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Once Upon a Tower (Fairy Tales, #5)
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Once Upon a Tower (Fairy Tales #5)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  5,585 Ratings  ·  642 Reviews
Once upon a time…

A duke fell in love

Gowan Stoughton of Craigievar, Duke of Kinross, values order and self-control above all else. So when he meets a lady as serene as she is beautiful, he promptly asks for her hand in marriage.

With a lady

Edie—whose passionate temperament is the opposite of serene—had such a high fever at her own debut ball that she didn’t notice anyon
ebook, 416 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Avon
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Barbara Ok. The answer is in the author's notes at the end of the book and apparently, it was "Just Like Heaven" not the "Sum of All Kisses." I knew that…moreOk. The answer is in the author's notes at the end of the book and apparently, it was "Just Like Heaven" not the "Sum of All Kisses." I knew that James had collaborated with Quinn to write a couple books.(less)
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Community Reviews

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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

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I’m a huge fan of Eloisa James’s Fairy Tales series, each book a delightful, sexy, poignant retelling of a time honored classic fairy tale. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Pea… all wonderful stories revisited, their happily ever afters given a lively, fresh twist. And now it’s ‘Rapunzel’s’ turn to be freed from the tower she’s locked herself away in, but can her Prince Not-So-Charming convince her to let him in, before it’s too late?

On the Cover:

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A d
Khanh (the meanie)
As with Eloisa James' many other works, particularly the Duchess series, the supporting cast of characters and their histrionics threaten to overwhelm the main characters and their plot, but thankfully did not in the end. Like the rest of her "Fairy Tale" series, the fairy-tale-retelling aspect is quite, quite overreaching. For the majority of the book, there was nothing in it that could be remotely connected to the Rapunzel tale besides a balcony scene and Gowan's silly fantasies regarding the ...more
I think that Once Upon a Tower is something quite unlike most of the other historical romances I’ve ever read. In fact, I almost hesitate to call it a romance, even though the hero and heroine DO get their HEA and have to go through hell to get it. I can also see why the book has received mixed reviews because some of it makes for uncomfortable reading. That doesn’t mean that stories have to be comfortable to be enjoyable – far from it, but in Once Upon a Tower I think that some of the issues th ...more

I have read a few of this authors books, and haven't been impressed with her writing. In fact I can generally say I don't like her books. I decided to give her another chance since I saw this one involves a virgin hero.. my favorite.

I will say that it was better than others I have read by EJ but still had some major problems.

The beginning was pretty good and I was happily surprised at finding myself enjoying it until....

What I disliked instensly was that she made the sex between the
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I didn't love this one the way I have enjoyed the prior books. Gowan was looking for that perfect duchess to match his serene character. He didn't expect to meet Edie and to fall so hard so fast. Edie wasn't a girl lusting after a Duke for title purposes. She wanted a real marriage.

Eloisa James is a talented writer but I found the married couple to be boring. I will admit to really appreciating the author for writing a story where the hero wasn't this perfect lover. In fact, he messed it up at
Gowan Stoughton of Craigiever, Duke of Kinross, is organized and precise and everything follows a routine, just as it has for years. Knowing it is time to marry, when he meets the lovely Lady Edith Gilchrist and dances with her and finds her serene and likeable, he promptly asks for her hand in marriage. Edie, who was suffering from a high fever and was not quite herself the day of the ball, or after when she agreed to the marriage, finds herself betrothed to a man she knows nothing about. They ...more
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm sorry to say this, but I did not like this book. Gowan and Edie were boring in their one-track oh-so-practical minds, her father was a spineless stick, her stepmother was an idiot, and the story dragged while trying to balance Gowan and Edie's lukewarm romance and her parents' silly marriage shenanigans.

Ms. James' writing was as great as I've learned to expect after reading When Beauty Tamed the Beast, Three Weeks With Lady X and Four Nights With the Duke, which were absolutely brilliant, bu
I tried to read this and wanted to like it. But it just wasn't happening for me. I've noticed that Ms James' novels start off rocky for me and I usually end up enjoying them by the end. I feel like I gave this one a fair shot and at 53% I quit.

To start off, the hero "falls in love" with the h after seeing her, dancing with her twice, and not speaking at all. Well, other than to ask for the dances. That was strike one, but it could have been overcome! But instead it got cheesier. And plotless. I
Full disclosure: I skimmed very large sections of this book.

I really wanted to leave it unfinished, but I read a few reviews that mentioned this book getting considerably better once the main couple gets married so I decided to carry on. My main problem was that I found the secondary storyline with the Earl and Edie's stepmother to be incredibly tedious. I was invested at first, wanting to read about them possibly addressing their problems and working through them towards their own (second) hap
Elis Madison
Eloisa James has done it again.

At least for a few pages towards the end, that was me.

If you guessed this one would be a sendup of Rapunzel, you'd be right.

Toss in some Shakespeare

Shake well and serve.

Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, is a filthy rich duke, and he can buy any bride he chooses. He finds himself in bloody England, dragged off to be introduced to some chit named Edith. You couldn't pick a more Sassenach name, could you? But he takes one look, and, BAM!!

Turns out Edith Gilchrist is
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ako itko da ovoj knjizi vecu ocjenu od dvojke (i to cisto zbog truda pisanja) taj je lud covjek. prvo glavni lik se zove Gowan!?!? ono wtf!?!? Tko se uopce tako zove???? kolko god mi njegovo "usrano" ime iskakalo po stranicama totalno sam se trudila zamisliti kako se zove Gideon (cisto da ublazim asocijaciju). Ali ajde nastavljam dalje,trudim se,to je najbitnije... dok ne nailazim na dio u kojoj se nas govnar na formalnoj veceri (engleska 1800 i neka hlace na crtu,frak) pojavljuje u kiltu!?? Ma ...more
Mar 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had been so excited to buy this book. I love when the hero and heroine are less experienced sexually as it usually has more layers and more exuberance. I immediately dove into this book, even though I was in the middle of another. I was so disappointed. These characters did not talk to each was the greatest misunderstanding I have ever seen and some of the things the characters said to each other were just plain awful and not redeemable. The story contained too much sexual dysfuncti ...more
Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)

Meeeeh. I love fairy tale retellings, but didn't really like this one. I hated Edie's stepmother, Layla, so much, it kinda distracted me throughout the rest of the book.

Layla came into scenes at the worst time possible and gave the most shittiest advice I've ever seen a person give to another person. If I had to blame one person in the whole book for messing up Gowan and Edie's marriage in the first place, it would be Layla

But I guess I liked Gowan and Edie so much that I decided to go with
Laura the Highland Hussy

review posted on Got Fiction? Book Blog

I liked this, but for all the awesomeness of the plot, I just didn't love it.

This book just wasn’t for me, but at the same time, I really couldn’t tell you why. Most of my friends gave it 5 stars, and yet for me, I had no problem putting it down. This makes it kind of hard to review.

I like the plot of this book, and I really like how the majority of their problems stem from such realistic events. Like marrying someone you don’t know, and then learning to
Laura (Kyahgirl)
2/5; 2 stars; C+

Ok, I will say right off the bat that I'll give Susan Duerden, the narrator,4/5 stars. She did a competent job with various female and male voices. I probably would have abandoned the book if a weaker narrator had read the story.

Considering how much I enjoyed another book in this fairy tale series, When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2) by Eloisa James, this book was really disappointing. The disappointment is greatest for me because this is author is one of the only romance authors I've read who does a pretty good job defining som
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Jo ★The Book Sloth★
I am kind of sad to admit that this was my least favorite book in the series so far. I had high expectations to be honest. I have loved all the book in the series so I thought I'd fall in love with this one as well.. Not so much. Still I liked the book. It had some really strong moments.

What I disliked most of all in this book is the stepmother. Layla wasn't a bad person. She was actually someone I would have liked if she didn't have such an inclination on giving all the wrong advise to Edie. Sh
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: escapist-rubbish
I usually like Eloisa James' style, but there was something annoying about this one. Short list of the major annoyances:

1. The humour was lacking, and when it was there, it was a bit forced. A lot of the time it read like the author was trying to make this funny but the banality of the story overpowered these attempts.

2. This read less like a happy romance (only reason I'd pick a book like this) and more like a guide for fixing certain marital troubles. The major conflict was the difficulty of f
2.7 stars
I really love this authors retelling of fairytales, normally. This one missed the mark for me. I liked it, it was enjoyable but it lacked something that I found in the other books in the series. I never felt the characters drama, I just couldn't connect with them. He seemed to drift from one action to the next and I just didn't feel him and he was the one I wanted to like the most. I wanted more on him, what I got was a lot of business, a lot of responsibilities and blankness. The femal
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When reading Eloisa's novels I have to be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride. I experience joy, despair, laughter, & anger just like the characters. Sheer perfection can be found in her writing. This was a very refreshing look at marriage and it's intricacies. The pacing of the story had me skipping ahead to read a bit more and then go back because I didn't want to miss a word. The story flowed in such a manner that I had to know what happened next; it was uncomplicated with it's ...more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eloisa's books make me so HAPPY! I giggled and sighed (with more than a brief detour of sobbing) my way through this latest gem. (view spoiler)
3.5-4 stars

I'm stuck on how to rate this. I enjoyed the first half very much. But the main tension between the hero and heroine was dragged out for too long and added a lot of unnecessary distance and miscommunication. I loved Gowan, the yummy Scottish love muffin Duke who loves and worships Edie from the first moment he lays eyes on her. He was very refreshing and adorable with his strict honor code and wanting to romance and love his bride with all he possesses. *swoon* He is such a romantic I
Sep 12, 2017 marked it as nope-has-cheating_or_ow-om
Shelves: ebook, virgin-hero
Hero goes to a tavern gets drunk and seeks out a barmaid with the intentions of learning how to please his wife better. You find out later he doesn't do anything BUT the intent was there.... So BIG nope for me.
Lover of Romance
"You're my heart, Edie. My Everything"

When Gowan first see's Edith, he knows he must have her as his wife. As he is business partners with her father, it is a very simple matter for them to become engaged. He just never expected to feel so alive and is anxiously waiting for when he can truly take her as His. Edith is suprised but not shocked when she learns of the engagement, without her consent. She knows her father has her best interest at heart. After seeing her father and step mother, have
Once Upon a Tower
2 Stars

Series note: None of the books in this series are connected and each can be read as a standalone.

Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, is handsome, wealthy and in search of a wife. Upon seeing Lady Edith Gilchrist at a ball, Gowan, completely smitten by her stunning beauty and quiet manner, decides to ask for her hand immediately. Little does he know that passionate and feisty Edie is nothing like she seems, and when the truth emerges, these two headstrong lovers find themse
Sve se moglo ispricati mnogo efektnije sa manje reci i drame
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: that-s-amore
Content warnings, if needed, include: painful PIV intercourse (addressed by the narrative), the hero has a yell-y tirade at the end of the second act (also addressed, & foreshadowed early on).

French fries on a cupcake, this was emotionally exhausting. E X H A U S T I N G. Or maybe it's the hour (3AM). Maybe it's Maybelline? No, I think this book just messed me the frick up. Harrowing and absorbing and ultimately relieving in the way it is when a narrative actually addresses the unlikeable th
This was a book of firsts:
- it was the first historical romance I have read where both parties were virgins on their wedding night
- it was the first book I have read where the entire plot hinged on the inability to communicate effectively in the bedroom
- it was the first book I have read that resulted in me honestly wishing I had learned how to play a classical instrument

However it wasn't the first book I have read by Eloisa James that failed to keep me entertained, that 'honor' went to her most
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I have Eloisa James' Fairy Tales series on my TBR list and I prefer not to read series out of order Once Upon a Tower was only the second book in the series I have read, saying it so those who fear not having read the previous books is a prerequisite know that the books can be read as complete standalones.

Once Upon a Tower was my favourite Eloisa James novel to this day. It was fun, sexy with both the heroine and hero being characters I could like.

Edith (yep, had a hard time accepting t
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 23, 2015 07:31AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James 5 4 May 30, 2013 03:52PM  
  • The Lady Most Willing... (Lady Most..., #2)
  • It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green, #8)
  • If You Give a Rake a Ruby (Jewels of the Ton, #2)
  • In Love with a Wicked Man
  • The Dissolute Duke (Wellinghams, #4)
  • Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)
  • How to Tame Your Duke (A Princess In Hiding, #1)
  • Lord of Wicked Intentions (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #3)
  • The Rogue's Proposal (House of Trent, #2)
  • Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6)
  • I Married the Duke (The Prince Catchers, #1)
  • One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2)
  • What the Duke Desires  (The Duke's Men, #1)
  • Geek Girls Don't Date Dukes (Geek Girls, #2)
  • The Devil of Clan Sinclair (Clan Sinclair, #1)
  • My Notorious Gentleman (The Inferno Club, #6)
  • It Happened Under the Mistletoe (Secret Brides, #3.5)
  • The Traitor (Captive Hearts, #2)
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

Fairy Tales (5 books)
  • A Kiss at Midnight (Fairy Tales, #1)
  • When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2)
  • The Duke Is Mine (Fairy Tales, #3)
  • The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales, #4)

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“she fell asleep listening to the call of the river as it rushed to the sea.” 5 likes
“You are a virgin,” Layla said, sighing. “Think of it as an unavoidable stage of life, like getting
old and toothless and having to drink soup. Unfortunately, men seem to think that women are like new
wine, good only before being uncorked.”
More quotes…