Desperate Duchesses (Desperate Duchesses, Bk 1)
Desperate Duchesses - Desperate Duchesses, Bk 1 Author:Eloisa James Welcome to a world of reckless sensuality and glittering sophistication... of dangerously handsome gentlemen and young ladies longing to gain a title... of games played for high stakes, including -- on occasion -- a lady's virtue. — A marquess's sheltered only daughter, Lady Roberta St. Giles falls in love with a man she glimpses across a... more » crowded ballroom: a duke, a game player of consummate skill, a notorious rakehell who shows no interest in marriage -- until he lays eyes on Roberta.
Yet the Earl of Gryffyn knows too well that the price required to gain a coronet is often too high. Damon Reeve, the earl, is determined to protect the exquisite Roberta from chasing after the wrong destiny.
Can Damon entice her into a high-stakes game of his own, even if his heart is likely to be lost in the venture?« less
Cali (Cali) - reviewed Desperate Duchesses (Desperate Duchesses, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 10
- I was very disappointed in this book from Ms. James! =(
- Started out with too many characters to quick to try and sort.
- And these are NOT the typical characters we love to read from Ms. James. Nothing like the "Essex" sisters we loved and laughed and cried with. This group is very superficial, self-absorbed, and even display some downright sleazy tastes to some extent.
- Roberta & Damon are very unattractive as the main couple until the very last part of the book. Roberta didn't like children and Damon had a bastard son. Roberta would tell him to "shoo, leave her alone" and also threatened to throw his kitten in the river...several times. She was horrid!
- I was much more interested in Duchess Jemma and Beaumont. I wanted to read what more of what happened early on in their marriage to force the separation because it's obvious (and these were the only 2 characters in the book *to* show real feelings for one another) they had the real story!
- Ms. James is one of my favorite authors but this is my least favorite book by her ever. =( It always has to happen sooner or later but this one really surprised me.
Lady Roberta is SO naive in her vision of a happy marriage that she is laughable. She is also plagued by a father who cares nothing for his, or his families' reputation, almost ruining Robert's chances for marriage to anyone. The Duke she fixes her affections on is a thoroughly unlikable sort who has no feelings for others and cares for nothing except finding a worthy chess partner. The Earl who decides he may be falling for Roberta and plans to save her from herself, starts out as a shallow jokester, whose only redeeming feature is his affection for his bastard son. AND Roberta's sponsor in society has returned to her husband for the first time in 8 years only to give him an heir before he dies. To watch the characters' metamorphasis from self-interested, rather hateful people, into likeable characters...along with the many story lines going on at the same time, kept this book interesting. I do hope James continues with the story of the Duke and Duchess of Beaumont which was one of the side lines of Desperate Duchess.
Eloisa James is beyond a doubt one of my favorite authors of this genre and this is certainly one of her best. She had me sputtering and snorting through each chapter and all the characters are quite endearing.
She gets better with each new tale. There are a lot of loose threads left dangling in this storyline (which is not nearly as bad as a dangling pizzle, as Master Teddy will assure you) and I can't wait for the next installment.
This book was very hard to hold my interest. First, Roberta, falls in love with a guy who loves chess to the exclusion of all else. Second, the book spends too much time on Jemma's and Villiers' chess games and some more time on the bad marrage between Jemma and Elijah. By the time the book starts to focus on Roberta and Damon, Damon is already in love with her and you have no idea why. The book never really goes in-depth into Damon's character, except to show he can get a woman pregnant (who never wanted a kid so she dumps the child on Damon) and then be affectionate with the child. I'm making sure this shows up on my 'books I've read' list because I don't want to accidentally read it again (I'm sure to forget this book quickly).
I honestly dont know what the author was thinking when she wrote this book! I understand that she was setting up the series but come on. I honestly think that Damon and Roberta only took up A QUARTER of the whole book. What's worse is that the scenes of the two of them were promising and left you wanting more...he was sweet and she was witty, and his child was adorably rambunctious. But then the next 70 pages would be about the duchess and Beaumont and Villiers and chess until you got another snippet of Roberta and Damon. Ms. James should take notes from Julia Quinns Bridgerton series on how to write connecting stories that still have main characters. Honestly if this was written maybe as a supplemental character guide it would be one thing, but I wanted to be swept away in Roberta and Damons story!!! Ps...can someone email me if they know who Teddys mother is from the rest of the books (I'm sure not reading them)? I can't believe she didn't say who it was!!