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Publisher's Summary

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... and is scandalized by their separation.
Now James faces the battle of his life, convincing Theo that he loves 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 - and War.
©2012 Eloisa James (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By pewter on 09-07-12

Overly Depressing

I love the pure entertainment found in a well-narrated historical romance novel. I accept that these books follow a certain formula with misunderstanding, angst and reconcilliation. Sometimes the journey is humorous and sometimes the journey is sad, but the best books have a mix of both. This one did not.

I liked the premise of this book with the ugly duckling and the rich handsome hero who has the character to see past the surface. I didn't get too hung up on the fact that they were raised as siblings. I just couldn't get beyond the passive behaviors of supposedly strong personalities -- a take-charge woman and a successful pirate captain -- who wallow in misery for years. Even the life changing events are weak -- she says "get out" and he says "OK" and disappears for seven years.

I could have gotten past the plot weaknesses if there had been a touch of humor or quirky secondary characters. For my taste, the pendulum swung too far to extreme sadness and wallowing. I had to keep listening because I knew there would be a happy ending -- I just wanted to get past the many years of truly miserable lives. The books I enjoy tend to have some relief along the way, but this one required perseverance.

As usual, Susan Duerden does a stellar job of narration. It's always a pleasure to hear her performances.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Karen on 09-06-12

A fresh approach to a classic tale

Any additional comments?

I was pulled right into the story from the beginning. James and Daisy (Theodora) were star crossed lovers from the start but torn apart by lies and deceit. Although there were parts that lagged, overall the story was interesting and fun. I felt to much attention was payed to things of no interest and not enough to things that were but I can forgive because I really enjoy Eloisa James writing overall. The story is fun and adventurous, it's plot bound up in Hans Christian Anderson's book "The ugly duckling". Although Theodora is not classically beautiful in the eyes of society, her husband James finds her lovely beyond compare. His unwavering love and admiration for Theodora is touching. Don't we all want to be adored by someone? Theodora's independence and strength are refreshing and a good role model for young girls everywhere. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. The narrator is really good. I didn't think I cared for her at first but as the story went on I realized her strength. She moved the story along very well, not reading to fast or to slow. She could change gender roles very well and pronounced things clearly and concisely. Overall I say a very good story and well worth a listen.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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