Wednesday, May 06, 2015

2015 book 116

Eloisa James' When the Duke Returns
I'm sort of reading the Desperate Duchesses series at random based on library availability (they seem to only be loosely related anyway). This one has an unusual premise--the woman involved was married at age 12, by proxy, to a man she's never met (he's been abroad in Africa and India), and now she's 23 and he's finally returned, and she's longing to be a real wife and have some kids--only he insists on having an elaborate wedding first and won't consummate their already existing legal marriage. So she's determined to seduce him, and he's picked up some vague Eastern spirituality that makes him unwilling (self-control over baser instincts and whatnot), plus he claims to want a demure little wife with himself in charge. He's super attracted to her, though, and with a charming and meddlesome butler on the scene, their marriage is bound to be real before long. (The butler is named "Honeydew," so of course I just kept picturing the Muppet.) There's also a whole subplot about a super smart friend of hers and her husband and another man and a chess match that will apparently be addressed in another book in the series, though I don't know why, as it has a lot of real estate here--because there isn't much plot in the main story, presumably. Most of the plot involves the husband being sexist and the wife getting stuff done in between arguments. It's tiresome after a while. This one was not my favorite, even if it does end nicely. B.

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