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Fairy Tales #3

The Duke Is Mine

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Destiny will be decided between the sheets in this all-new tale of The Princess and the Pea.

For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick—hardly a Prince Charming—feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, a perfect match for her in every way... every way but one. Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia.

Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him—a desire they are both powerless to resist. When a scandalous affair begins, they risk losing everything—Olivia's engagement, her sister's friendship, and their own fragile love. Only one thing can save them—and it awaits in the bedroom, where a magnificent mattress holds life-changing answers to the greatest romantic riddle of all.

400 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published December 27, 2011

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About the author

Eloisa James

129 books8,853 followers
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 repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is an associate professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her "double life" is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she's written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women's magazines such as More to writers' journals such as the Romance Writers' Report.

Eloisa...on her double life:

When I'm not writing novels, I'm a Shakespeare professor. It's rather like having two lives. The other day I bought a delicious pink suit to tape a television segment on romance; I'll never wear that suit to teach in, nor even to give a paper at the Shakespeare Association of America conference. It's like being Superman, with power suits for both lives. Yet the literature professor in me certainly plays into my romances. The Taming of the Duke (April 2006) has obvious Shakespearean resonances, as do many of my novels. I often weave early modern poetry into my work; the same novel might contain bits of Catullus, Shakespeare and anonymous bawdy ballads from the 16th century.

When I rip off my power suit, whether it's academic or romantic, underneath is the rather tired, chocolate-stained sweatshirt of a mom. Just as I use Shakespeare in my romances, I almost always employ my experiences as a mother. When I wrote about a miscarriage in Midnight Pleasures, I used my own fears of premature birth; when the little girl in Fool For Love threw up and threw up, I described my own daughter, who had that unsavory habit for well over her first year of life.

So I'm a writer, a professor, a mother - and a wife. My husband Alessandro is Italian, born in Florence. We spend the lazy summer months with his mother and sister in Italy. It always strikes me as a huge irony that as a romance writer I find myself married to a knight, a cavaliere, as you say in Italian.

One more thing...I'm a friend. I have girlfriends who are writers and girlfriends who are Shakespeare professors. And I have girlfriends who are romance readers. In fact, we have something of a community going on my website. Please stop by and join the conversation on my readers' pages.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 982 reviews
Profile Image for Katie(babs).
1,815 reviews536 followers
December 14, 2011
I ended up DNFing The Duke is Mine a quarter of the way through because of something I found disturbing in regards to how a character is portrayed and handled, including the insensitive comments and actions of the heroine toward this character. I’m actually shocked that Eloisa and Avon would allow this character and the way he’s treated as a form of comic relief. Because of this, The Duke is Mine is a big fail of a historical romance and one I wouldn’t recommend to any historical romance reader.

First of all, when an author creates a heroine who acts more like a spoiled brat and is better suited as a villain of the story, that’s where I have to raise some questions. The heroine here is Olivia Lytton. She’s engaged to be married, which she thinks of as a curse. The reason is because she can’t stand her fiance, Rupert, heir to the dukedom. Olivia has been engaged to the Duke of Canterwick’s son, Rupert, since the age of five. Olivia is five years older than Rupert and he’s now just turned eighteen. Olivia isn’t as beautiful as her younger sister Georgiana, and she should be grateful to her parents because she’ll end up a Duchess, which will excuse her faults. Olivia is far too sarcastic, witty and not at all gracious. Olivia also enjoys talking about sex and the male anatomy with Georgina. It seems that's all the two sisters talk about with each other.

Olivia can’t stand Rupert. She thinks of him as a “beardy-weirdly bottle –headed chub” and she and Georgie has nicknamed Rupert the “FF” which means foolish fiance, “HH”, which means half-wit husband and “BB”, which means brain-less betrothed. From all these descriptions of Rupert, I wondered how dim-witted and a fool Rupert really was that Olivia and Georigiana would makes such cruel remarks about him.

What we come to find out about Rupert is that he’s indeed dim-witted and fool because he’s mentally handicapped.

Olivia thinks back to what Canterwick had said to her when she was fifteen and Rupert was eleven. He tells her his son is a “buffle-head idiot”. Rupert has a mind more of a boy, I’d say around a ten year old, because when he was born, he wasn’t breathing at birth and the doctors believed it had an effect on his brain. Canterwick, Olivia, Georgia and their parents all think Rupert is an idiot and that Olivia is making a great sacrifice marrying this man who has a mind of a boy because he’ll become a duke at one point. Canterwick is glad Olivia is marrying Rupert because Olivia has never made from of him. Of course he doesn’t have any clue the cruel and heartless things Olivia says about Rupert behind his back.

To make certain that Olivia and Rupert’s marriage will definitely happen, Olivia and Rupert are forced into a room to consummate their relationship in the hopes that Olivia will get pregnant. This scene was disgusting and I was completely shocked by it because keep in mind Rupert doesn’t have a mind of an eighteen year old, but more of a boy because of his handicapped mind. Olivia lies on a sofa, lifts up her skirts and expect Rupert to know how to have sex. Rupert doesn’t understand the technicalities of sex. He can’t get hard because he’s not sexually attractive to Olivia, because again he has a mind of a boy. Olivia is somewhat pleased by this and all is well because their parents assume they consummated their relationship (I found this scene and the actions of the parents very strange because from every historical romance I’ve read, if a single woman like Olivia has sex before marriage, her reputation is ruined and she’s labeled a loose woman). Olivia tells Georgiana the next day that Rupert’s celery stick was lacking and he apparently needs more than a captive woman and a sofa to get the job done.

At this point I almost stopped reading because of how a mentally disabled man has been used as a butt of many jokes from the heroine, forced to have sex when he has no idea what sex involves and is supposed to be used as a moment of comic relief in this otherwise slap-stick type story.

I read until we meet Tarquin, Duke of Sconce the hero, who’s mentioned as being more like the villain of a fairy tale than the hero and has coal-black hair and stern eyes. But this is completely at odds at what we see the moment he meets the heroine and acts the complete opposite.

I was so turned off by this story not only because Olivia is a heartless bitch and the hero Quin is a complete jackass, but mainly because of Rupert and his damaged mind is used for comedy. I found this beyond offensive.

Some may say I’m overreacting and I might as well be. As someone who was the butt of many jokes and was called stupid and dumb by more than a few people in my life, including having a few family members and friends with mental handicaps, my reaction is completely subjective. Others may not have an issue with the way Rupert is portrayed or treated. I just don’t find the humor in making fun of a mentally handicapped character in this way for laughs or for a heroine who will ridicule and put down a weaker or fragile minded person because of a handicap like Rupert’s.

Disappointed isn’t a strong enough work to describe how I’m feeling about The Duke is Mine, the author who wrote it and the publisher who had no qualms about publishing it.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,243 followers
August 4, 2018
This book was weird.
Before reading it, I looked over a few reviews and was prepared to be outraged because everyone talked about how there is a poor mentally challenged boy who is treated badly and made fun of. But, actually, even though the heroine makes fun of him to her sister, in private, because she isn't thrilled to be marrying a young boy, from there on - she defends him and is sweet and loyal to him. So, I don't know. It wasn't as offensive as everyone is making it out to be. Only a little offensive. The author really stepped in it with that mistake. She should have just made the fiance an ass, or even just plain old stupid and vain. But no, she gives a medical reason why Rupert isn't like the other boys and lets loose a fire-storm.
Whatevs. I'm just glad it isn't me receiving all of the hate for once. Lord knows that I get my share of critics. And, hey, hello? Do I seem like the kind of person who gives a fuck if you don't like my review?

Actually, I don't even care enough to put my hands all the way up in the air. That sounds like a lot of work.

So, that's kind of weird. But, the real weird thing about this book is that there is a ye' old Justin Bieber in it. It's totally bizarre.
He's 16, and his name is Lord Justin Fiebvre. He's a singer and writer of poems. He is requested to sing by all of the young girls at a house party and they are crowding around him. Seriously. Here's a quote from the book so you know I'm not lying or seeing things that aren't there:

"They all turned, to find Lord Justin Fiebvre making his characteristic flamboyant entry. He paused for a moment in the doorway, threw back the lock of hair that constantly - and, one had to believe, deliberately - obscured his eyes....


I'm perplexed. Why in the hell would a grown-ass woman write a Justin Bieber character in a book to be read by other grown-ass women? Why?

See? Embarrassment should have stopped this from happening.

Okay, so then the next weird thing was that the first time they have sex, it's in a tree. But, I approve of that. Completely. We have a lot of squirrels in our neighborhood, but when it's go-time, I make them get the hell out of the way so the hubs and I can climb up and have a nooner. Hey, if you ever tried to have sex again after having children, you'd understand. Those little buggers are determined cock-blockers. They could keep rabbits from mating just by refusing to sleep in their own bed. "Bun Bun, can I sleep with you tonight? My tummy hurts. I heard a noise. There's a monster. I'm lonely. I'm thirsty. I can't sleep. My toe hurts. My room is too hot, too cold, too blue."

Wait, so where was I?
Oh yeah. Weird.
Then, after everything seemingly works out, there is another whole little story about them doing some daring rescue mission in France for a soldier. I couldn't help but think there were more qualified people to take on this mission - you know more than a 30-something year old duke who'd never worked a day in his life and a 24 yr old girl who's never worked a day in her life. (What's with these lazy-ass people?) So, that was out there. And, totally unnecessary.

Here's this book in picture form. It sums it up completely.

Profile Image for Wicked Incognito Now.
302 reviews7 followers
May 7, 2012
**note** a few other reviewers, who didn't read the book beyond a few first pages, suggest that EJ's MC treats a disabled character with a lack of respect. This is not how the novel shapes up. Actually, the MC is amazingly kind and respectful. I hope those of you contemplating reading this book don't give so much credence to those reviews that you end up missing out on an entirely lovely novel.***

I loved every second of this book (except for, perhaps, the ending which was an episode of over-the-top action theatrics).

Eloisa James excels at character development and dialogue. This is why I adore her writing. I often envision myself actually hanging out with these people. Quite often, I am irritated by historical romance heroines and just want to slap them silly. But EJ writes a type of heroine that is entirely likable. I find myself with a silly grin on my face as I read these novels.

Olivia is the best of these heroines. She's extraordinarily good AND intelligent and silly all at once. Even the supposed villains of the novel turn out not to be villains so much as ordinarily flawed people. A reader normally goes into this expecting the duke she's being forced to marry to be a fat slobbering evil menace, and the hero's disapproving mother to be stupid, loud, obnoxious, and an evil menace. The perfect twin sister should of course be simpering, insipid, gorgeous, and an evil menace, and all those evil Frenchies at the end? Well, they, OF COURSE, should be outright evil menaces.

These "villains" are none of those things. They are good people with issues who Olivia cares for. All of the them. Even the Frenchies. Books like these make me look at humanity and think--"yeah, we're not so bad."

**EJ gives us a cute nod to Justin Bieber in her character Lord Justin.
Profile Image for Huma Rashid.
847 reviews157 followers
November 14, 2012
*SPOILER* I criticized Eloisa James on Twitter for:

- having her heroine constantly mock a mentally disabled man (her fiance, later, ex-fiance)
- writing an almost-sex-scene between the heroine and the mentally disabled fiance that bordered on sexual abuse
- having the heroine be a spoiled fucking brat
- having her steal her sister's fiance
- having a hero that's a jackass
- having a hero that leads one woman on while trying to bang her sister
- having a character refer to an erection as "go diddly diddly up"
- absurdly model a character off of Justin Bieber (yeah, if you are a grown ass woman lusting after Bieber, I judge the hell out of you)
- basically writing a weak, lackluster, boring and at times cringe-inducing novel

and she blocked me on Twitter.

And I wasn't even mean in my tweets! All I said was that this book was offensive as hell, which it was, and that she should be ashamed of herself, which she and Avon absolutely should be. This book is DISGUSTING. If you know or love someone who is mentally disabled, you will be seeing red within the first twenty-five pages, I can guarantee it.

I've read other Eloisa James books - The Ugly Duchess and Beauty Tamed the Beast - and they were okay. Not too bad. The Ugly Duchess was oddly paced and dragged, and the fashion was just god-awful (fashion was kind of a major motif in that story) and the romance part was uncomfortable at times, and Beauty Tamed the Beast just read like bad House fanfiction, but overall, they weren't terrible. I wouldn't have recommended them to anyone, but they weren't atrocious, and I've read some atrocious books.

Still, I could never have imagined that the author of those admittedly unremarkable books could stoop so low as to write this offensive trash. Eloisa James is a weak writer in general, and with this book she just ... blows it completely.

She has permanently lost a fan. (Well, after I review the ARC of that pirate book of hers. Hopefully it doesn't suck pondscum. It should be okay. I hope.)

But yeah. Eloisa James is a weak writer who obviously can't handle criticism. A shame, since this books deserves nothing but.
Profile Image for Christina ~ Brunette Reader.
187 reviews313 followers
April 22, 2017

3,5 Stars

This was a an odd mix as far as fluffier Regency romances go, a blend of farce and some very touching moments, at times jarring, at times endearing, but that it ultimately quite worked as a whole for me. The writing smooth and full of wit and charm, and Ms. James surely had fun concocting extravagant names and peppering literary and pop-culture references throughout the story, besides the wink at a main fairy-tale theme, present in all the books in the series, which in this case was H.C. Andersen's The Princess and The Pea.
It's a romance between a cheeky, "unsuitable" heroine and a duke hiding grief and turmoil under an imperturbable façade, and if it started as a light-hearted comedy, it took a more bittersweet-ish and overly dramatic turn in the last chapters that I found rather at odds with the tone set at the beginning (the same pattern I noticed, and frankly didn't appreciate, in book 2 When Beauty Tamed The Beast). The characterisations tended to be clichéd, with the only exception being the hero who was better flesh-out and rounded when compared to the rest, but I tried, and partly succeeded, to go with the flow and enjoy mostly the whimsical banter that resulted to be the strongest feature of the story, considering the thin plot and the uneven mood and pace.

Buddy-read with Anna :)
Profile Image for Beanbag Love.
565 reviews246 followers
August 31, 2016
Incoherent story, unlikable characters, absurd and forced climax ... this is a stinker for sure.

And the most egregious thing:

Seriously disappointing and NOT recommended.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
498 reviews35 followers
December 17, 2014
A bit much. I loved loved loved When Beauty Tamed the Beast, but this was more along the lines of A Kiss at Midnight. The heroine was relentlessly snarky. You know this person in real life: she is super annoying, because she NEVER takes a break and ALWAYS has to be the center of attention. There was no real connection between the leads beyond lust. I follow Eloisa on social, so I was not surprised by her homage to Justin Bieber, but all the silly names and pop culture references were exhausting.

Having read the teaser chapters before the book was released, I was also turned off by how scathing Olivia was about Rupert: it was just terribly sad, and kind of strange.

Profile Image for Daniella.
256 reviews542 followers
June 22, 2015
All my feels:



This is probably the worst book I have ever read in my life. I had low expectations at the start since Eloisa James has always been a hit-or-miss for me BUT DAMN I NEVER EXPECTED IT TO BE THIS BAD. GOD I CANT BELIEVE THIS GOT PUBLISHED. Any sane person would be offended by the characters' (especially the heroine's) offensive remarks!

So for all you sane persons out there: STEER CLEAR OF THIS BOOK. ASDGHJLFLDS
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,635 followers
June 26, 2014

4 'loved it though parts of it gutted me' stars!

The Duke is Mine is the third in Eloisa James’ Fairy Tales series, re-tellings of the classic fairy tales we grew up with. I absolutely adore this series and am sorry I waited so long to read this “Princess and the Pea” installment.

He is a duke in search of a perfect bride.

She is a lady—but a long way from perfect.

Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess. So why can't he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong, and altogether unconventional Olivia? Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper, albeit intoxicating, flirtation makes her unsuitability all the more clear.

Determined to make a perfect match, he methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion…Until, in his darkest hour, Quin begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love.

To win Olivia's hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul…

Unless it's already too late.
My review…

Eloisa James is one of my favorite Historical Romance authors. Her stories are always clever, funny, romantic, passionate, and sometimes they’re even poignant. This is one of those times. There were moments I was nearly brought to tears, though explaining why would give away too much.

And again, I can’t go into it too deeply, but there were things I wish had happened differently, things that would have made this a 5 star read for me.

I know that given the times, the attitudes and expectations of London’s aristocracy, certain things would have happened and been acceptable. Certain circumstances, certain words, certain… well… events. To be honest, there were a couple of things that didn’t set well with me. But could they have been written differently, in a less heartbreaking way? The truth is, I don’t know. I’m just not creative enough to be able to lay it all out in a plot that wouldn’t have broken my heart the way parts of this story did.

The bottom line…

I truly do enjoy Ms. James’ writing and, when it’s all said and done, I fell hard for Olivia and Quin and their happily ever after. I hope there will be many more stories to come.
Profile Image for Yona Ceaser.
102 reviews17 followers
November 3, 2021
So the start of the book pissed me off tbh.

From the moment both sisters were discussing the heroine‘s fiancé they kept talking so negatively about him I felt so sorry for him they kept calling him really horrible names only for me to discover that he is disabled and he is underage (the heroine is 23 the fiancé is 18) which made things worse in my eyes I don’t like such nastiness.

And I don’t know what’s wrong with the hero and heroine’s parents when it comes to Eloisa James books, why are they either idiots or just bad parents ? So clearly the heroines parent wants to obtain a dukedom or wants the heroine to marry into the dukedom and the fiancé‘s dad wants his disabled son to produce an Heir so both parents will go to any means possible to obtain their wishes disregarding of the children’s opinion.
There was a scene where the parents orchestrated both the heroine and the fiancé to have sex and hopefully produce and heir OUTSIDE of wedlock (a grave sin) however the hero wasn’t able to perform because he was incapable…which is odd. How dare the parents do this. And what annoyed me was how willing the heroine was, to go through with it. She would’ve been disgraced and she didn’t care….. huh?

Anyways what finally did it was when the hero and the heroine met. So the hero is a different duke and he was suppose to marry the heroine sister (or she was his marriage prospect). When the hero sees the heroine he falls in lust and suddenly starts kissing her, my mistake was I thought that he was kissing the sister (the marriage prospect) so I was rooting for them coz the heroines sister was so depressed that she never danced with anyone at the ball and the heroine always got all the attention because she was the older twin, the heroine sister also didn’t have a dowery aswell and I just felt bad coz she was always crying. So yea im like ‘woooop go Georgiana, go get yo mannnn’ ONLY for me to discover that it was fucking OLIVIA !

So im confused now at this point. So Olivia [the heroine] who already has a fiancé of her own is now kissing her sisters future fiancé (he kissed her tbh but whatever) Although at this point the hero didn’t know that he was kissing the wrong girl but That still doesn’t make it OK

Anyway to continue the morning after Georgiana is talking to Olivia and she is saying how much she really wants to marry the hero and how she’s excited and likes him and she just trying her very hardest to impress him, but the hero and Olivia are already making a connection and I just feel sorry for Georgina because she deserves to be happy. So the books annoyed me and I am going to stop reading it because I know that Georgiana does not get the hero but Olivia does and Georgianas gonna be so heartbroken and I just can’t deal with it because Georgiana is so cute and I was rooting for her and when the person I’m rooting for doesn’t get what I want them to get, I quit.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sharyn.
485 reviews
June 23, 2012
I did not like this book, which is disappointing since I absolutely loved When Beauty Tamed the Beast. I think the issue was I did not like the heroine, Olivia, at all. She was too brash and loved to make fun of everyone, mostly to annoy her mother. I actually liked, and identified, more with her sister Georgiana. Which is not good when the hero is deciding between Olivia and Georgiana as his next wife (I kept thinking "Pick Georgie!").

Also, Olivia has been promised to Rupert, a mentally challenged Duke's heir, since they were children, due to an agreement between their fathers. Again, I really sympathized with Rupert, and while I don't think Olivia is a good match for him, I still didn't like how things ended up for Rupert.

And, it seemed to me that the only thing Quin, the hero Duke, likes about Olivia is her full-figured body. Truly, for him, it was love at first sight, just knowing it was a woman with a "fleshy" body ("fleshy" was used a lot). This also didn't make sense as his first wife seemed to be thin so Olivia shouldn't have been his "type". I think it would have made a difference if his first wife had been full-figured as well.

Finally, the last part of the story, which had been taking place in London, or the Duke's country house, suddenly veers off into France and , to me, went further out of control. Too bad as I had been looking forward to this book.
Profile Image for Anna.
858 reviews25 followers
January 16, 2012
Dear Eloisa James,

What the hell were you thinking? You start your story by having the "heroine" ruthlessly mock her fiancee who turns out to be mentally handicapped. You then proceed to place these individuals in a situation that boarders on sexual abuse, as the man in question is barely 18 and clearly has the mental capacity of a much younger person. It's clear that you see his lack of understanding of sex as funny and the scene as comedic, but it's sad and horrifically cruel on your part. The "heroine" completes her descent into abhorrent villain when she then proceeds to steal the man her sister is interested in while being rude to everyone around her. I had to stop 1/4 of the way into this travesty because it was just so offensive. Shame on you Ms. James!
Profile Image for Lisa.
328 reviews77 followers
December 3, 2011
Olivia Lytton has been betrothed since before she was born to the also yet unborn son of a duke, Rupert. Thanks to a promise made between her father and Ruperts father when they were friends in Eton, she has been 'duchified' since she was a child, along with her twin sister Georgiana. Olivia knows all the proper rules and etiquette but it is just not her personality. Olivia is bawdy, sarcastic, and far too witty to truly be contained in a perfect duchess box. But as she was born seven minutes earlier than Georgiana, who is exactly what one looks for in a duchess, she has accepted her fate to marry the five years younger Rupert. Olivia knows she will bear the marriage to the much simpler Rupert as she plans to dower Georgiana right away so her perfect, beautiful sister can find her true happiness. As the betrothal papers are signed, as Rupert is finally eighteen, and scandalous promises are made by Ruperts father, one of the funniest scenes in this book happens. As Rupert heads to war to achieve the glory he so desires, Georgiana is invited to the home of Tarquin Brook Chatfield, Duke of Sconce by his mother as a potential new wife for Tarquin. Georgiana, with Olivia at her side, heads to his home with hope alight in her heart.

After his disastrous and heartbreaking first marriage, Quin knows it is his duty to remarry and he is more than willing to turn the process of choosing a wife over to his mother. She invites out two prospective women and is intent of putting them through a series of tests. It becomes clear quickly that Georgiana is the obvious choice but his mother continues on with her tests and in the process, asks Quin to entertain Olivia who is not in the running being betrothed already and totally unsuitable. The slight problem with that is Quin is quite attracted to Olivia but knows it can never be but the more time they spend together sparring and trading wits she slowly uncovers Quins hurtful past and together their hearts know they belong together. But the road to happiness has quite a few hurdles to overcome including Rupert, Georgiana, Quins mother and even Olivias belief that she is not good enough.

This is a fun, quirky, delightful retelling of the fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea. I adored the beginning, it had me laughing quite a bit. Olivia is smart, sassy, and unconventional but honest, fierce, and protective at the same time and it was a delight to meet her. Quin is a bit proud and stuffy but he suffered a great loss and Olivia is the perfect balm for his heart and she, along with some words from Rupert, makes him complete again. I am sure there will be a bit of discussion about the situation that Quin and Olivia find themselves in. She is engaged to Rupert who is off at war and Georgiana thinks that Quin will be the perfect husband. But, I have to say in my opinion, Eloisa James handled the delicate situation well and the resulting actions are something that I could believe happening. I do not want to say to much because I don't want to give away to much of the storyline and I want you to be able to judge for yourself, but I believe fans will be happy with the situations. And then we get to the ending and it ties it all up perfectly. I was wondering how a pile of mattresses would fit in with this story but Eloisa James found a perfect solution so fairy tale fans will be pleased. Overall, a true delight that will make you laugh out loud. sigh, and root for this couple. 4 1/2 stars

I received this ebook from Avon via netgalley.com
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,997 reviews1,640 followers
August 19, 2015
This book had some problematical elements and I can see why it's the ugly duckling in the series. Both the beginning and end work to undermine the main characters in some crucial ways that left me wondering what to think.

First off, Rupert. This marred the beginning as it's hard to tell what you're supposed to think about both him and Olivia's attitude towards him. We start off with Olivia and Georgiana saying some unkind things about him, but only to one another. That's a bad first impression of both him and them. I think the tone is supposed to be one of forbearance as Olivia has a distasteful future, even if she is kind to him in public and resigned to his deficiencies. The parents involved, both his and Olivia's are pretty much monsters. So nobody comes off well in this beginning and it isn't until later that you begin to see Olivia's loyalty and resignation for the trial they are.

The ending is just farcical. . I think we're supposed to see how awesome Quin is during those scenes, but it was so hard to believe that I found it doing the opposite for me.

Anyway, bad bookending aside, I still liked Olivia and Quin rather a lot. Well, okay, I liked Olivia rather a lot and Quin was adequate support. His background is a ton of melodrama and he comes across as rather bewildered and weak given his history. It was hard to respect a man who let himself be walked all over by his first wife. Which also made it hard to squeeze out sympathy for his current damaged state as a follow-on result. But since that only came up every other page, he was fine the rest of the time.

So really, when it comes down to it, Olivia made this book. It really is too bad that she makes such a confusing first impression with the dissonance over Rupert. If it hadn't been for the weird stuff, this would have been a solid four stars. As it stands, it was lucky to eek out three.

A note about Steamy: Lower mid range of my personal tolerance. There were three explicit scenes, but two were almost skimpy. Indeed, the steamy scenes were as weak sauce as the rest of the novel with some good mixed with unnecessarily dissonant bits.
Profile Image for kris.
942 reviews193 followers
February 27, 2018
Olivia Lytton has been betrothed to Rupert, Duke of Canterwick, since she was five. For reasons known only to James, Olivia is introduced as a mocking, cruel woman who belittles a man she has known her whole life because he's disabled but don't worry: she only talks shit to her sister, so obviously she's GREAT.

Meanwhile, Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, is in need of a wife so his mother invites proper ladies to his crib. This includes Olivia's more attractive sister, Georgiana. Obviously, Quin and Olivia light each other's pants on fire, so the rest of the book is two subpar humans figuring out how to shed their bothersome obligations so they can bone, romantically or something.

1. As many others more brilliant and beautiful than I have stated: this book does a fantastic job of making me wish that Georgiana was the lead. Olivia was just the grossest epitome of Modern Heroine stuffed in Historic Garb: she's spunky and sassy and dirty-minded and vulgar and just so free-wheelin', y'all. And it was exhausting and boring and dull. Especially when Quin gets involved.

2. Quin's Man Pain was so much. I can't.

3. I can take some winking asides to the audience in the form of cutesy anachronisms and whatnot, but James likes to just throw ALL THE GODDAMNED STUFF in and it's overwhelming and kind of lazy.

4. The pacing/plot was just ... not great. It's rushed and harried because it's got so much shit to unravel and it leads to a story and romance that is decidedly underdeveloped. I didn't believe in their insta-love, and I never felt like I had a solid understanding of Olivia and Quin because their characterization changed based on page count or something. IDK, it was ridic.

5. The ending was a goddamned disaster.

6. The beginning, too.

7. I do want to say that I did like how the leads communicated once they got their hands off of each other's genitals. Like, they decided they liked each other and they were going to make it work and it was nice.

8. But nice doesn't fix the rest of that show, so 1 star.
Profile Image for Crista.
782 reviews
September 20, 2012
After reading the stunning and hugely memorable When Beauty Tamed the Beast , I couldn't wait to read this book. I've always loved fairy tales, and Eloisa James's series that is loosely based on fairy tales has been incredible...up till this book.

This Duke is Mine missed on many levels. It didn't sit right...almost from the opening chapter, and it never really improved.

Olivia Lytton was my problem. She is described as a plump, loud, and somewhat crass lady. Although I believe her character was meant to be written as witty and unique, she came across to me as anything but. In my opinion, this character ruined this story for me. She was mean, cruel, and lacked integrity.

There is cheating in this book, which is a deal breaker for me personally. She ends up attracted to her sister's intended....another deal breaker for me.

This book just wasn't romantic for me...which completely defeats the purpose of reading this genre.

If you are new to this author...I recommend the first two books in this series A Kiss at Midnight and When Beauty Tamed the Beast. I'd give this one a pass.
Profile Image for Keri.
2,058 reviews106 followers
March 9, 2016
I had a few issues with EJ's writing at the first of the book. I mean some of the wording and writing style. Eventually though the story really took over and I couldn't put the book down. I didn't have issues of what Olivia said about Rupert. Not because of how he was, but because she was frustrated and there was no way out for her. She knew since she was 10 that she was going to have to marry a boy 5 years younger than she was and mentally impaired. So I think for her the familiarity bred contempt. She only ever showed her frustration with her sister and she defended Rupert to anybody saying anything about him, later in the book. She also remained loyal to him in the end.

Olivia's sister, Georgina, has been invited out to the Duchess of Sconce's house, as she is on the lookout for a wife for her son, Quin. Quin for his part doesn't care one way or the other, as he no longer trust his own judgment to picking women. His first attempt ended in a heart-breaking disaster all the way around. However, once Quin sets eyes on the voluptuous Olivia, all bets are off as he sets out to woo the one woman he shouldn't have. For Olivia's part, she is torn in half for Rupert, currently away on a mission for his country and the love she is feeling for her sister's possible fiancé. Can things get any more convoluted? Well with EJ, you can sure bet they will. I thought this was a lovely heart-warming story and I hope that we get to read Georgina's story one day.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kathy.
151 reviews45 followers
December 28, 2011
I was so excited when the UPS guy dropped off my package of new release books. This is the first book I grabbed for. My excitement was short lived. What the hell happened here? Did Eloisa James really write this? Really?

In the dedication section she writes of having to throw out 175 pages and having to "start over". I wonder where she started over because it can't be at the beginning of the book, which is a total cluster.

I had hoped there might be some redemption as far as what I was reading. Didn't happen. Maybe I should have kept reading to see if it would happen. But I was already too disgusted to wait for it. I didn't make it past page 74 and that was already pushing it.

I am quite disappointed.
Profile Image for Jade.
71 reviews35 followers
February 27, 2014
I'll be honest that I couldn't get past a quarter of the way into this book before I had to put it down for good. The problem is that the "heroine" of this novel is just - to be blunt - a horrible person.

The setup is simple enough. She's engaged to be married to a duke. Not only does she not love him, but she's not really "duchess material" - she's on the curvaceous side, has a bawdy sense of humor, tends to lean towards impropriety at times...all of that has potential to be quite a bit of fun and enjoyable, as I like my heroines with personality.

The problem is that she's mean. That's all there is to it. She's just a mean person. Her fiancé (the non-hero duke of the story) has legitimate brain damage from birth, when he went without oxygen for too long. These details are given fairly early on and permanently impacted both him and his mother (his mother, from the description, seems to have been left in something barely above a vegetative state after childbirth). The duke's brain damage is also used as "humor" in the novel, in the least humorous way imaginable. The way Olivia, the heroine, and her sister talk about her fiancé is just mean-spirited and horrible. And, to add insult to injury, the duke's father tells her at one point that (among a couple of awful reasons), he agreed to go forward with the engagement because she's "nice" to his son. To his face, perhaps.

I do recognize that, at the period in which this book was set, the characters would not be as educated about the duke's situation as we are today, so I tried to give the characters a bit of the benefit of the doubt. I was willing to give her character a bit more of a pass about the comments she makes in the first couple of chapters because, at that point, she was truly ignorant about the situation. However, then there's a scene where the duke's father tells her what happened and she begins to feel genuine sympathy for the duke and his mental incapacity. She also recognizes that he's a kind-hearted and even somewhat sweet man. At that point, I figured that, while the heroine would be no more inclined to want to marry him, the bad-mouthing him behind his back would stop. Right?

Wrong. A couple of chapters later she's again making horrible comments about him behind his back, about how stupid and witless he is.

I don't understand why the author didn't realize how incredibly unsympathetic this makes her heroine - and how easy it would have been to avoid. If the intention was to create a situation where she's engaged to duke X almost all her life but doesn't want to go forward with the wedding, and then she meets duke Y...There are at least a dozen ways to accomplish that goal without making her a truly deplorable, reprehensible, unsympathetic, and downright mean-spirited character. The only thing that prevented me from writing "cruel" in that list is that she only says those awful things behind his back but is nice to his face. But is that really better?

No. She's still a horrible character. I was somewhat disappointed by a previous book written by this author, but I had actually enjoyed several others she had written. However, this book gives me serious doubts as to whether I'll bother to pick up the next book by Ms. James.
Profile Image for Ruthie Knox.
Author 32 books1,334 followers
January 4, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Katie Gallagher.
Author 5 books217 followers
September 1, 2019
For other fun, bookish stuff, visit my blog!

The Duke Is Mine is inspired by “The Princess and the Pea.” Just like in the original tale, the heroine arrives at a manor one stormy night soaked through to the bone. In James’s version, her destined duke greets her at the door and is immediately wildly attracted to her—a sodden gown clinging to every curve will do that. 😉 Too bad she’s engaged to a simpleton and is really only visiting the duke’s estate as her sister’s chaperone; it’s the sister who is being tested as the possible duchess-to-be.

I really liked this book; the female MC is sassy yet honorable. I’m a sucker for sister relationships in stories, and this one is really cute. It also handles neurological disorders in a sensitive, sensible matter. The duke love interest has an Asperger’s-like disorder, and the MC’s betrothed, who is mentally handicapped due to a temporary loss of oxygen at birth, is depicted respectfully. Out of the three here, I’d say this book is great for a first impression of James’s work.
Profile Image for Χρύσα Βασιλείου.
Author 6 books151 followers
March 12, 2021
Το τέλειο λάθος τιτλοφορείται το τρίτο κατά σειρά βιβλίο της σειράς «Μια ιστορία ακόμα» της Eloisa James, το οποίο βασίζεται στο παραμύθι Η πριγκίπισσα και το μπιζέλι.

Κεντρική ηρωίδα είναι η Ολίβια Λίτον, η οποία είναι λογοδοσμένη από την παιδική της ηλικία με τον δούκα του Κάντεργουικ. Η προοπτική να γίνει δούκισσα δεν την ενθουσιάζει καθόλου, αφού ο μελλοντικός της σύζυγος απέχει πολύ από τον άντρα που θα ήθελε εκείνη στο πλάι της, όμως έχει αποδεχτεί τη μοίρα της. Μόνη της παρηγοριά είναι πως ο δικός της γάμος θα επιτρέψει και στη δίδυμη αδελφή της, την Τζορτζιάνα, να εξασφαλίσει έναν σύζυγο με τίτλο και περιουσία.
Ο δούκας του Σκονς, ο οποίος ψάχνει σύζυγο, φαντάζει το ιδανικότερο ταίρι για την Τζορτζιάνα. Όμως, παρόλο που εκείνη πληροί όλες τις προδιαγραφές για να γίνει η τέλεια δούκισσα, εκείνος νιώθει να έλκεται από την ατίθαση, παρορμητική και παθιασμένη Ολίβια. Αυτή ξυπνά μέσα του ένα πρωτόγνωρο πάθος και καταφέρνει να τον κάνει να νιώσει συναισθήματα που νόμιζε πως είχαν πεθάνει από καιρό. Ούτε όμως κι εκείνη μένει αδιάφορη απέναντι στο φλερτ του και δεν αργεί να παραδοθεί στο πάθος που υποβόσκει ανάμεσά τους.
Ταυτόχρονα, όμως, η Ολίβια νιώθει να σκιάζει την ευτυχία που νιώθει μέσα στην αγκαλιά του αγαπημένου της η δέσμευσή της τόσο απέναντι στον μνηστήρα της, που λείπει στο μέτωπο, όσο και στην αδελφή της. Και οι δύο θα κληθούν να ζυγίσουν τι είναι αυτό που έχει τη μεγαλύτερη σημασία: η αφοσίωση στα κοινωνικά πρέπει και στους τρίτους ή η αληθινή αγάπη; Θα καταφέρει αυτή η δεύτερη να βγει νικήτρια σε μια μάχη που φαντάζει χαμένη;

Το βιβλίο αυτό απέχει αρκετά από μια τυπική, κλασική ιστορία αγάπης. Όχι μόνο πραγματεύεται ζητήματα που σπάνια συναντούμε σε αντίστοιχα βιβλία, αλλά θεωρούνται ταμπού ακόμα και στις μέρες μας. Η κεντρική ηρωίδα, η Ολίβια, προδίδει τον αρραβωνιαστικό της και την αδελφή της – μια πράξη αντίθετη σε κάθε κοινωνική επιταγή, αλλά και στους άτυπους κανόνες ηθικής ανάμεσα σε δύο αδέλφια. Και αυτή η προδοσία δεν μένει μέσα στα πλαίσια των πιο βαθιά κρυφών επιθυμιών της, αλλά εκδηλώνεται με τρόπο που κάποιοι θα χαρακτήριζαν μέχρι και σκανδαλώδη, αφού οι δύο ερωτευμένοι φαίνεται να μη νοιάζονται για τίποτα και για κανέναν. Επιπλέον, η ίδια απέχει αρκετά από το ιδανικό πρότυπο γυναίκας που προβάλλουν συνήθως τα ρομαντικά μυθιστορήματα και βγάζει συνεχώς ανασφάλεια σχετικά με την εμφάνισή της, η οποία έρχεται σε εντυπωσιακή αντίθεση με τη γενικότερα δυναμική της στάση. Αλλά και η αδελφή της, η άψογα προετοιμασμένη για να γίνει δούκισσα, έχει ιδέες που απέχουν πολύ από τις επιθυμίες μιας νέας κοπέλας την εποχή εκείνη και οι οποίες αποκαλύπτονται προς το τέλος της αφήγησης, ξαφνιάζοντας ακόμα και την κεντρική ηρωίδα. Επίσης, ίσως το σημαντικότερο ζήτημα όλων έχει να κάνει με τον «επίσημο» αρραβωνιαστικό της Ολίβια, ο οποίος όχι απλά είναι ακόμη παιδί, αφού είναι αρκετά χρόνια μικρότερός της, αλλά και διανοητικά ανάπηρος ως έναν βαθμό.
Αυτό ακριβώς, όπως και η γενικότερη στάση της απέναντί του, ενόχλησε μια μεγάλη μερίδα αναγνωστών, η οποία όμως προφανώς δεν αντιλαμβάνεται ότι ακόμα και τα μυθιστορήματα αντικατοπτρίζουν εν μέρει την ίδια τη ζωή και δεν μπορεί να είναι όλα αγγελικά πλασμένα σε αυτά. Είναι ουτοπικό. Επίσης, οι αναγνώστες αυτοί μάλλον δεν μπόρεσαν να κατανοήσουν ακριβώς και τη θέση της Ολίβια. Γιατί εκείνη δεν ένιωθε δυστυχισμένη εξαιτίας της πνευματικής κατάστασης του μνηστήρα της· το πρόβλημά της ήταν ότι απλά δεν ήθελε να τον παντρευτεί. Μια ζωή στο πλάι του δεν ήταν το όνειρό της. Ήθελε το δικό της παραμύθι, έναν άντρα όπως τον οραματιζόταν στο μυαλό της, και δεν μπορεί νομίζω κανείς να την κατηγορήσει για αυτό. Ειδικά σε μια εποχή όπου η συντριπτική πλειοψηφία τέτοιων περιπτώσεων ήταν καταδικασμένη να παραμείνει στη σφαίρα του ονείρου – μια προοπτική που ίσχυε αρχικά, εξάλλου, και για την ίδια την Ολίβια. Ποιος λοιπόν μπορεί να κατηγορήσει μια νέα κοπέλα που τη αρραβώνιασαν με κάποιον πριν ακόμη γεννηθούν και οι δύο, που ήξερε ανέκαθεν πως είναι προορισμένη να εκπληρώσει τις επιθυμίες τρίτων ενάντια στις δικές της, που της έχει απαγορευτεί να κάνει όνειρα για το μέλλον της;
Η Ολίβια και ο Κουίν είναι δύο χαρακτήρες που αναμφίβολα συμπληρώνουν ο ένας τον άλλον. Εκείνος μπορεί να κοντρολάρει τον σαρκασμό της και να ηρεμήσει τις ανασφάλειές της. Εκείνη μπορεί να τον κάνει να ξαναβρεί τη θέλησή του για ζωή και να πιστέψει στην αγάπη και σε ένα μέλλον όπου ο γάμος δεν θα είναι μια απλή διεκπεραίωση. Ως μεμον��μένοι χαρακτήρες, όμως, τόσο εκείνοι όσο και οι υπόλοιποι ήρωες, δεν είναι σε καμία περίπτωση ούτε πολύ συμπαθείς, ούτε ιδανικοί, ούτε και «παραμυθένιοι». Το χιούμορ τους σίγουρα κερδίζει στα σημεία, η χημεία τους είναι ολοφάνερη και οι σεξουαλικές τους αναστολές μάλλον ανύπαρκτες. Η συγκίνηση και η ευαισθησία δίνουν κι αυτές το δικό τους παρόν, κλέβοντας στιγμές-στιγμές τις εντυπώσεις. Πολύ έξυπνος και ο τρόπος που η συγγραφέας ενσωμάτωσε στη δική της ιστορία το πιο ιδιαίτερο στοιχείο του πρωτότυπου παραμυθιού -το μπιζέλι κάτω από το στρώμα-, κλείνοντας το μάτι στους αναγνώστες και οδηγώντας τελικά τους ήρωές της στο αναμενόμενο «κι έζησαν αυτοί καλά…».

Η κριτική μου για το βιβλίο και στο site "τοβιβλίο.net" και τον παρακάτω σύνδεσμο: Το τέλειο λάθος
Profile Image for Lynn Spencer.
1,244 reviews82 followers
June 12, 2020
I went into this book knowing only that other readers had told me it had a wonderful nerdy mathematician hero. I love fairytales and I'm always up for a nerdy hero, so I thought this would be a solid win.

Oh hell no. I'm nowhere near finished and I just want to launch it into space. Left out of the rave reviews is the fact that the heroine, Olivia, is already betrothed. The fiance is younger than she is (he's 18, she's early 20s) and he suffers from what sounds like a brain injury at birth. This man's disabilities and limitations get played for comic relief at times, the heroine clearly looks down on him, and I cannot believe someone actually found that acceptable.

I work with disabled adults professionally and as I read this book, I couldn't help thinking that some of the supposedly "good" characters in this story are exactly the sorts of people from whom my clients need protection. I've liked some of the series, but this installment is a pass.
Profile Image for Lisa (Remarkablylisa).
2,289 reviews1,828 followers
December 3, 2020
A very low 3!

This one was very complicated and angsty for a lot of reasons. A) Heroine is engaged to someone who has a learning disability and is in love with her little's sister's charming fiance who is our hero. B) Our hero does not care for the little sister and consistently cheats on her with heroine. C) Everyone thinks the heroine is pregnant because the parents forced them to be in the same room together and to do the dirty so she can be impregnated and like secure her title.

SO CRAZY!!! I hated the cheating. I hated how our heroine lied to her little sister. The little sister quickly stopped caring for the hero because she's so noble and gave up her fiance for her sister's happiness despite being lied to.

The ending was full of action including our heroine's fiance going off to war to save england and then almost dying and our heroine getting kidnapped and almost dying. I mean...

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Georgia.
1,031 reviews58 followers
February 23, 2021
Δείτε επίσης και στο Chill and read

Είπα φέτος θα διαβάσω περισσότερα ρομαντικά βιβλία και το κάνω πράξη! Και πολύ χαίρομαι γι’ αυτό, γιατί λόγο της σειράς Μπρίτζερτον που προβάλει το Netflix, το ιστορικό ρομαντικό μυθιστόρημα είναι και πάλι στη μόδα!

Αυτή τη φορά επέλεξα ένα βιβλίο της Eloiza James που κυκλοφορεί από τις Εκδόσεις Elxis. Πρόκειται για το τρίτο βιβλίο μιας σειράς εμπνευσμένης από παραμύθια, αλλά γραμμένα με ένα διαφορετικό τρόπο, τα λεγόμενα «retelling». Όπως έχω καταλάβει τα βιβλία είναι αυτοτελής ιστορίες, οπότε μπορεί να τα διαβάσει κανείς με όποια σειρά θέλει. Αυτό κάνω κι εγώ!

Βρισκόμαστε στη Βικτωριανή εποχή, πάνω κάτω, τότε που οι ευγενείς κατείχαν τα ινία στην Αγγλία και οι γονείς τους αποφάσιζαν ποιον ή ποια θα παντρευτούν. Οι περισσότεροι γάμοι, αν όχι όλοι ήταν συνοικέσια ή εμπορικές συμφωνίες. Στην περίπτωσή μας ήταν μια υπόσχεση ανάμεσα σε δύο φίλους. Ο ένας υποσχέθηκε τον αγέννητο πρωτότοκο γιο του και ο άλλος την αγέννητη πρωτότοκη κόρη του. Η κόρη γεννήθηκε πριν το γιο, αλλά αυτό δεν πτόησε κανέναν. Η κόρη επίσης γεννήθηκε με μια δίδυμη αδερφή, οπότε και οι δύο κοπέλες μπήκαν στην ίδια διαδικασία. Σε ολόκληρη τη ζωή τους εκπαιδεύτηκαν για να γίνουν δούκισσες κι αυτό φυσικά γιατί η μία από τις δύο επρόκειτο να παντρευτεί έναν μελλοντικό δούκα. Αλλά για να είναι σίγουροι, οι γονείς εκπαίδευσαν και τις δύο κόρες. Βλέπεται, καθώς δεν είχαν ευγενική καταγωγή, έπρεπε με κάθε τρόπο να φανούν αντάξιες ενός δούκα.

Η Ολίβια Λίτον, η μεγαλύτερη κατά επτά λεπτά αδερφή, είναι αυτή που στην ουσία είναι αρραβωνιασμένη με τον γιο του δούκα του Κάντεργουικ από τη στιγμή που γεννήθηκε. Μπορεί να μην είναι ευχαριστ��μένη με αυτό, ξέρει όμως ότι είναι ο καλύτερος τρόπος για να βοηθήσει την αδερφή της να παντρευτεί τον γοητευτικό δούκα του Σκονς. Αν όχι αυτό, τουλάχιστον να την προικίσει αρκετά ώστε να μπορέσει να κάνει έναν καλό γάμο.

Για την Τζορτζιάνα, ο Σκονς είναι ο ιδανικός σύζυγος. Έχουν κοινά ενδιαφέροντα, του αρέσει η μάθηση, όπως και σε εκείνη και γενικά ποια δε θα ήθελε να παντρευτεί ένα δούκα; Η απάντηση είναι απλή. Η αδερφή της γυναίκας με την οποία είναι ερωτευμένος ο δούκας! Και κάπως έτσι μπλέκεται το γαϊτανάκι της ιστορίας μας!

Το βιβλίο καταπιάνεται με διάφορα θέματα, τα οποία παρουσιάζονται όπως θα τα αντιμετώπιζαν οι άνθρωποι εκείνη την εποχή, πράγμα απολύτως φυσιολογικό να μη γίνονται αποδεκτά σήμερα. Από το γεγονός του κανονισμένοι γάμου της Ολίβια με έναν άνθρωπο πριν καν γεννηθούν, οπότε και πριν γνωριστούν. Αυτό από μόνο του διεγείρει κάποια ερωτηματικά. Μέχρι την αμφιλεγόμενη ερωτική σκηνή ανάμεσα στο αρραβωνιασμένο ζευγάρι. Αυτή από μόνη της θα μπορούσε να χαρακτηριστεί από εξαναγκαστική έως δεν ξέρω κι εγώ τι. Ακόμα και το ότι ο νεαρός μέλλοντας δούκας φαίνεται πως είναι διανοητικά ανάπηρος, πράγμα για το οποίο γίνεται μεγάλο θέμα τόσο μέσα στο βιβλίο όσο και έξω από αυτό.

Σίγουρα προκαλεί συζητήσεις, γιατί πλέον είμαστε σε μια εποχή που είναι αρκετά διαφορετική από την εποχή του βιβλίου. Αλλά αν κανείς εξαιρέσει θέματα που πλέον δεν γίνονται αποδεκτά, δεδομένου της εποχής στην οποία αναφέρεται το τονίζω, τότε είναι ένα βιβλίο που διαβάζεται πολύ ευχάριστα, καθώς και το ρομάντζο του το έχει και μια γερή δόση χιούμορ.
Profile Image for *CJ*.
4,195 reviews480 followers
February 2, 2018
"This Duke is Mine" is the story of Olivia and Quin.

A burnt by marriage-widowed hero whose mother wants him to marry again (being an expert and the multiple author of a "how to become a lady" books), while his primary interest is Science and Math.

A heroine chosen to be matched to a slow witted fiance because she has round figure and child bearing hips

A shitty family who SO desperately want to be a part of the dukedom that they coach their child for the same, and coerce her to seduce her fiance PRE-MARITALLY so she can get preggo- even making her follow a guide "The Mirror of Compliments" and remind her then and again of her duty to marry her betrothed, who is described in so many words as:
-FF, or foolish fiancé
-HH or half-wit husband
-BB or brainless betrothed
-MM or mindless marito or mindless mari
-brains more scrambled than an egg custard
-brainpower of a gnat
-having potato-shaped nose and pendulous lower lip

The MOST cringy part of the book was the detailed, almost copulation scene between our mean h and OM- I mean. EW. I dont like to read about OM's privates.

Anyways, so the heroine's sister is to be engaged to the hero (Duke of Sconce) while the heroine is betrothed to the OM (Marquess of Montsurrey, Rupert or R).

The heroine Olivia (O) and her sister Georgiana (G) go to our hero Duke, Quin's house where his mother is choosing a bride for him. As soon as the h and H meet, sparks fly while both know they are completely inappropriate for one another- they cant resist their kisses- to remind you- G likes Q, and O is engaged to R.

One thing I found weird was that though Q found G perfect for him, he liked the heroine because he appreciated her luscious assets and big bosom/buttocks. The book then proceeds to them heavily kissing while cheating on both their almost fiances'- until they get G's approval and caught by his mother. Soon they decide they are perfect for each other and will fight obstacles to bang and marry. Then there is mother drama, fiance returning from war drama, rescue drama, confession drama- and thank god after that the book FINALLY ends.

After reading this cringefest, the only person I felt sorry for was Rupert. He most likely suffered from HII due to lack of oxygen during birth, was MR/autistic with love for his dog Lucy, and got mocked/berated by everyone.

Secondly, I get that the author wanted to show the H's love for curves, but to mock G was just petty.
Finally, I come to the positive points.

I can say is that the book does try to redeem itself in the last half, has good lovemaking and a gorgeous cover- and I adored adored the epilogue. But the first half, the plot, the mocking left a bad taste in my mouth.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Nikki.
179 reviews54 followers
January 1, 2012
4 stars.

This started out so promising and was heavily laden with all the fabulous tongue-in-cheek humour that EJ does so well. It was a good read, great story, gorgeous H/h but it just didn't hit the spot completely for me.

I can't describe exactly why it left me slightly bemused; perhaps because there seemed to be a lot of nonsensical goings on in the latter part of the book and it really wasn't needed.

As per the blurb, Olivia Lytton has been betrothed to the son of a duke since before birth - never mind the fact that he is 5 years her junior and slightly (but adorably) dimwitted. Olivia and Rupert are being forced to marry by their parents and are therefore obediently doing what they must. The plot thickens when (prior to the betrothed pair being married) Olivia is sent with her sister, Georgiana, to the country estate of the Duke of Sconce (aka the hero, Quin), as Quin is seeking a wife and Olivia's future father-in-law has put in a good word for Georgie. Confused? It may seem a stretch but it all worked marvellously in the book.

Of course Olivia and Quin start to fall for one another and while this would normally sound alarm bells for me, I found it refreshing that any tired romance formula that could have reared its ugliness in this scenario, didn't.
Quin wandered among the guests feeling like a ghost: a human shell with a semblance of a face but no other distinctions than incredibly bad luck when it came to women.
He danced with Georgiana after dinner. He tracked Olivia from the corner of his eye, saw how she passed from man to man, how they ogled her and laughed with her and generally fell in love with her and into envy of the marquess. [...]
He walked from room to room, because if he kept moving, people didn't try to stop him and talk of the marquess. "Envy" was a pale word to describe the emotion he felt: it was more like rage, pure hatred, livid, bone-deep jealousy.
But as I said, instead of digging a bit deeper and focussing on the characters and the emotions and what was happening, it just seemed that EJ took the setting to a place where it just didn't really need to be. That's my opinion anyway.

I don't want to take away from the fabulous, witty writing or these entrancing characters, though; this was a lovely holiday read and I look forward to more stories in the Fairy Tales series.
Profile Image for Yodamom.
2,003 reviews195 followers
June 18, 2012
Oh the anguish, this story was depressing, degrading and not at all like her previous books. Olivia Lytton, is one of the most despicable heroines. She has been engaged since childhood to a Duke who has some mental issues.She can't stop herself from calling him names and laughing about him. She was everything I dislike in a person. She degrades her finance', betrays her sister, and lies to their faces. Despicable behavior for a romantic character. But she was not the only one.
Enter Tarquin, Duke of Sconce the hero ??? LOL. This man is a complete ass. He plays with the affections of one woman while fantasizing over another. the worst of this they are sisters ! There is no redemption beyond that.
The title of the book should have been " Petty, Spoiled Toads

The only worthwhile characters are Lucy and Rupert. Rupert the young Duke who loves his dog Lucy writes poems and fancies Olivia as his friend. He has some mental issues from the events of his birth, which everybody seems to use against him. I found him a lovable smart and a wholesome man. he was the only character beyond the dog that was a true hero. His story was riddled with sorrow and disrespect.
I was offended by Ms. James writing in this book. I have loved her previous works so i will move on and hope this was a one book deal.
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