THIS DUCHESS OF MINE
May 26, 2009
Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Historical Romance; 18 and Up
Rating: 4 Cups
Jemma, the Duchess of Beaumont, had the horrible misfortune of falling in love with her arranged husband. After only a few weeks of marriage, the sham of love fell away when Jemma found her husband having sex on his work desk with his mistress, just hours after leaving their marriage bed. With a broken heart, she fled her home and left for Paris where she vowed to mend her heart with one affair after another.
Elijah, the Duke of Beaumont, swore he would not end up like his father, found to be tied to his bed dead after two beautiful women wore him out. Therefore, he flaunted his mistress to show the world he was not like his father who was aptly named Bawdy Beaumont. When Jemma found him, it shocked him to realize he never really wanted a mistress; he just wanted his wife back. But how could he do that when he had just broken her heart?
Years have passed and Jemma is back from Paris, after she and Elijah calmly talked about starting a family and getting him the heir he needs. Now that their plans have been coldly calculated, the duchess recognizes that her love for Elijah is not over, that she loves him still and wants the grand passion and love affair for a marriage. With that thought in mind, Jemma formulates a plan of her own, which is to woo her husband and make him need only her and fall in love with her. Before the strategy can work, though, Elijah finds himself with a weak heart not from love, but from a disease that killed his father, and he may only have weeks left before he too succumbs to the grave.
This Duchess of Mine is the story of how two people with an arranged marriage came from some difficult moments in their past to triumph. At first, the story was slow and the buildup was not enough to hold my interest. Then, about midway through, Ms. James really caught my attention, and I found myself enthralled with Elijah and Jemma’s story and how they fought for what they wanted. The adultery factor may have been realistic, especially for that time period, but it was a huge turnoff for me and at times I discovered I was slightly disgusted with both the duke and duchess for their moral values. On the whole, though, I noticed how great the story was. The sensual dance of seduction between Jemma and Elijah was beautifully written and I did fall in love with these two characters. With some very spicy sex and teaser scenes, especially the Roman bath scene (WOW!), this story of finding love after a second glance is a great read for any romance reader.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More