Ruthie Knox's Reviews > The Duke Is Mine

The Duke Is Mine by Eloisa James
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Jan 04, 12


The blurb and cover don't do this novel justice. Here's my rewrite:

Olivia has been engaged since birth to Rupert, an affable dolt who will make a terrible husband — but who will also make her a duchess. Her twin sister, Georgiana, was made to suffer through childhood “duchification” lessons alongside Olivia, and she’s grown up to be perfect duchess material: thin, elegant, refined, and a dab hand at the harpsichord. Olivia, on the other hand, is fat, bawdy, and completely uninterested in becoming a duchess.

She is also awesome.

When Georgiana is invited to the estate of Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, as a candidate to become his bride, Olivia tags along to help. Which is all very well until she falls in love with Tarquin and he falls in love with her back (or, as he puts it, he falls in “compulsive lust” with her). Will they be able to resist their passion for the sake of their families and propriety?

In a word, no.


This book is so much fun. Olivia is hilarious, and perhaps the most flat-out likeable heroine I’ve ever read. Quin is abstracted, with an autism-spectrum-ish inability to understand or connect to most other people’s emotions. He can read Olivia, though, because everything she thinks and feels is written all over her face. Quin’s rather desperate, deeply inconvenient desire for Olivia — and his enjoyment of every aspect of her person and personality — is made all the more delectable by her plumpness. It’s so refreshing to see an overweight heroine objectified. I swear, by the time the novel ended, Quin had made me want to schtump Olivia.

The Princess and the Pea aspect of the plot didn’t do much for me, but I did enjoy how far The Duke Is Mine departs from the conventional romance structure. The plot wanders off to France to rescue Rupert at the end, just after one might think the happy-ever-after ending had already come and gone.

I was quite happy to wander off with it.
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