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ARC Review: The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James

Submitted by on August 27, 2012 – 4:00 am2 Comments

Author: Eloisa James
Tittle: The Ugly Duchess
Release: August 28th 2012
Series: Fairy Tales 4
Reviewer: Mona
Source: Avon (edelweiss)
Purchase: | Book Depository

How can she dare to imagine he loves her…when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess ?

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke’s passion.

Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months.

Theo would have given it a lifetime…until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry. Society was shocked by their wedding; it’s scandalized by their separation.

Now James faces the battle of his lifetime, convincing Theo that he loved the duckling who blossomed into the swan.

And Theo will quickly find that for a man with the soul of a pirate, All’s Fair in Love—or War

I’m a huge Eloisa James fan. That being said, I didn’t enjoy this book. Why? The characters are too angry, too bitter, and their lives progress in ways sure to shut out the other. Though it’s based on the story of the ugly duckling, this duckling doesn’t give us much of a reason to cheer her on.

Life has dealt James and Theo a potentially devastating blow. Rather than deal with it, small-breasted Theo becomes a bitter, inflexible shrew. She kicks James out and he runs off to become a pirate. The titled pirate part alone was more than my imagination could accept.

I found neither character likeable, the story line was harsh, and the ending a little too pat. James’s life as a sailor/pirate went on far too long making his reunion with Theo impossible to believe—too much water under the bridge.

As I read the book, I just knew I would have lots to say about it, but by the end, I’d changed my mind. Sometimes less really is more.

Mona's first grade teacher, Mrs. Stanford, gifted her with the love of reading. For that, she'll always live in her heart. But reading took over Mona's life, eclipsing everything but playing sports, and has continued to be a huge part of her life. Although she has always written poetry and stories for her self, last year she decided to try her hand at writing fiction. She is currently editing her first urban fantasy and hopes to have it ready for the agent by summer's end. Besides reading, Mona loves speed in the form of fast cars. The faster, the better! In her next life, she plans to drive race cars (or whatever happens to be their replacement in the future) all while reading and writing. She has also taken up rune reading, and find it to be disturbingly accurate and exciting.
Doll Mona Leigh