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My Last Duchess

(The Wildes of Lindow Castle #0.5)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  990 ratings  ·  181 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James returns to the Wildes series with a prequel about the Wilde children's parents, Hugo, Duke of Lindow, and Ophelia, Lady Astley.

Every Duke needs a Duchess...

Hugo Wilde, the Duke of Lindow, has a drafty castle, eight naughty children—and no wife. Ophelia, Lady Astley, has a fine house, one well-behaved daughter—and no husband.

ebook, 432 pages
Published October 27th 2020 by Avon
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  990 ratings  ·  181 reviews

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Lacey (laceybooklovers)
The Wildes of Lindow Castle has been such a fun series. I adore all these Wilde siblings, but when I heard we’d be getting a story about the parents, Hugo and Ophelia, I couldn’t wait to read it! They are the much beloved father and mother/stepmother to these eight children. My Last Duchess turned out to be SUCH a sweet, feel-good read. If you love a pursuing hero who does everything he can to woo the heroine, you’ll love this one!

Hugo, a Duke and father to eight motherless children, is in need
Melanie A. ~mostly on hiatus~
4.5 STARS!

So wonderful! The scenes between Ophelia and the younger children were truly heartwarming. And of course there's always Eloisa James' incredible sense of romance.

The only reason I'm not rounding up is because it was more novella length and the story could have been much more fleshed out.

Also, I don't recommend this one be read as the first book in the series though. It will mean more to you if you get to know the 'children' first through their own books (#1-5).
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've read and loved all of the Wilde books, so when I saw this prequel, there was absolutely no way I was missing out on it.

I love love loved Ophelia and Hugo. She's sassy and seemingly happy with her current life. Hugo is a half step away from being stoic, but ever so charming. Together, they're all sweet smiles, feisty banter, and chemistry for days. I couldn't get enough.

Plot wise, it was good. It was fairly fast paced and yet slow at the same time and yes, I know that doesn't really make s
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mad about those Wildes!

Of course I was going to love Ophelia (Lady Astley) and Hugo's (the Duke of Lindow) romance. James has not disappointed.
Having adored the Wilde children's travails, this prequel provides a lively background to Hugo and Ophelia's meeting and eventual marriage. Mind you it was a close run thing as the widowed Ophelia had decided not to marry again. Why should she? She has a lovely home, running smoothly with supportive staff. Hugo decided he needed a Duchess to help organize

Title: My Last Duchess
Series: The Wildes of Lindlow Castle #6/0.5
Author: Eloisa James
Release date: October 27, 2020
Cliffhanger: no
Genre: historical romance

“We have a choice in every moment of life,” he said, his voice brushing her body. “I choose to spend every possible one of them with you, Phee.”

I'm loving this series and the Wildes so much! Once again, Eloisa James has charmed me-this time with the Duke and Duchess of Lindlow. My Last Duchess takes us back in time to show us how the parents
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
My Last Duchess is a prequel to the series where we get to see how Hugo and Ophelia first met and got together. It's a lovely romance, even if it gets serious very quickly. Then again, maybe that's less shocking given the time period.

Ophelia is a widow with a very young daughter who she dotes on. Hugo is a widow and recent divorcee (his second wife ran off with her lover and left their children behind) with 8 children and a dukedom to manage. He intends to find a bride he's not romantically int
Aly is so frigging bored
I got the original story because I always pre-order Eloisa's books and I was so happy to hear that she's adding scenes to the story. I don't remember the original(booo me), but I can't imagine the story not as it is now.

It starts with Ophelia seeing a dashing, handsome gentleman being mobbed when he arrives at the first party she goes to out of mourning. She doesn't know who he is but she feels there's something there. Obviously she doesn't want to have anything to do with him. Hugo feels someon
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: release-2020
A must read series I can’t recommend enough!
Erica Chilson
I received a free copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads

5 Stars

My Last Duchess is the prequel installment in the Wildes of Lindlow Castle series.

Can it be read as a standalone? Should it be read as a prequel prior to the other titles? Yes to both questions. However, the emotional impact will be greater if you start at the first novel in the series, Wilde in Love. Why? The reader’s connection to the characters will be greater. It will also remove the sense of insta-love from thi
Jul 31, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 out of 5 stars. This is a sweet short novel that gives us the story of the Duke of Lindow and his third wife, Ophelia, Lady Astley. It's a bit insta-love-y for my taste. They have approximately three encounters (they meet at a party, they meet at a Frost Fair, and they meet at a dinner after the opera) - all of those encounters are good and they have great dialog, but I didn't quite get them "together". But it was a nice, quick read and a good end to the early teasers Eloisa sent as gifts to ...more
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Eloisa James is a fantastic writer but most of her stories of pop culture in historical romance settings don’t do it for me. This is a prequel to the Wilde’s series (which I’m not a big fan of) The story was meh. The catapult to no I won’t marry you to yes I will was without much preamble. Found it boring.
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A delightful little niblet that charms us with a tale of how Hugo Wilde met and married his 3rd and last duchess. A fast romance that brims with insta love and humor. A wonderful introduction to anyone who has not read James' Wilde series.
Jen Davis
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have to say I liked going back to get this prequel story of how the Wilde patriarch fell for his third (and final!) duchess. One of the things I like about this family is how it's made of children from different mothers, different fathers, bastards, orphans... but they are all loved and accepted equally.

Here, Hugo has just obtained his divorce from his adulterous second wife and though he doesn't want to marry again, he needs a mother for his eight children. He fully expects a marriage of con
Jen Ryland
Am I the black sheep on this one? My Last Duchess felt really rushed to me.

This is a prequel novel (it's 250 pages so not really a novella) about the Wilde family. I have read books two and three of the series and enjoyed them, but this one was not really for me.

Hugo Wilde, father of eight children with two different wives (one died, then other ran off) falls instantly in love with Lady Ophelia, who is a widow with one child. Then he sort of pushily tells her she's going to marry him. (view sp
Penny Black
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
I had read the few chapters of this novella when it was serialized before publication, so I expected more from the story. In hindsight, since I haven't cared much for the Wildes, I should have passed on this one.

Introducing a fiancée - to whom the duke did not propose but the woman decided he'd do for a husband -was bizarre and served little purpose beyond creating conflict, which ruined the story for me. There was little courtship between the main characters and their relationship did not get m
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is the prequel of the Wildes of Lidow Castle. Can it be read as a standalone? Most definitely, as this is how I read it. I have read some of Ms. James' books but haven't read any in this particular series. I loved this prequel so much that I will be buying and reading all the others in this series.

This was a fresh and delightful look at how widows and widowers of a particular station interact, deal with their sexuality, and fall in love. This book has a wonderful, emotional, and comed
This was a cute novella. There could have been more scenes of them getting to know and talking to each other but I guess we have that throughout the series. Since I have only read one other book in the series I am not entirely sure.
Jenn (The Book Refuge)
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was sweet and fun, I really enjoyed it. Wish there was more, or an epilouge. But we know it works out well. ;)
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this prequel romance, though I don't know why James would use a title that references a Browning poem about a bad marriage (and potentially murder). The book tells the story of Hugo and Ophelia, the parents of Wildes. You do not need to have read any of the series to enjoy this book. I love the inclusion of Hugo's sister and the children in the romance.

It was much shorter than I expected when I bought the book, but that made it easier to read in one sitting.
This was cute, if a little too instalove for my tastes. I've only read a few of the other books in this series, but I enjoyed seeing a little of the backstory for the family.
Katie Tran
Kay, I’ll happily be the first 1 star review.

Louisa (Hugo’s sister) is a psycho bitch.

“I don’t care if your husband doesn’t give you affection. I expect you to live faithfully to a man who doesn’t give a fuck about you. You’re a ninny if you divorce him.” <= Her logic towards other women.


“She wasn’t the kind of woman whom a man lost his head over. She had a pointed nose, a temper, a pile of red hair, and an overly generous bosom, even more so after being enhanced by motherhood.”

Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
*sigh* I just wish the feature story were longer, a full-length novel, minus the short story included. I love Ophelia!
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My Last Duchess by Eloisa James is a fabulous historical romance novel. This is a prequel to the successful The Wildes of Lindow Castle series. This book features the courtship and romance that blossomed between Hugo, Duke of Lindow and Ophelia, Lady Astley which are the beloved parents to the group of children that the previous novels follow.

I have to admit, this is the first book I have read in this series, as well as by this author and I have to say that I am most certainly smitten. If the r
WycEd Reader

Check out our full post for MY LAST DUCHESS on Wicked Reads.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica – ☆☆☆☆☆
My Last Duchess is the prequel installment in The Wildes of Lindow Castle series.

Can it be read as a standalone? Should it be read as a prequel prior to the other titles? Yes to both questions. However, the emotional impact will be greater if you start at the first novel in the series, Wilde in Love. Why? The reader’s connection to the characters will be greater. It will also remove
My Last Duchess is a return to Lindow Castle, but back in time. This is the story of Hugo, Duke of Lindow, after he's been left and has divorced his second wife, Yvette; his first wife, Marie, died young. He has 8 children and no duchess. At the urging of his sister, he's looking for another wife, this one to be a mother to his children, not to have more children. After all, he has EIGHT children. It is instalove when he sees Ophelia, Lady Astley, a young widow with a child of her own. The entir ...more
Reviewed for Wit and Sin

My Last Duchess is a delight from beginning to end! I devoured Hugo and Ophelia’s story in one sitting, unable to put it down because I was so charmed by their sparkling romance.

Ophelia is a widow who had a happy marriage to a man she both liked and loved. As a widow with wealth and the freedom to do as she pleases, Ophelia has no desire to remarry; she and her beloved daughter are happy just as they are. Then Hugo sweeps into her life, upending her calm world. Th
Pj Ausdenmore
My Last Duchess is a fun, fast, warm hug of a book that checked all of my happy reader boxes. If you're a fan of the Wildes series, you've seen glimpses of the Duke of Lindow and his duchess in the background of the stories. We know they are madly in love, we know they're good parents, we know she's his third duchess, but we really don't know much more...until now.

I adored this story. It's like a special treat you weren't expecting. I loved the witty banter, heart-tugging romance, and castle-ful
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Hugo has eight children and has been married twice. His first wife was the love of his life and she died. His second wife was only interested in his money and he divorced her after she left their children and ran off with another man. Now, he needs a wife to help with his younger children. He is immediately smitten with the widow Ophelia, but she refuses him. She still mourns her last husband, she has a daughter to raise, and she doesn’t need the duke nor his money. Will Hugo be able to convince ...more
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An adorable prequel to The Wildes series and now I want to reread them all!!Hugo is such a wonderful character, and a fabulous father. I did think he acted a little preciptously when Ophelia turned him down. Ophelia is also a wonderful character, especially knowing what a great mother she became to all the Wildes. I hope we find out what happens to the child of Maddie, I don't remember if it is a character in any of the books. Now on to read the included Novella!!
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I would've liked it more if it had taken less of a piss at the older "other woman". Maybe it's just me, but a shade less ageist was the way to go. Anyway, enjoyable in part, I guess. In a palate cleanser sort of way.
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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

Other books in the series

The Wildes of Lindow Castle (6 books)
  • Wilde in Love (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #1)
  • Too Wilde to Wed (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #2)
  • Born to Be Wilde (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #3)
  • Say No to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #4)
  • Say Yes to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #5)
  • Wilde Child (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #6)

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