Elena's Reviews > The Ugly Duchess

The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James
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's review
Oct 20, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: historical, romance, adult, reviewed
Read from October 18 to 19, 2012

3.5 stars. I read an Eloisa James book years ago and didn't like it at all. I picked this one up because it got ALL THE STARRED REVIEWS in pretty much every major review medium that reviews romance. I bought it for my library even though I'm practically the only person there who reads HR, because all those starred reviews had to mean something, right?

Well, sort of. This book was certainly well-written, and much more enjoyable than the last Eloisa James book I read. But the book happened to touch on one of the common romance plots that DRIVES ME UP A WALL: the misunderstanding/miscommunication plot. The sort of plot where the entire conflict derives from one stupid mistake that causes months or years (in this case, seven years) of heartache that could have been completely avoided if the characters had just sat down and FREAKING HAD A CONVERSATION FOR TEN MINUTES, GEEZ.

The other thing that really annoyed me in this book is that in the first third of the book, before the horrible miscommunication that drives our heroine and hero apart for seven years, the hero is twenty years old and the heroine is seventeen. And Ms. James wrote them several very steamy sex scenes. I was mentally screaming, "EW, SHE IS SEVENTEEN, STOP" the whole time. Teenagers having sex are okay in my YA novels, but for the love of god please keep them out of my adult romance novels.

If the misunderstanding/miscommunication plot is one that interests you, definitely read this book, because it is truly probably one of the better examples. I mean, I HATE that plot and was totally squicked out by the underage sexytimes in the beginning, and I still not only read the book all the way through but gave it a "meh but almost good" 3.5 stars. Worth the read for sure if you don't hate the miscommunication plot as much as I do.

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