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Duchess by Night (Desperate Duchesses #3)

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3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,002 Ratings  ·  352 Reviews
Harriet, Duchess of Berrow, is desperate to flee the sadness of being a widow. Whether presiding over the Shire Court of the Duchy of Berrow, or dressed as a prim Mother Goose at an extravagant masquerade ball thrown by one of her wicked friends, Harriet’s in a rut. And she’s beginning to long for something altogether different.

It’s time for a complete change of pace – she
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ebook, 384 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Naomi
This book had many high points and some annoying points but overall it was a descent book. Really sweet characters but at times it was just too lengthy when it didnt need to be. Overall though the storyline was really good. 3.4 stars
Felicia
Aug 11, 2009 Felicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this one would be a snoozer, Harriet was always pretty yawn-y in the other books, so imagine my surprise when the author took a bunch of cliches (girl dressed as guy anyone?!) and made it sooo good! I really really enjoyed these characters MUCH more than I thought of! Other than a somewhat MEH ending (which actually I think is the only weakness in these books, the endings are always so HEA anti-climactic since they're stand-alone and you know they're gonna end up together). I think thi ...more
Elaine
Apr 16, 2016 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I was a little hestiant to start reading it because I wasn't that crazy about the first two books in the series and I thought this one will be the same. I'm very happy to report I was very wrong.

I had a hard time putting this one down. It is my favorite Eloisa James yet, though, yes, it's probably because of the cross-dressing. I think James is actually at her best when she strays away from the conventional ton. Harriet is an amazing character. Timid that turns in to a mother
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Anzu The Great Destroyer
May 19, 2011 Anzu The Great Destroyer rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the genre, series, author, etc
Recommended to Anzu by: Aly is so frigging bored
After reading too much paranormal romance I decided to take a break and try something else, you know, change the air and all that, and I thought that a historical romance will do just fine. Having already started this series I was a bit reluctant at first because I got a bit meh towards the previous book, An Affair Before Christmas, and I was afraid that this one won’t be so good also. A friend of mine insisted on it and told me a bit about what happens in the story and I became more excited. No ...more
Katie
Jan 09, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one took me a while to get into. Despite my love for Alanna, I'm not the biggest fan of romances where the woman disguises herself as a man. There's too much deceit inherent in the premise and too much, "Oh noooo, I'm attracted to a man."

But it did eventually grow on me! I like the relationship and I liked the kid.

I did not really understand the final conflict.
Sharon Robards
I don’t often read romances but decided to play in a challenge this month on goodreads…a big romance feast during the season of love, Spring, and in particular September.

A little way in, I kept thinking I have heard of these characters and thought I was reading a book I had previously, only to discover I did previously read a book by the author that appears to follow on from this and enjoyed it greatly.

I was drawn into this out of a few I had on hand because of the dedication to Georgette Heye
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Zumbagirl
Duchess by Night is my second Eloisa James book and I again thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very funny and witty - especially the horseback riding and fencing lessons. I read the first in this series, Desperate Duchesses, and then this one - so I already knew the heroine, Harriet d/b/a Harry in this book. I really felt bad for her as she's a widow, her husband committed suicide, and her life is in limbo - some people blame her for his death, she feels tons of guilt and sadness, and leads a very lo ...more
Vicky
I enjoyed Duchess By Night more than An Affair Before Christmas (Book 2), but it still wasn't as good as Desperate Duchesses (Book 1).

Using the cross-dressing trope to get Harriet to find herself again really worked for me, her self-discovery seemed more genuine than Poppy's.

I did think Strange's attraction to Harriett/Harry was a bit, well, strange. His mindset seemed to be something along the lines of "I think this guy is attractive, I must be turning gay in my old age."

I'm also really star
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Penny
Apr 22, 2016 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trashy, i-own-on-eb
It was OK.

I don't undestand how a series with so many characters can feel so empty, as if there is nothing but what we are reading.
Brownbetty
Nothing special, but, noteworthy for the genre, at no point made me whack myself in the head with the paperback, or throw it across the room.

(Whack myself in the head = "Why is this character still alive when clearly she is too dumb to live?"

Throw it across the room = "Ew, you got misogyny/patriarchy in my dumb entertainment reading.")

Well, maybe at one point there was some mild head-whackage, but that's practically a pass.
Rebecca (everyday reader)
Being proper and reserved has been Harriet's life, until now. She goes to a well-known, improper house party dressed as a man, and the host, Jem, is greatly disturbed by the fact that he finds himself attracted to another man. Until he finds out the man is really a woman and is free to lavish attention on her. Scandals, proper behavior, a little girl, and untamed passion. Great read!!
Cameron
Oh god. This book is dumb, but it draws you in and makes you read it and for some reason it makes you like it. It's not that it's great, but that all the characters are so endearing.
Megan
Jun 04, 2010 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of: Georgette Heyer; Georgian period; Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire; historical romance
Eloisa James is one of a handful of authors of historical romance (read: 'bodice rippers') who can engage my attention for the length of a novel, let alone sustain it through an entire series. Not that I have a deep acquaintance with the genre, but the few times I have tried a book that falls into this category, more often than not they amount to little more than soft-core porn, with a two-dimensional plot and no character development.

Not so Desperate Duchesses. Despite the salacious covers, muc
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Kit★
I enjoyed a lot about this book. First off, it was nice seeing old friends again, like Roberta and Gryffyn and the Duchess of Beaumont, and my personal favorite, Villiers. I was intrigued by the premise of a woman taking control and dressing like a man in order to experience more exciting things in life than embroidery and sitting on a sofa. I especially liked how physically she was able to pull it off, because usually in my experience with romances, when the heroine goes dressing like a man, sh ...more
ѕєяєηιтι
4,25

Kesinlikle serinin en beğendiğim kitabı bu oldu. Diğer ilk iki kitabın bazı yerlerinde çok sıkılmıştım ama bu kitapta öyle olmadı tamamını beğendim diyebilirim. Beklentim düşüktü belki o yüzden iyi gelmiş olabilir:)

Isidore kocasını eve getirebilmek için adını skandala karıştırmak istiyor Lord Strange'in evi de tam bu işe uygun bir yer olarak görülüyor Harriet'ta macera peşinde hemde Isidore'e refakat etmek istiyor. Villiers var birde araya kaynayan hala iyileşememiş durumda ne zaman iyileşec
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PMHE
Aug 31, 2015 PMHE rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much fun! I usually don't like the woman dressing as a man trope, but it really worked in this book and added to the plot. I loved all the characters, including the intelligent, quirky Eugenia, Gem's 8 year old daughter.

The scene where Harriet is revealed to be a woman had me laughing. Jem to Harriet:

"Look, I'm dropping my weapon," Jem said. "The one that doesn't matter, anyway."
Ann Keller
Dec 28, 2011 Ann Keller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harriet, the Duchess of Berrow, is bored with her privileged life. She needs a challenge. Thus begins her elaborate plan to disguise herself as a notorious rake at one of Justinian Strange’s unique parties. Lord Strange entertains actors and actresses, rakes, scoundrels and ladies of questionable character. His parties are lively, scandalous and the talk of the town. Harriet is both shocked and intrigued.

Jem Strange watches his new arrival with curious interest. Although the gentleman seems but
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Ria
Feb 10, 2014 Ria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wolfed this book down in less than 24 hours - unusual, given that last night was a school night and today was a work day - and what a tasty morsel it turned out to be.

With every Eloisa James book I read, I end up delighted and craving more and Duchess by Night continues the trend. Harriet was wonderful and the freedom she finds in breeches was great fun to watch. Jem was an oddball but all the more lovable for it. Though the crisis driving the finale was a bit abrupt and jarring, I still found
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Bettie
A fun fun read!!! Witty naughty and sensual, a great read from start til end, I love how Harriet fitted in so well in the house, she was a great lead, strong, loving and ready for anything, Lord Strange is such a great complex character, he is the type that makes u think not to great at the start but builds up into a real man with fear and love that surrounds himself with people with all different title and ranks, u understand slowly why he does that and it makes c why Harriet fell in love with ...more
Julie (jjmachshev)
Eloisa James tends to be hit and miss with me and I'm pretty bummed that "Duchess By Night" was a miss. I thought the premise of a Duchess dressed as a man and privately exposed (definite pun there) was a winner, especially when the Duchess in question was Harriet whose boring husband offed himself after losing a game of chess! But this one seemed very confusing to me. I think maybe it was just too much going on and too many characters. Maybe it was the over-layered plot, but whatever...I really ...more
LiteraryLover
While I like Eloisa James's writing I tend to find her books very hit and miss for me. I either really like them a lot or can't get past the first chapter or two. I was lucky with Duchess by Night as even through it sounded like it doesn't have anything original about it, it was a really fun and enjoyable read. I tend to be somewhat of a sucker for the "woman dresses as a man" trope too. The only complaint I have is that I didn't like the last few chapters as I feel like it was just tacked on co ...more
Shen
3.5 Sinfully Free Stars

”Embrace sin as if it were a friend, and run to meet it.”



Take a lonely widow eager for an adventure dressed as a young man, a rich man with a sordid reputation and a house filled with sexually free people and you have one helluva story!

I absolutely loved this book. Henrietta was brave and brilliant. Lord Strange lived up to his name in so many ways. Villiers, Isidore and the rest of the household kept the story interesting and very amusing. If there is one book to read
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Lauren
May 26, 2014 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I am totally biased, because this book has my all time favorite set-up. A woman disguising her gender when done right just makes me giddy. And Eloisa James did it perfectly to me. I just always love men questioning their sexuality because they are so drawn to the heroine, its funny and sweet. Plus something about a hero who loves his heroine despite gender just strikes the right cord with me. Okay, so now I will try to be more realistic for readers who don't seek out every book with this set- ...more
Dawn
Jun 27, 2014 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: james-eloisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
nurmawati
Aug 25, 2011 nurmawati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, hr, dastan, terjemahan

kasih 4.5 bintang soalnya ceritanya bagus sih ....

ceritanya ttg harriet si duchess janda yang merasa hidup nya membosankan, merasa diri gak menarik dan pengen petualangan yang seru.....
suami harriet mati bunuh diri 2 tahun yang lalu karena kalah maen catur (please deh..baru catur aja udah bunuh diri, gimana kalo taruhan bola coba :p)

harriet akhirnya memutuskan dia pingin mencicipi kebebasan....dia nyamar jadi co, pake nama harry cope yang ngaku2 jadi keluarganya duke of villiers (yh selalu muncu
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May Mostly Romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gail
Oct 14, 2008 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot, and then after reading it, had to stop and wonder why. I still like it, but I had to think on why, because I usually don't like "girl dresses up in pants and nobody catches on" stories. This one is really well written and plausible, with great characters. The heroine is a widowed Duchess who feels like life is passing her by. She's always felt second rate--her husband's true passion was chess, and he killed himself when he realized he would never be one of the best. She' ...more
Choi Tang
I had picked this up due to the fact that Eloisa James had dedicated it to Georgette Heyer, thinking well if the author likes GH enough to dedicate a book to her she must be ok, and she was indeed! Nothing spectacular, but an enjoyable Regency romance all the same. I was glad that rather than try to imitate GH, James seems more to pay homage to her through her own style (thank goodness! How rare it is to find a historical fiction that doesn't inevitably picnh GH's ideas).

A scandalous house party
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Ceren
Mar 29, 2012 Ceren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eloisa James'in yazdığı Yüreğimdeki Arzu bitti. Kitap güzeldi, akıcıydı. Bir gece de okundu. Uykusuz kalmaya değecek bir kitap bu. Fakat fazla aşk yoktu. Onun yerine eğlenceli diyaloglar, okumaktan bıkmayacağın süslü anlatımlar vardı. Yazarın değişik bir stili var ama sevilmeyecek gibi değil.

Berrow Düşesi Harriyet biraz eğlenmek ve sorumluluklarından kurtulmak için erkek kılığında bir gece partisine katılır. O, oradaki en güzel erkektir fakat hiçte erkek gibi davranmamaktadır. [neden acaba:)] Ev
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Loralee
Jul 10, 2008 Loralee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: july-2008, 2008-books
While I like this book, I wasn't wowed by it.. not like I was in the other two.

There wasn't as much interaction between the friends and I missed that. I also didn't expect Harriet to be dressed as a boy, or at least for it go on over half the book, before she's discovered. It's not one of my favorites plot lines, and it threw me off at first, but I think EJ made it work. There were some very funny parts, and I could tell when Lord Strange realized she was girl, even though he didn't come out and
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 12, 2015 10:16AM  
  • Don't Tempt Me (Fallen Women, #2)
  • The Lady Most Likely... (Lady Most..., #1)
  • Then Comes Seduction (Huxtable Quintet, #2)
  • One Night of Sin (Knight Miscellany, #6)
  • Lady Rogue
  • To Seduce a Sinner (Legend of the Four Soldiers, #2)
  • Love Letters From a Duke (Bachelor Chronicles, #3)
  • Delicious
  • Never Seduce a Scoundrel (School for Heiresses #1)
  • Goddess of the Hunt (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #1)
  • My Lady Notorious (Malloren, #1)
  • Surrender to the Devil (Scoundrels of St. James, #3)
86778
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)
  • When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses, #4)
  • This Duchess of Mine (Desperate Duchesses, #5)
  • 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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“You don't know how easy death is. It's - it's like a door. A person simply walks through it, and she's lost to you forever.” 23 likes
“I shouldn't think I'll have the slightest problem playing a man," she said. "I shall merely remember to rearrange my breeches in front at least once an hour, thereby drawing attention to the padding I carefully placed there in the morning, and I'll blend in perfectly.” 4 likes
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