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Duchess in Love (Duchess Quartet #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,612 Ratings  ·  239 Reviews


Gina was forced into marriage with the Duke of Girton at an age when she'd have been better off in a schoolroom than a ballroom. Directly after the ceremony her handsome spouse promptly fled to the continent, leaving the marriage unconsummated and Gina quite indignant.

Paperback, 392 pages
Published December 3rd 2002 by Avon (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jacob Proffitt
Feb 27, 2015 Jacob Proffitt rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, steamy
I'm not sure how to explain this book or my reaction to it. It was energetic and scattered and not entirely off-putting. It was saved, for me, by Gina. I just liked her, even if I couldn't take her seriously as a character. There were too many inconsistencies both with the era and her background to really immerse in the novel but I found myself liking her anyway.

Most of the other characters were a dead loss. Well, not so much Cam. He was sweet, too. Which is nice as he was the romantic hero. But
Anna D.
Nov 21, 2012 Anna D. rated it liked it
Shelves: hr
More like 2.5 stars

This is my first EL book. I was not thrilled about it because I was didn’t like how the book ended. I won’t, however, judge her other books by this and decided to give her the benefit of the doubt since she’s so highly recommended by GR members and Julia Quinn. I’ve already read some synopsis of her other books and I still have high hopes.

There are three stories in this book. 1) Camden & Gina, 2) Tuppy & Carola, and 3) Esme’s story. The only couple without a trace of i
Too much drama at the end, but, overall, this was the best balanced of the James's books I've read in that I was into ALL the storylines.

I also liked that it depicted the reality that ton marriages weren't always that great, lots of married people didn't live together, slept with other people. Don't get me wrong, I love my happy romances, but that realism is something I've missed in a lot of Regency romances.

And it was an interesting take on the estranged marriage trope. This was a about a coupl
Jun 28, 2012 Caroline rated it it was ok
The only time this book caught my interest was when I read the Author's Introduction at the end. I didn't know Ms James was a Professor of English Literature and found it difficult to reconcile her academic expertise with this lack-lustre historical romance.

The main story was cute: a reluctant Duke forced to marry an 11-yr-old girl whom he thought was his cousin. Within hours of the marriage he flees to Greece, where he enjoys an idyllic life sculpting nude statues of Greek goddesses.

He returns
Oct 31, 2010 Kelly rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010-read
Oh dear me what a mess this book was!

A more fitting title would have been Desperate Housewives of the Ton!

The flow was very jumbled and I found myself going back and rereading sentences a lot. The excessive dialogue between numerous characters got very tedious. Somehow James lost my connection to these characters.

The one and only character that I believe had some depth and interest was that of Esme. Her and Miles story left me so sad.

I would give James a 2nd chance and perhaps Esme has a book!
Suzie Quint
Feb 26, 2012 Suzie Quint rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This would have been 4 stars but for a couple of things. At the very end there's a scene between Gina & Cam on the staircase that became a confused jumble in my mind. I tried reading and rereading it but it seemed like the author got shy and only wanted to infer what was happening and so the characters seemed to be lying down one minute (on the steps no less) and the next they were standing and then . . . but you get the idea. There's also the scene on the ship where the Gina sudd ...more
Nov 27, 2015 Angela marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
27 November 2015: $1.99 on Kindle

27 February 2015: $1.99 on Kindle
27 October 2014: $1.99 on Kindle
A more pathetic, mocking excuse of a friendship I have yet to come across.

At least I managed to finish this one. Yippee.
Mary B.
I don't even know what to say. This should have been an introductory novella to this series. Instead, it was a full length novel with a serious identity crisis. The supposed main characters - Gina and Cam - were uninteresting at best, and often quite annoying. With Gina's constant blithering back and forth about whether she wanted to stay married to her husband (Cam) or have her marriage annulled and marry Sebastian (who practically recoils at her slightest touch). But this only when the reader ...more
Feb 24, 2015 Chumchum_88 rated it really liked it
First I want to say it took me a long while to finish this book because I was busy adjusting to my work (I'm new at it^^)

You can say I didn't have any practically favorite characters, but instead I had favorites stories. From my perspective I divided the book to 3 segments, one is the main story that's focused on the main couple, our esteemed Duke and his Duchess. Two was about her best friend Lady Esme and the fiancee the Marquess, three is her other friend Lady Carola and Tuppy. I liked the fi
Sep 18, 2015 Hero rated it did not like it
Terrible book. I don't know why I bothered to read the entire thing since I'm not shy about putting down books that are not engrossing to me. The writing style was amateurish and the tone of the entire story was off putting to me. There was not even a hint of humor to at least bide me through the pain and drudgery of reading this. None of the characters made me care a whit about them and in fact I wanted to do grievous harm to all as I struggled along to finish the book. Needless to say will not ...more
Alex Morrison
Eloisa James is one of those authors that everyone seems to love and I just don't "get". Jude Deveraux and Sophie Jordan also come to mind. That said, I liked this book (published in 2002) more than her more recent offerings (though to be fair, I did give A Duke of Her Own 4 stars). I do love a good childhood romance/friends to lovers plot! My main issue with this is that the heroine was not very likable and didn't feel true to the time. Her willingness to shrug off social norms was supposed to ...more
Andrea Jackson
Too many storylines and everybody acted childish and horny.
Apr 29, 2014 Dana rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2012 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
This was a decent book, not as good as the Essex sisters or The Ugly Duchess, but really, somewhere between 3 and 4 stars.

The plot: We have Gina, the abandoned wife of the Duke of Girton, who has managed the estate for nearly 12 years alone, from the time she was 11 years old, and forced to marry Cam. Cam fled, leaving their marriage uncomsumated. The story begins with Cam returning to England to file for an annulment so that Gina can marry Sebastian.

While the love story of Gina and Cam was roma
Lori McD
Fun book - not much unexpected, but lots of laughs, comedies of errors, and pure fun as we get to the happily-ever-afters. (Or do we?)

The book focuses on three Duchesses (Gina, Esme, and Carola) and their antics at a month-long country house party.

Gina was married at the age of 11 to Cam (Duke of Girton) who was 18. Until almost the day they were forced to be married by Cam's father, Gina and Cam thought they were first cousins. They'd grown up together, laughed and played together, and both wer
Duchess in Love is advertised as classic historical romance, but I must admit that it delivered more than I expected. We get not only the romance between duchess Gina and her not-quite-husband Camden but also we get a glimpse into a structure of a society in historical England and it's attitude towards marriage and relationships.
The plot revolves around Gina and her circle of friends - and surprise surprise none of them has a conventional marriage. Although the focus is on a development (and of
Feb 25, 2011 Wendy rated it it was ok
This is the first book in yet another Eloisa James series about duchesses, and I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I have the others I've read, in the other two series I'm working on right now. I think there was more sex than sexual tension in this book, and I think characterization might have taken a bit of a back seat to the sex, too. Once they get down to it, the lead couple shags like rabbits, and in some highly imaginative places, too. I wearied of Gina's hyper-reactions to the slightest pro ...more
Oct 31, 2011 babyfishmouth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was so disappointed in this book. The first few chapters hd such promise and then blew a tire and I quickly lost interest.

The side characters and plots were overwhelming. They added nothing to the story for me and took up so many pages. Frankly, I couldn't keep any of them straight. It was like trying to watch a long running soap opera for the first time. Bah.

Gina lost much of my respect by even considering marrying her dull and insipid fiance. He was so one-dimensional and wasn't
Jane Night
Jan 20, 2014 Jane Night rated it liked it
I really liked the Cam and Gina story line but this book just had too much going on.

Aside from Cam and Gina there are about 5 other relationships that are presented and either are solved or crumble. Add to that a mystery and it is just too much to cram into one book. The reader spends time in so many characters heads and it gets to be a bit much.

I didn't love the Esme/Sebastian story line. I also thought Esme and her constant whining about Miles being a fat guy was inappropriate (even though ou
Author tried too hard to make this be like Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Also, I loathe cheating.

Girl and guy are forced to marry extremely young. He leaves right after the ceremony, leaving her still a virgin. He comes back years later so that they can annul the marriage and so that she could marry Sebastian, a marquess she loves. However, there is instant attraction between the married couple. (I also found it weird how quickly she fell out of love with Sebastian. I found it even more
Lots of great reminders that you're in an Eloisa James novel -- a Shakespearean subplot, minor characters with hilarious names (Tuppy Perwinkle, Phineas Finkbottle), several plots coming together, lots of geeky historical notes (plunge pools in the Regency? Don't worry, Eloisa's done her research) and a core group of lady friends who are genuinely devoted to one another, who are caring and kind and supportive. Seriously, read James' entire oeuvre simply for its celebration of girlfriends and fri ...more
Feb 13, 2016 Hibana rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ein unerhörter Ehemann (01.) - Eloisa James
Romantic History von der schwachen Sorte.

Ein unerhörter Ehemann


"Wie verführt man seinen Ehemann?

Bereits mit elf Jahren wurde Gina, die Herzogin von Girton, mit Camden Serrard verheiratet. Doch noch am Tag der Hochzeit flüchtete Cam außer Landes. Zwölf Jahre später hat sich Gina in den vornehmen Marquis Bonnington verliebt und bittet Cam um die Scheidung. Als dieser jedoch nach England zurückkehrt, muss Gina feststellen, dass ihr Ehemann ihr
Jul 28, 2015 Teresa rated it liked it
This book's a very quick read. It's also really sort of silly, but, even so, I did enjoy reading it. These women are all trying to get back together with their husbands, even if they don't realize at first that that's what they are doing. Cam, the main heroine's husband, seems sort of like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast at first for some reason. However, he appreciates his wife very much and truly enjoys being with her and of course, eventually they fall in love. Miles, the husband of Esme, is ...more
Jun 17, 2015 Annette rated it really liked it
Gina and Cameron are married. In fact they have been married since she was 11 and he was 18. He is a duke and she is his duchess. But they have never lived together. He ran away the day of the marriage and he has lived in Greece for 12 years becoming a talented sculptor.

This story is a complicated one. Gina is the main female character, but her friends, Esme, Carola and Helene are all married women who do not live with their husbands for various reasons. And each of these women have sadness in t
Aug 08, 2015 Dayna rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There were a few confusing elements to this novel. I really enjoyed the plot between Cam and Gina - I would disagree with other reviews and say that there was a developed aspect to their relationship and an attraction. Their playful banter was lovely because you could see them as friends and equals, even though reluctant spouses. Unfortunately I didn't really like them as characters.
I thought that Gina dilly dallied over Sebastian far too much, and that grew annoying, I wanted either Sebastian t
Linda Smith
Jun 19, 2015 Linda Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, historical
I'm revisiting some of Eloisa James' older books and I probably have read this one before. But it had been a long time and I enjoyed my visit. It's always nice to connect with old friends. Gina (the Duchess in Love of the title) was forced into marriage with Cam when she was only 11 years old. The groom was also reluctant. He jumped out the window and ran off 15 minutes after the ceremony. Fast forward 12 years. Gina has found a proper Marquess and is engaged to marry. The only thing standing in ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Dianne rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
Duchess in Love by Eloisa James is a historical romance that is first in the Duchess Quartet series. We are introduced to 4 duchesses who are unhappily married. Reminds me a bit of the Desperate Duchess series, just a different time period.
Our main characters are Gina and Camden who are forced to marry by Camden’s father when Gina is 11 and Camden is 18. Camden jumps from the bedroom window on their marriage night and flees the country rather than be forced to consummate the marriage.
What follo
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How do you feel about multiple romances like in Duchess? 2 20 Jan 27, 2015 09:45AM  
  • The Lady Most Likely... (Lady Most..., #1)
  • Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2)
  • Only a Duke Will Do (School for Heiresses, #2)
  • The One That Got Away
  • No Man's Mistress (Mistress Trilogy #2)
  • How to Marry a Duke (How To #1)
  • I Kissed an Earl (Pennyroyal Green, #4)
  • Sin and Sensibility (Griffin Family, #1)
  • Duke Most Wanted (Heiress Brides, #3)
  • A Little Bit Wild (York Family, #1)
  • Trial by Desire (Carhart, #2)
  • Your Scandalous Ways (Fallen Women, #1)
  • His Mistress By Morning (Marlow, #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...

Other Books in the Series

Duchess Quartet (4 books)
  • Fool for Love (Duchess Quartet, #2)
  • A Wild Pursuit (Duchess Quartet, #3)
  • Your Wicked Ways (Duchess Quartet, #4)

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“They stared at her together for a moment. Sun beams played over marble, making the pink alabaster glow as if rosy blood danced just under the surface of Aphrodite's skin.” 2 likes
“A pearl button skipped and hopped across the floor, creating a counterpoint to the splatters of rain hitting the windows.” 1 likes
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