Thursday, April 2, 2015

Review + Giveaway: Four Nights with the Duke

Desperate Duchesses #8
Eloisa James
Historical Romance
384 pages
Avon
Available Now
Source: eARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia's audacious proposal, but there's one thing he won't give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil's bargain...he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can't afford to lose.

MY THOUGHTS
Four Nights with the Duke is a captivating and emotional read, giving us an antagonistic relationship that keeps us questioning whether or not these two will ever find their way to happily ever after despite knowing it's exactly where they're headed. Many antagonistic relationships are full of witty banter; sly insults delivered with a smirk and a little sexual innuendo to let some of the attraction slip through the pretense of dislike. The relationship between Mia and Vander is not characterized by the more playful type of antagonism however, instead what exists between the two of them for much of the book is years of pain, anger, and more than a little humiliation on Mia’s part. As a result, our hearts ache for her from prologue to concluding chapters, wanting nothing more for her than to find the happiness she deserves.

From the moment Mia stands up from her hiding spot at age fifteen and confronts the group of boys, including Vander, who are mocking a poem she wrote professing her love for him, we can’t help but be madly in love with her. While the fact that she blackmails Vander into marrying her (with a very serious accusation should the information she has get out) isn’t something we can really condone, her reasons for doing so are extraordinarily selfless, and she pays far more than the penance due in the early days of her marriage. Vander’s insults are not of the witty or flirty variety, rather they're words honed to sharp points and aimed with unerring precision, inflicting as much lasting damage as possible and leaving us feeling nothing but protective of the young woman who’s trying to do what’s best for her family.

Vander therefore takes much longer to warm to than Mia, our anger at him for not defending her and her poem fairly mild given he was a mere fifteen at the time as well, but his righteous anger at her in the present for not only the blackmail but also the somewhat sordid history between their families keeps a fair amount of distance between us. He also has the rather frustrating habit of communicating almost solely in intimate terms, seeking physical closeness with Mia whenever his mouth gets him in trouble and staying notably silent in lieu of explaining himself. What keeps this habit from being downright irritating is Mia’s reaction to this repetitive process, letting him know time and again that his method of communicating leaves a lot to be desired on an emotional level.

In the end though, Vander shows a great deal of growth and maturity, using his words to comfort and woo rather than hurt, but he also helps Mia to see what's being said when he says nothing at all. Overall, Four Nights with a Duke is beautifully emotional, leaving us feeling raw and on edge much of the time before soothing us with a tender moment between the two of them or a laugh thanks to Vander’s charming lush of an uncle. Lovers of historical romance will not want to miss out on this one.

Rating: 4.5/5

Order Four Nights with the Duke:

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ELOISA JAMES

A New York Times bestselling author, Eloisa James is a professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but who can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. (Her husband is an honest to goodness Italian knight!) Eloisa’s website offers short stories, extra chapters, and even a guide to shopping in Florence. Visit her at www.eloisajames.com.


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TOUR + GIVEAWAY

http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/12/four-nights-with-duke-desperate.html

Thanks to Tasty Book Tours and the fabulous people at Avon, I have a very special giveaway to accompany my review today! Up for grabs is the complete Desperate Duchesses series (books 1-7), so be sure an enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US/Canada only.

Be sure and check out the full list of participating blogs as well for more reviews, excerpts and special content!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

25 comments:

  1. Oh gosh, I can see why this was an emotional read Jenny! It sounds terrific though. Wonderful review and thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. I really enjoyed this one Ali! Highly recommend:)

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  2. It has been ages since I read a book by her and I want to read one now

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    1. Yay! I hope you give this one a try!

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  3. OH man. don't get me wrong, I love me some contemptuous relationship as much as the next girl, but this one just sounds painful. Anyway, I'm glad it all worked out in the end for you, though. :D

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    1. It was painful, but you knew it was going to work out in the end, so that made it more bearable:)

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  4. This sounds like a fantastic historical romance and one that I feel I'll add to my wish list after all!
    Great review Jenny!

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    1. This was my first Eloisa James historical romance and I can't wait to read more now Pili:)

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  5. I'm not usually a fan of historical novel but sometimes they catch my attention and this one certainly certainly does. I must have a look at the previous books too. Great review, Jenny!

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    1. I haven't read any of the previous books so this one stood on its own really well:)

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  6. You know, I hate angst, but this kind of angst I can totally tolerate, Jenny! I've never read a HR by Eloisa James, but that's about to change! My heart already aches for these characters and that's always a good sign.
    Wonderful review, Jenny!

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    1. YES! Me too Nick. I know things are going to work out, and there won't be any cheating or anything like that, so I can deal with unfolds between them:)

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  7. I'm not sure, I wonder if this would be too frustrating for me. It's so hard with romance because there are so many things I dislike about them (often) but sometimes it's just so worth reading anyway and once in awhile I absolutely love them. This sounds pretty intriguing, I'd definitely curious!

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    1. I thoroughly enjoyed this Candace! I understood both sides, and I couldn't do anything but root for Mia:)

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  8. Thank you for hosting FOUR NIGHTS WITH THE DUKE!

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    1. Thanks for letting me be a part of the tour!

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  9. I haven't read this author before and I'm always wary of the overly emotional reads that use anger and sharp words to truly hurt, but you've completely sold me on this, Jenny. It sounds a lot like the Sherry Thomas romances I enjoy and I cannot wait to meet these two! Thanks for putting this on my radar, dear! :)

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    1. I hope you give it a try Keertana! Their relationship was full of sharp edges for sure, but I loved how it all unfolded:)

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  10. Oh book 8 and it's always that good? That's so great! I love a good historical romance novel but I haven't tried this author yet. Soon!

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    1. I haven't read the first 7, so I can't attest to the previous books, but if they're anything like this one I can't wait to read them:)

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  11. I don't think I have seen this series before. Either way, it sounds like a great romance and I like that the female MC shows such terrific growth.

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    1. I do so love a good historical romance Heidi!

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  12. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jenny. I love a good historical romance.

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  13. Eloisa James has not let me down in any of her stories. Looking forward to reading Four Nights.

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