THE UGLY DUCHESS
ISBN: (13)9780062021731/ (13)9780062197962
28 August 2012
Rating: 4 Cups
Theodora Saxby would have traded her fortune for a pretty face and a voluptuous figure. When her childhood friend, James, proposes marriage in a public and decidedly romantic fashion, Theo is ecstatic. She can deal with the London papers calling her the Ugly Duchess as long as James loves her. When she realizes he has married her on his father’s orders, Theo demands a separation and orders her husband to leave England.
Bullied by his spendthrift father, the Duke of Ashbrook, James Ryburn marries his childhood friend and confidante for her dowry. He is disgusted by the circumstances of the wedding, but truly loves his bride and hopes for the best. When the scheme is discovered, James is ordered to leave England. He takes up piracy, but no matter how far he runs or how much treasure he acquires he cannot stop thinking about the woman he has left behind.
Two misguided young lovers can do a lot of growing up in seven years. When James returns to England to claim his wife, he finds the duckling has morphed into a cold, calculating swan. But James is no green boy trying to woo a maiden. The life of a pirate has taught him cunning, patience and how to win what he wants no matter the cost.
The author’s strong characterization of both Theo and James makes them leap off the page like the sort of people readers would want to know in real life. Both are horrendously flawed yet redeemably loveable. The author manages to convince the reader to sympathize with both the hero and heroine. Although this makes the HEA much sweeter, it would have been magnificent to see just a little more of their learning to compromise as adults.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More