Eloisa James: Desperate Duchesses


I’m very ambivalent when it comes to this book. I keep thinking, I liked this part, but, then I start thinking, I don’t think that was good, but…. – and in the end I’m basically not sure. 🙂

Let me try and explain. It is historical romance but set a bit earlier than what I usually read so lovers while one is married are common, and encouraged. Ok, we then learn that our main characters might not be in that vein but still, many others featuring in the story are. Or at least seem to be.

Then, Roberta first seems  rather silly with her notions of love only to learn seriousness and more about herself in a matter of days making her into a complete person.  The story keeps being light-heartedly funny and then trying to look serious so you’re never sure what exactly it’s supposed to be.

I realize Mrs. James is a Shakespeare connoisseur and the story shows it but I’m not sure it works that desperatewell. Although I’m not sure it has actually anything to do with Shakespeare, it’s more like the moving ground you’re on is not making this an easy-to-like novel.

But once we get past the initial adulterous inclinations (they are like teenagers, lusting, loving, liking not being sure what is which), the contours of romantical love start to appear.  I just can’t seem to reconcile the different points into a satisfying whole. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the story, but it does mean I am not sure I will be picking up another book from the series. I believe I might enjoy Jemma’s story but I’m not sure I can read more about that particular type of marriages and extra-marital activities.

I guess it bothers me in my romantic inclinations. 🙂

What I could do is read more of the wonderfully funny and convoluted dialogues. Those were great.

We’ll see if another Eloisa James book review appear here, you’ll know then if I succumbed. 😉

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One thought on “Eloisa James: Desperate Duchesses

  1. […] 14. Eloisa James: Desperate Duchesses […]


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