Author: Eloisa James
Series: Duchess Quartet
Published: 2002 by Avon
Source: Purchased Paperback
Disclaimer: I finished this book Oct 29, 2008 at which time I wrote this review. I originally posted it on the Shelfari website but am now transferring all of those reviews to my blog just in case Shelfari ceases to exist.
Review: This was my first Eloisa James book and was a little unsure if I liked her writing style or not. I thought it was interesting that instead of just dancing at a ball she was specific as to what type of dances that were done and even mentioned a few steps involved in one. I didn't know what any of the dances were (except the waltz) so the names read like foreign words to me.
The Duchess Gina and her friends are all married women without husbands. They all live separately from their husbands and tend to cause the ton talking with their actions. Gina was forced to marry Cam when she was 11 by his father to "protect" the family name from the scandal of her birth. Cam was 18 and as soon as the vows were taken he snuck out the window and fled to Greece. 12 years later Gina has grown weary of being a married innocent woman and has met someone else and petitions Cam to grant her an annulment. Cam comes to England to do so but realizes little Gina has grown into a stunning woman.
This book was interesting in the aspect that I really was not sure I was enjoying reading it for the first half of the book. I thought it fell into the "OK" "middle of the road" range as far as books go. Then it got really good. You find that not only are Gina and Cam having their story told but you also see her friends get theirs told too. Esme and Carola find love too. To tell the truth, it was their part of the story that really made me emotional. It is their stories within Gina's that brought my opinion of this book from an average 3 star rating to a 4.
Another thing...any writer who can take a man that you really don't care much for and turn him into a tasty muffin is a great writer. Case in point. Gina plans on marrying Sebastian. He spends most of the book talking about the proper way to act and although marrying Gina he displays no passion for her (that wouldn't be proper). Somehow, Eloisa James turns this stuck up, pompous jerk into a serious morsel. No kidding.