Once Upon a Tower
By: Eloisa James
Once upon a time…
A duke fell in love
Gowan Stoughton of Craigievar, Duke of Kinross, values order and self-control above all else. So when he meets a lady as serene as she is beautiful, he promptly asks for her hand in marriage.
With a lady
Edie—whose passionate temperament is the opposite of serene—had such a high fever at her own debut ball that she didn’t notice anyone, not even the notoriously elusive Duke of Kinross. When her father accepts his offer… she panics.
And when their marriage night isn’t all it could be, she pretends.
In a tower.
But Edie’s inability to hide her feelings makes pretending impossible, and when their marriage implodes, she retreats to a tower—locking Gowan out.
Now Gowan faces his greatest challenge. Neither commands nor reason work with his spirited young bride. How can he convince her to give him the keys to the tower…
When she already has the keys to his heart?
I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I adore Eloisa James. She has a way with words that just draws me into the story and forces me to stay with it until I find myself on the wrong side of 3am with a happy smile on my face. As much as I love Eloisa James, Once Upon a Tower never hooked me as her other books have done. Gowan, a very handsome Duke, comes to London and falls for Edie, a young fiery debutante. Gowan falls for her because he finds her so quiet and demure. Unfortunately when he first meets her, unbenowst to him, Edie was extremely sick so its not the most successful introductions, at least on her side.
As all great romances go, Edie and Gowan are married in grand order and he takes her to Scotland, the seat of his power. Almost immediately they are at odds with one another over a number of issues. Sexual, emotional, and mental problems persist with neither party on the same page.
To be honest, I loved Edie but hated her counterpart, Gowan. He seemed so confused and just misunderstood almost everything. I know this is a historical but it was a little unbelievable he was so clueless about so many things. Then to stay confused and be so bullheaded, it was just frustrating. His motivations behind his feelings and the reasons he did the things he did never really gelled for me either.
I do adore Eloisa’s use of fairy tales and I found the tie in during this novel pretty cute. I loved trying to guess how the Rapunzel theme would be used and I was surprised and excited when it finally came to fruition. Honestly this isn’t a bad book, the characters just never worked for me.
This won’t be my last Eloisa James book but its not even close to her best. I’m usually never able to put down a James book but this one was a struggle to get through and I’ll admit, I might have set it down for a week or more before finishing. I would suggest if you are a fan, don’t miss it but please, if you've never read her before, try The Ugly Duchess or When Beauty Tamed the Beast.
Publisher: Avon Romance
# of Pages: 402
Date of Publication: May 28, 2013
Source: Edelweiss for Review