“A book review is a description, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of a book, not a retelling.”
Title: Duchess in Love
Author: Eloisa James
Publisher: Avon, Historical Fiction
Date 1st Published: 2002
Ambrogina Serrard, Duchess of Girton had not seen her husband, Camden Serrard, erstwhile Duke of Girton, since their wedding day when she was merely twelve years old. An eighteen-year-old rebel himself, he had snuck out the window and escaped to the continent leaving Gina to fend for herself against his father and her mother. He did not return home for his father’s funeral but would return home to grant Gina an annulment so she could marry her love; Sebastian, Marquess Bonnington.
Ensconced in the English countryside at a houseparty, Gina and her friends strive to both avoid and attract their estranged husbands. Hilarity, miscommunication and midnight trysts ensue. While trying to prove that her “fiance’” won’t stop loving her after marriage, she unwittingly inspires, of all things, the love of her “husband.”
An illegitimate Duchess, hypocritical aristocracy much lust and some love, death, pregnancy, scandal and naked sculptures make this novel both fun and semi-typical.
Critical analysis and evaluation on quality, meaning and significance:
While this proverbial “romp” in the English countryside is both enjoyable and intriguing, it is not Georgette Heyer. But I don’t want to compare Eloisa James to the Historical romance goddess, and I’ll just say that I liked this book; I was not bored, I did not find it too predictable and the setting was fun. I found some editing mistakes but I suppose those always exist.
Unfortunately, I cannot say that there is much meaning and significance in this work. I really can’t use that measure for my fun fiction so I’m going to have find a different appraisal strategy.