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An Affair Before Christmas (Desperate Duchesses, #2)
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An Affair Before Christmas (Desperate Duchesses #2)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  4,865 Ratings  ·  393 Reviews
Magic under the mistletoe...

One spectacular Christmas, Lady Perdita Selby, known to her friends and family as Poppy, met the man she thought she would love forever. The devilishly attractive Duke of Fletcher was the perfect match for the innocent, breathtakingly beautiful young Englishwoman, and theirs was the most romantic wedding she had ever seen. Four years later, Popp
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 13th 2007 by Avon
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Mar 16, 2009 Kelly rated it it was ok
HAHAHAHAHA, so okay you guys, this is the premise: TwwooWuvvv Sexiness is overcome by some itchy hair powder. For four. years. No, really. The hero's supposedly perfect, superior bedroom skillz are overcome by the fact that his wife's hair powder makes her head itch, so the shy heroine is too distracted by that during sex to enjoy it, never responds to his touch for the first four years of their marriage. And never says a damn word about this fact to him! 'Cause, you know, that would be too easy ...more
I had so many problems with this book. First I thought the heroine was an idiot. I know, I know, she was young and dominated by her mother. But that only works for me in the beginning. This was a woman who was married for four years to a man that adored her and tried to do everything in his power to please her sexually, only for her to rebuff him and show him nothing but distaste. Because she was an idiot. So she goes off to "find" herself, telling him that she really wasn't in love with him whe ...more
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It takes a lot for me not to finish a book, no matter how much I'm frustrated with it but this one really pissed me off and for several reasons.

I'm a Eloisa James fan first and foremost so part of my frustration and bafflement with this book was trying to wrap my head around why she would write a story like this with a premise and heroine like that. I'm a huge fan of her work and every book I've read of her's so far has not disappointed except this one. I kept going why why WHY? while reading
The Desperate Duchesses series is one that needs to be looked at for what it is - and it's exactly what it is named - desperate duchesses, all with different problems, and how things work out for them. This second book in the series (which I read out of order, 1 then 3 and now 2) started out kind of slow - and sad. It's a sad story: Poppy and Fletcher are unhappily married and living separate lives. Neither one wants to communicate or work things out. They're just upset at each other and general ...more
Nov 04, 2015 Elaine rated it liked it
I have a hard time deciding how to rate this book. On one hand, the story about our main heroes, Poppy and Fletcher doesn't deserve more than 2 stars, but on the other hand all the subplots and secondary characters in this book were wonderful. So I'll compromise and give this book 3 stars.

I really can't buy the fact that Poppy felt NO PLEASURE at all because of (view spoiler) for FOUR YEARS. Really? And how can you be so oblivious to the fact that your hair is
Nov 29, 2011 boogenhagen rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Penny Watson
Nov 10, 2009 Penny Watson rated it really liked it
I have discovered the most ludicrous central conflict ever to grace a romance novel.

A hairdo.

Yes, that is correct. Eloisa James' An Affair Before Christmas explores the failing marriage of Poppy and the Duke of Fletcher. Why, you ask, is their marriage failing? Well, Fletch thinks Poppy is frigid in bed, when in actuality, her hair is itchy and she is unable to concentrate on the pleasure he is attempting to give her.

(Yes, I was speechless, too). Hee hee hee heeeeee.....Oh my goodness, this is
An Affair Before Christmas is an entertaining holiday historical from the Desperate Duchess series, which I haven’t read yet, but I’m now eager to pick up. I think this is how many authors entice you to pick up their novels, which is by writing holiday stories that tie into their series in order to whet your appetite. Well it worked!

During a beautiful holiday afternoon, Lady Perdita Selby, otherwise known as Poppy to her friends and family, accepts a betrothal from the Duck of Fletcher with the
Oct 25, 2011 Ne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cada vez que leio algo do género me apercebo que é o tipo de livro que me dá prazer. Adoro os bailes, as regras de etiqueta, as relações entre sexos opostos ou homólogos, as casas, as paisagens, as viagens... tudo. Aqui Eloisa James consegui reflectir bastante bem a diferença entre homens e mulheres na sociedade, tanto a nível de educação, como a nível de como se comportam e são vistas pelas massas. É engraçado perceber que muita coisa não mudou, apenas diminuiu.
O único defeito que tenho a apont
Nov 30, 2010 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2010
I didn't really enjoy this, partially because books where the couple loves each other but everything falls apart because they just can't connect with each other make me sad, and partially because the conflict between the couple in this book had the potential to actually explore and solve real problems, but then it's wrapped up artificially and I barely noticed it happening.

As with the first book, the book is also diminished by the focus being spread out across too many other stories. I know it's
Lori McD
Ay! What to say about this book? If only I'd read the reviews here at Goodreads first, perhaps I wouldn't have bothered. I wasn't a huge fan of the 1st book in this series, but I usually adore Eloisa James' books, so I thought I'd give it another go.

But, alas. Trying to get through the 1st 2/3rds of this book was almost like torture. I've adapted a rule about giving up on books if they don't capture my attention, but somehow, I didn't give up on this one. And once I pushed through in the last 1/
No início até estava a gostar, mas depois de já ser MUITO evidente que o casamento entre Poppy e Fletcher tinha acontecido devido à pressão da mãe de Poppy, eis que me deparo com quase 200 páginas de um longo arrastar de acontecimentos onde são apresentadas outras personagens e enredos e relações amorosas secundárias.

Foi um livro bonito, mas era mesmo necessário tantas páginas sem nenhum avanço?

A dado momento já só me apetecia esbofetear ou a Poppy ou o Fletcher, por tanta burrice junta. Não há
Anzu The Great Destroyer
This is really difficult to rate. First of all I really like the universe Eloisa James created. Her characters are usually really interesting but this time I was disappointed.

I didn’t like the main ones at all. Poppy is an idiot and Fletch is a bigger idiot for drooling after her for years and yet not getting anything in return. Seriously?!?! You give up on your husband because your hair is itchy and your mom is a psycho? WTF?!

The only thing I liked about it was poor Villiers. He was the main re
Mary: Harry Dresden's Love Slave
OK I did not like this book. There was just too much goign on and not much of the main romance that was described on the back of the book. I wanted to read about Fletch and Poppy putting their marriage back together. Not about other people playing chess, and this Duke dying and that Duke unfaithful and blah, blah blah. I realize this is part of a series but there was hardly any of the main couple in the book. In fact it seemed like they spent most of their time apart. I just didn't like any of t ...more
Poppy was a push over for a lot of the book and Fletch was such an whiney prick at the start of the book, it does not bode well. It got better to the end but a lot of the book was spent on contemplating the benefits of infidelity. I just couldn't deal. I also disliked the subplots of the other romances, I was confused. I should have read this series in order!!!
Aly is so frigging bored
Re-read: September 2016
Jun 05, 2009 Felicia rated it liked it
Not as fun as the first one, but still love the world. Trashy fun!
The beginning of this was bad, but it did grow on me as it went on!

So, the hero and heroine are married. It was a love match. Four years, later and they're still in love. Great! No conflict! Oh wait . . . .

The conflict is the heroine's mother spent her whole life telling her what a terrible experience sex is. So she just lays there and the hero doesn't like that! But the heroine is clueless! So the heroine does a wonderfully mature and sensible thing and asks the hero, "What's wrong? What are y
Dec 17, 2012 Donna rated it it was ok
Not one of the best I've ever read. Oddly, the writing itself was pretty good, but the subject matter and plot were weak and implausible. There's very little Christmas to the book, and an odd fascination with chess, both as a game and a euphemism for more intimate activities.

The heroine becomes estranged from her duke because her mother has taught her not to like sex. And apparently the mother was quite a teacher for her lessons to supersede 4 years of marriage to a very attentive duke whom she
Jul 09, 2009 Kate rated it liked it
While I thought the heroine was severely lacking, the overlying arc in this series always keeps me interested. After thinking about it, I am still annoyed with her, but I can understand where she comes from. So many women pretend to be pleased by their husbands/SOs/whathaveyou because they think they're supposed to SAY they enjoy it, but don't really believe they will. I thought it was a stretch to make it the central conflict in their marriage - if James had made a bigger deal out of evil Mothe ...more
Dec 15, 2016 Cathleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cathleen by: Get Booked
Shelves: romance, ebook, christmas
2.5 stars. I'm not generally drawn to category romances, but I keep them in occasional rotation so I don't completely lose touch. The premise of this work, a traditional romance between a couple who is already married in chapter one (and not by arrangement or for convenience) intrigued, and I liked it more than expected. Especially given the historical setting and the heroine's background, her journey is believable, and that goes a long way.

Chemistry is told more than shown, but the reader does
I normally love Eloisa James and I've read the Desperate Duchess series in a totally random order. What I can say is that this series gets better further down the line and no one will have to put up with heroines that are quite as annoying and silly as Perdita. Also, there will be not so much of a mish mash between all the other relationships which is something else that bothered me about this story. It just seemed all over the place. Definitely one of my least favorites in this series.
Dec 18, 2016 Andi rated it liked it
A fun book to the last.
I'm going to give this one 3.5 Stars. It was a good story, but I just didn't feel quite the same connection to the main h/H as I did in some of the others in this series. I mean, I liked them well enough, especially the hero, Fletch. It was nice to see a hero who was in love with his heroine, right away, knew it with no doubts, and strove as hard as he could to please her. But Poppy... It took a while for her to grow on me. At first, she was kind of, well, cold. She claimed to be madly in love w ...more
Georgina Parkin
Mar 13, 2017 Georgina Parkin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I love this one! I'm really loving the odd historical tidbits that pop up here and there in these books. Everyone has some odd fascination, whether it be chess, politics or science etc and it's mind blowing to see how conditioned women were to think and act certain ways. Poppy made my heart break just to see how much she was what her mother wanted not in anyway herself. Her mother was horrible and I hated her but I really liked that Fletch was so in love with her (I sadly had my doubts all the t ...more
Mar 19, 2017 Al rated it did not like it
I can't believe this book was written by the same author who wrote My American Duchess

Spoiler alert:

The one and only sex scene is found on 346! There are only 386 pages. That's just cruel!

I wish I could have skipped this book from the whole series.
May Mostly Romance
Oct 07, 2012 May Mostly Romance rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
An Affair before Christmas ของอีลอยซา เจมส

อยางทีบอกคะหนังสือเลมนีเปนเลมสองในชุด Desperate Duchesses ทีเลาเรืองของเหลาดัชเชสทีมีเวลาวางในชีวิตมากเกินไปหนอย กเลยใชมันไปกับการยุงและวุนวายเรืองชาวบาน แทนทีจะจัดการแกปัญหาชีวิตสวนตัว ทีพูดยังงีไมใชวาไมชอบหรอกนะคะ แตกคงจะมีแตอีลอยซาคนเดียวเทานันแหละทีเขียนบุคลิคตัวละครแบบนีใหนาอานได ถาเปนคนอืนพยายามทำอยางเดียวกัน แมกซคงดาเละไปแลว

ขอพูดถึงคนแตงกอนแลวกัน อีลอยซา เจมสเปนคนทีมีวิธีการเขียนเรืองไดนาสนใจมากคนนึง จุดเดนของเธอกคือ ตัวละครของเธอไมเหมือนใคร คนทีเ
Bestseller internacional, este é o primeiro dos treze romances premiados de Eloisa James a ser traduzido para o nosso país, ao qual se seguiu Beijo Encantado. Com uma capa deliciosa e um título que chama a atenção, que faz com que desejemos que por trás esteja uma linda história de amor, este é um livro que promete conquistar corações e trazer a vossa veia mais romântica ao de cima.
A sinopse não deixava marcas para dúvidas, este é um livro que declara “romantismo” por todos os lados e, por isso,
Aug 24, 2012 Kym rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, georgian, series
Setting: April-December, 1783 London
Genre: Romance
The descriptions of Georgian Era clothes and customs are very vivid. You can see women with wildly large feathered and powdered hair atop hugely wide panniered dresses. You can see men in their embroidered pastel coats, clocked stockings, and high heeled shoes. You can practically smell the stench of unwashed bodies in ballrooms. You get hints of the politics of the day through mention of prominent people and issues. All-in-all, you get a peek in
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Don't Tempt Me (Fallen Women, #2)
  • The Lady Most Likely... (Lady Most..., #1)
  • A Hint of Wicked (James Family, #1)
  • Provocative in Pearls (The Rarest Blooms #2)
  • Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4)
  • The Book of Scandal (The Scandalous Series, #1)
  • To Seduce a Sinner (Legend of the Four Soldiers, #2)
  • Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2)
  • A Hellion in Her Bed (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #2)
  • Before the Scandal (Notorious Gentlemen, #2)
  • One Night for Love (Bedwyn Saga 0.5)
  • The Untamed Bride (Black Cobra Quartet #1)
  • Desperately Seeking a Duke (Heiress Brides, #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

Desperate Duchesses (9 books)
  • Desperate Duchesses (Desperate Duchesses, #1)
  • Duchess By Night (Desperate Duchesses, #3)
  • 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 by the Numbers, #2; Desperate Duchesses, #8)
  • Seven Minutes in Heaven  (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, #3; Desperate Duchesses, #9)

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“She still remembered sitting for hours as a little girl and pretending to be a hassock. A foot stool. Because if she could just stay very small, and very quiet, her mother would forget she was there, and then she wouldn't scream about people and places and things that had gone wrong.” 41 likes
“Then he just blurted it out, with no preparation. 'The truth of it is that whether your mother arranged our marriage, or whether it was all an illusion, I must be horribly obtuse, because I can't talk myself out of being in love with you.” 4 likes
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