

I assume that book 6 will have chess as it is about Leopold - but I am hoping books 7 and 8 WILL NOT !!

PS - I have read almost all of Eloisa's Books except for the last 3 in this Duchess series and the 3 in her early Pleasure series which I wil
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Penny
Apr 28, 2016 Penny rated it really liked it
3.5*

I'm taking part in a read along of this series, but Jemma is my favotite character in it, and I think that subconsciously I was burning through all the other books to get to her story.

There is something about this series, Eloisa James meakes you care for her characters, but neither the story nor the plot live up to that, every book is done with a cookie cutter, the same basic thing happen over and over in the same order and at the same time.

I wish we had stories of some of the children!

Sheila Melo
Mar 15, 2015 Sheila Melo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Complicated and Sometimes Difficult Book

"Life should not be measured by time."

THE STORY: Jemma and Elijah, the Duke and Duchess of Beaumont, married young. While Jemma was infatuated with her Duke, she was devastated to find her new husband having sex with his mistress just a few weeks after their wedding. Jemma fled to France where she lived for eight years and had several affairs. She returned to England at the request of her husband to produce an heir. A year later (after the events of the pr
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 10, 2015 08:18AM  
  • To Seduce a Sinner (Legend of the Four Soldiers, #2)
  • Don't Tempt Me (Fallen Women, #2)
  • One Week As Lovers (Somerhart, #3)
  • Wicked All Day (Lorimer Family & Clan Cameron #5)
  • Then Comes Seduction (Huxtable Quintet, #2)
  • Before the Scandal (Notorious Gentlemen, #2)
  • Wed Him Before You Bed Him (School For Heiresses #6)
  • Private Arrangements
  • The Lady Most Likely... (Lady Most..., #1)
  • The Marigold Chain
  • The Perils of Pleasure (Pennyroyal Green, #1)
  • My Lord and Spymaster (Spymasters, #2)
  • Something Wicked (Malloren, #3)
  • Surrender to the Devil (Scoundrels of St. James, #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

Desperate Duchesses (9 books)
  • Desperate Duchesses (Desperate Duchesses, #1)
  • An Affair Before Christmas (Desperate Duchesses, #2)
  • Duchess By Night (Desperate Duchesses, #3)
  • When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses, #4)
  • A Duke of Her Own (Desperate Duchesses, #6)
  • Three Weeks With Lady X (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, #1; Desperate Duchesses, #7)
  • Four Nights With the Duke (Desperate Duchesses, #8)
  • Seven Minutes in Heaven  (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, #3; Desperate Duchesses, #9)

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“Life should not be measured by time. The only thing that counts is how one uses the time one has.” 13 likes
“So our chess game begins tonight, Duchess. At eleven o’clock. I will give you one hour to try to win, blindfolded or no.” His teeth showed very white when he smiled. “And then I shall win.”

Jemma sniffed and turned up her nose. “Pride goeth before a fall, Duke.”

“You will fall before me,” he said, his smile a blatant challenge. “Backwards.”
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