An Affair Before Christmas : Desperate Duchesses

  • by Eloisa James
  • Narrated by Susan Duerden
  • Series: Desperate Duchesses
  • 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Magic under the mistletoe.
One spectacular Christmas, Lady Perdita Selby, known to her friends and family as Poppy, met the man she thought she would love forever. The devilishly attractive Duke of Fletcher was the perfect match for the innocent, breathtakingly beautiful young Englishwoman, and theirs was the most romantic wedding she had ever seen. Four years later, Poppy and the duke have become the toast of the town. But behind closed doors the spark of their love affair has burned out.
Unwilling to lose the woman he still lusts after, the duke is determined to win back his beguiling bride's delectable affections - and surpass the heady days of first love with a truly sinful seduction.

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What the Critics Say

"Eloisa James’ elegantly written historical romance, sparkles with her distinctive brand of delicious sensuality and wicked wit." (Chicago Tribune)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Book 2 in a series!

I can understand the frustreration in the previous reviews as this book can not stand alone. Only two characters situations are wrapped up as the others stories continue to progress until their stories are told further along in the series. Poppy and Fletch are not introduced in the first book so a great deal of time is spent developing their characters. James creates an entire world for her characters to live in. There are complicated connections that must be explained and read in order to understand. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will read the other books in the series to find out what happens to the others. A decent love scene is not revealed until the last part of the book, but is entirely worth the wait. Of course the problem between this married couple could be solved by honest conversation but that is not how things were done in those times. In my opinion that is whay I read this type of novel. I enjoy the long suffering periods of struggle between the characters as it makes the resolution so much sweeter. I missed the characters after the story was over. Since an audio book does not exist for the last remaining books in the series, I have ordered the paperbacks. I must say I haven't read a book in years preffering the flexibily of audio titles. Worth it if you like the long suffering, minimal interaction that is characteristic of this genre. Also, PLEASE READ IN ORDER!
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- Michelle

I'm Torn

There were things I loved and hated about this book. When Poppy met the Duke, it was love at first sight for both of them. But four years into the relationship, there is NO passion, and perhaps no love. Unfortunately, because of the way EJ crafted the characters, the reader has to blame Poppy for their failed relationship. In EJ's quest to make Poppy innocent & naive, she has (perhaps unwittingly) made Poppy stupid & annoying. I can understand that because of the time period Poppy has little knowledge of marital relations. And because of her less than stellar mother, the knowledge she does have is tainted by an extreme hatred of men. But, Poppy's continued ignorance so far into her marriage makes her do and say things that are truly stupifying. You will honestly want to shake/slap some sense into her. Sadly, it was impossible to sympathize with her. And then, when Poppy is finally able to overcome her issues, she does so in such an overly-dramatic way that it's a bit eye-roll inducing.

BUT, there are some really good parts of this book. Ironically, it's all the other plots in the story that make it enjoyable. I liked the way EJ weaved other love stories into this one. I think this what she does best. It makes you eager to read the next novel. In fact, it was my experience reading "The Duchess Quartet" series that made me want to read this one.

All in all, if you're going to read the other books in this series I think you'll have to read this one simply to understand what's going on later. But maybe you can skip some of the Poppy and the Duke portions.

The saving grace for this book may have been Susan Duerden's narration. Some of her male voices were a bit too nasal to be attractive. But overall I thought she did a good job and helped the reader stay interested.
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- Queen Squared

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-13-2010
  • Publisher: HarperAudio