Thursday, August 23, 2012

"The Ugly Duchess" By: Eloisa James Review

The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales, #4)
"The Ugly Duchess" 
By: Eloisa James

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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; it's scandalized by their separation.
Now James faces the battle of his lifetime, convincing Theo that he loved 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—or War.
My Thoughts:
    Eloisa James has done it again! By taking the premise of a fairy tale, two completely different characters, a dash of romance, and a pirate, “The Ugly Duchess” enchants, entertains, and entrances. Never disappointed, I think her newest work may be one of my favorite James romance yet.
    Theadora and James had known each other since they were children. At the beginning of the tale, James finds out that his father has been embezzling money from Theadora’s dowry. He must marry Theo to protect both her money and his father’s reputation. Theo is enchanted by James after their first kiss and becomes devastated when she overhears his father dismiss her looks and reveal what he has done with her money.
      Embarrassed and ashamed, James leaves Theo for a number of years. When he finally returns to England after a number of years, both James and Theo have changed dramatically. James has become a privateer (Ha! more like a pirate) and a commander of men while Theo has become a “swan.” She is fashionable, confident, and independent while also staying true to her feisty nature.
     When I first read this was going to be a take on The ugly Duckling, I was intrigued. It could so easily have become one of those cliche romances, yet it never becomes that. The story flows excellently and you come to truly cherish the characters. Theadora is different from most romance heroines. She isn’t pretty, she isn’t considered particularly feminine, and she isn’t embarrassed about being smart. I loved her!
    James, who I adored at the end of the book, wasn’t my favorite character at the beginning. He seems easily pushed around, yet I don’t think he could have been any different. His time away from Theo allowed him to grow, become a man, and come into his own really. As James the pirate, he’s dominating, knows what he wants, and understands Theadora on an entirely different level. It’s very appealing, truly.
     A strange little love story that really works, “The Ugly Duchess” will appeal to fans of Eloisa James and all those who love a great romance. A wonderful fairy tale, a fabulous romance, and just an all around fun story, I would recommend this to one and all. Be sure to check out Eloisa’s other fairy tales, “A Kiss at Midnight,” “When Beauty Tamed the Beast,” and “The Duke is Mine.” I can’t wait to find out what’s next!
I received “The Ugly Duchess” from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

Book Details
Publisher: Avon
Date of Publication: August 28, 2012
# of Pages: 384
ISBN: 978-0062021737


  1. Thank you for bringing this book to my Attention. It sounds interesting.

    I would like to invite you to my blog for some Trivia Fun!

  2. Great review! Thanks for it! This one's on my TBR list but I haven't gotten to it yet. Hopefully soon! :D

  3. Alright, this does it. I need to get to read some Eloisa James--b/c of your review I'll probably start with this one! ;)
    Ninja Girl

  4. Great review! I haven't read a historical romance recently and I haven't read any of her works, but I really want to try it. Also, you don't see many new takes on the ugly duckling story either.

  5. I haven't read anything by Eloisa James yet but now I really want to read this book! It sounds like a unique love story and I like that it is based on a fairy tale. Thanks for your review!

  6. I'll be posting my review of this in the morning. It was my first James and I loved it!

  7. It sounds interesting, but are there other minor stories woven though this book that aren't resolved until future books? I used to read and enjoy EJ's books, but I gave up on her for that reason. I got tired of having to keep all the books in a series just to enjoy one couple's story.

  8. Ahh - another faerie tale story that I now MUST read.. thank you for sharing...

    *popping over to add to the list *

  9. Enjoyed the review, have read and enjoyed Eloisa James books. A lovely fairy tale story, with the characters growing and evolving. Adding this one to my list.

  10. Makes me want to read it and the title easily grabbed my attention.

  11. I love Eloisa's books so much. I haven't read this one yet, it's on my wish list.
    Your review has made me want the book right now, but I want the print...LOL

  12. Great review. I have not rad a historical recently (last few months) but I have read an loved many of Eloisa's books (including the other books in the Fairy Tales series). Can't wait to read this one, will definitely want it in print (to go with the others)