‘This Duchess of Mine’ by Eloisa James

tdom-ejSTORY: No man can resist Jemma’s sensuous allure . . . Except her own husband!

Wedding bells celebrating the arranged marriage between the lovely Duchess of Beaumont and her staid, imperturbable duke had scarcely fallen silent when a shocking discovery sent Jemma running from the ducal mansion. For the next nine years she cavorted abroad, creating one delicious scandal after another (if one is to believe the rumors).

Elijah, Duke of Beaumont, did believe those rumors.

But the handsome duke needs an heir, so he summons his seductive wife home. Jemma laughs at Elijah’s cool eyes and icy heart—but to her secret shock, she doesn’t share his feelings. In fact, she wants the impossible: her husband’s heart at her feet.

But what manner of seduction will make a man fall desperately in love . . . with his own wife?

REVIEW: Let me start this review with telling you not to do what I did. Don’t read this series out-of-order. I started with the book one, Desperate Duchesses (Desperate Duchesses, #1) , then I skipped to Duchess By Night (Desperate Duchesses, #3) , followed by A Duke of Her Own (Desperate Duchesses, #6)  and finally this one, This Duchess of Mine (Desperate Duchesses, #5) . I still have to read An Affair Before Christmas (Desperate Duchesses #2) and When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4). Which I’ll probably do next week.

It’s very important that this particular series be read in order, especially because of this couple. We’ve met the hero and heroine in book one and all through the series they come in and out so that by the time we get their own story, we already have preconceived notions of who they are and what their personalities are like.

We already know that their marriage was prearranged when they were very young and that they really didn’t know each other much when the marriage took place. Jemma, our heroine, began to fall in love with her husband, that is until one faithful afternoon she drops by his office in Parliament, and finds him having sex with another woman. And that was that for these two.

Jemma decides to bail and high tails it to France, proceeding to flaunt her many affairs, just to embarrass her husband. For NINE years she’s been living in France and evading the responsibility she, as well as Elijah, had toward the title, producing an heir. The only reason she comes back to England is to produce an heir because apparently Elijah may not have much time to live. The man has some heart defect.

Right there was my first problem with these two. Infidelity in romance, at least for me, is off-putting and it needs to have a significant plot in order for me to change my mind about it, like there really wasn’t any real “cheating”, or the heroine was still a virgin, while the hero is assuming otherwise. Stuff like that will redeem the story for me.  No such luck in this story.

My second problem was the start of this book. I truly couldn’t recognize the two as the people I’ve met in the first four books. Slowly, I finally begun to recognize them and it took me a long time to at least understand them, but I never bought into the love they finally professed to each other.

What I loved about this book is the secondary plot of the Duke of Villars’s character development and his search for his illegitimate children. I recommend this book on this alone.

Melanie for b2b

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