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When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4) explained When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4), review When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4), trailer When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4), box office When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4), analysis When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4), When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4) de2c The Duchess Of Cosway Yearns For A Man She Has Never Met Her HusbandMarried By Proxy As A Child, Lady Isidore Has Spent Years Fending Off Lecherous Men In Every European Court While Waiting To Meet Her Husband She S Determined To Accept Him, No Matter How Unattractive The Duke Turns Out To Be When She Finally Lures Simeon Jermyn Back To London, His Dark Handsomeness Puts Isidore S Worst Fears To Rest Until Disaster StrikesThe Duke Demands An AnnulmentForsaking His Adventuresome Past, Simeon Has Returned To London Ready To Embrace The Life Of A Proper Duke, Only To Find That His Supposed Wife Is Too Ravishing, Too Headstrong, And Too Sensual To Be The Docile Duchess He Has In Mind But Isidore Will Not Give Up Her Claim To The Title Or Him Without A FightShe Will Do Whatever It Takes To Capture Simeon S Heart, Even If It Means Sacrificing Her Virtue After All, A Consummated Marriage Cannot Be AnnulledYet In Forcing Simeon Into A Delicious Surrender, Will Isidore Risk Not Only Her Dignity But Her Heart

  • Paperback
  • 375 pages
  • When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4)
  • Eloisa James
  • English
  • 21 October 2017
  • 9780061245602

About the Author: Eloisa James

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers Her novels have been published to great acclaim A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa s very first book that she found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar later People Magazine raved that romance writing does not get much better than this Her novels have repeat



10 thoughts on “When the Duke Returns (Desperate Duchesses #4)

  1. says:

    RAGE warning for abuse of Buddhism, Orientalist stereotypes that just stepped out one of Edward Said s footnotes.This is the first book I ve read by Eloisa James, so I don t know whether it s representative of her work.I bought it randomly at a used book store because I d heard good things about James s writing and the premise appealed to me The heroine was married to the hero by proxy as a child, but it s been years and they haven t met She has been waiting patiently for him, but when they meet, they re not what the other expects.It turns out this is part of a series, which means that a minor character s romance acts a subplot that s almost entirely unrelated to the main story, and which is unresolved at the end of the book This was jarring for me, but the minor character is a good female friend of the heroine, which I liked, and I think that if I were reading the whole series in order the subplot would be much enjoyable.James writes romance very well, and after the first couple of chapters I found it difficult to put the book down except when the subplot showed up The hero and heroine are complex personalities whose characters both develop in the course of the story, and they face some quite original situations that were fun to read about My favorite of these was an exploration of what can go wrong when eighteenth century innovative indoor plumbing isn t properly maintained It takes guts to write extensively about shit in the middle of a romance novel and James totally pulls it off.The book also contains what is possibly my new favorite first time sex scene ever It s believable, sweet, and funny It s the first time for the hero as well as for the heroine, which I love because that s so rare in romance novels And it contains the following exchange One of the things that s odd is that we were so intimate, Simeon said, realizing he really meant it We joined our bodies together, and yet I don t truly understand your body How could you understand it Well, he said, reaching out delicately, how does it feel to have breasts She started laughing.But I found as many things to hate about this novel as I did to love, which I had to skim over and pretend I hadn t seen in order to keep reading.The worst part, I think, is the hero s backstory The reason the hero is absent for years is that he s busy exploring parts of Africa and India I don t know of a single romance novel in fact I don t know of a single novel written by a white person, period, although this is probably due to selection bias in which this is handled from an intelligent anti colonial point of view, so this was bad from the start Indeed, it s worse than Loretta Chase She at least seems to research pretty thoroughly, although I think a lot of it is within primary sources by European adventurers In the historical note at the end, James says that she based the hero on a Scottish explorer who published a book called Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile she in fact says he discovered the source of the Blue Nile, which would be a red flag if it weren t at the very end of the book However, she also made up many of my duke s experiences while fabricating her hero s exciting meeting with a real, historical Ethiopian political leader.One major part of the hero s character arc is discovering the limitations of the approach to life he developed partly in response to his parents chaotic, unpleasant way of living and partly through exposure to of course Eastern religion James has the hero refer to this as the Middle Way and says he learned it from a great teacher in India, Valamksepa not a historical figure , about whom we re told very little except that he lives in a tent by the Ganges According to the hero, the Middle Way consists of always being in control of oneself and not succumbing to anger, fear, or lust This is a problem for the hero because in the heroine, for the first time, he s met a woman who inspires passionate emotions in him The way that the hero s character develops in response to his relationship with the heroine, therefore, is to reject his conception of the Middle Way as inadequate On the final page of the story, he reflects that the problem with his former approach was No life Real life In other words, no love I know almost nothing about Buddhism and even I could tell that this was a stupid, insulting mischaracterization How cruel for an author to use a religion she clearly has no part in, to present it falsely and then throw it away, merely as a prop to illustrate how the hero realizes he really does want to have sex with the heroine In her historical note, James writes I make no claim to historical versimilitude in Simeon s recollections of Valamksepa s teachings The term Middle Way is drawn from Rudyard Kipling s novel Kim, in which the titular hero meets a Tibetan holy man who seeks freedom from the Wheel of Things I drew Valamkempsa s wisdom from the flotsam and jetsam of bowdlerized Eastern teaching, and they have no basis in reality.1 Kim was published in 1901 and is set in the 1890s When the Duke Returns is set in 1784.2 James really thought that a Rudyard Kipling novel was a good source of information on Buddhism REALLY Did she even realize that the Middle Way is actually a part of Buddhism and not just some pretend spiritual sounding thing 3 Flotsam and jetsam Bowdlerized I do not think that word means what she thinks it means In fact I have no idea what she thinks it means What isn t based in reality, the teachings, or her representation of them If this is a disclaimer, it might actually be the rudest disclaimer I have ever seen On top of this we find out that part of the conflict between the hero and heroine the fact that the hero thinks that the best marriages are the ones in which the husband is in charge is something that he learned in the East Because what this book really needed was a casual reminder that even to an English lord in 1784 Eastern women are especially submissive Mary Wollstonecraft begs to differ Oh, and also, the reason the hero is still a virgin is only partly due to his respect for his wife it s also because a man has only to be in the East for a day before he becomes aware of just what a syphilitic face looks like without a nose You know, there were some other things that bothered me about this book, like the way that the Thames dredgers from London who were brought in to clean out the sewer were portrayed, and how the hero s mother, whose age and mental health related issues had potential for interesting characterization, was shuffled offstage too quickly But you know what, I don t need to write about them These are symptomatic of problems I ve noticed in many romance novels Many romance novels have problems with Orientalism, too, but that seems to be this book s specialty, and so I ll let that be the note this review ends on.In short If I ever find another Eloisa James novel and I m not going to be looking very hard , I m going to screen it for setting beforehand The actual romance part of it was outstanding, but reading the book was like looking for a diamond in a privy.

  2. says:

    Reviewed for queuemyreview.com book release Dec08Just how long is too long to wait for your man In times of yore it s a historical there existed a practice of marriage by proxy Meaning one member usually the man wasn t actually present at the ceremony but the couple was considered legally wed Then once the absent member showed up and consummated the marriage, all was normal Eloisa James uses the concept of a proxy marriage in her latest book, When the Duke Returns Her heroine has waited twelve years for her husband the Duke to return and validate their marriage Twelve years Isidore is a Duchess well, kind of and she s fed up with waiting for her errant husband to come home to England Her plan is fairly simple She will feign misbehavior to bring him home and then seduce him It doesn t really matter what he looks like, after all he is a Duke She won t have any problems seducing him, after all she s been lauded as a beauty since she first put her hair up She ll have her children, do Duchessy things, and then, as far as Isidore is concerned, her husband the Duke can go right back to Africa or wherever She ll continue her London life fully invested as a Duchess See, simple plan What man doesn t want to do it Simeon has returned to England to take over his duties as the Duke His first duty is to take charge of his wife, er future wife See, Simeon wants to get to know and develop feelings for his wife and then remarry before consummating their union He has held on to his chastity to stay healthy but he has always dreamed of what his wife would be like She ll be quiet, demure, and docile and he ll have no problems keeping to the philosophy of the Middle Way no strong feelings like anger, lust, or fear When he first catches sight of his wife , he s pretty sure he just lost the lust part of his Middle Way And after only a few meetings, he s pretty sure that with Isidore, anger and fear won t be far behind I spent quite a bit of time laughing as I read about the titanic struggle between these two Their verbal exchanges were sharp and scintillating, but it was the author s revelation of their inner dialogues that explained the most about their motivations and intentions The plot intensifies as each character figures out what they really want as opposed to what they d always thought they wanted and why Very nicely done There are also several appearances by mostly heroines from earlier books who help move the plot along An evolving secondary romance is just the icing on the cake.Eloisa James historical romances are always a treat to read The witty wordplay between primary and secondary characters and her wonderfully descriptive period vocabulary draws the reader into the world of her heroes and heroines and it s a very fun place to visit When The Duke Returns is another engaging story from one of historical romance s bigger names.

  3. says:

    Isadora has been married to the duke of cosway for 11yrsnever in that span of time has he bothered to meet the young lady he married by proxy She played the meek wifely role for sometimewaiting for his return but as the years passed she said to hell with itand indulged in seemly wicked activities to get his attention.Well it worked, his Duke i ness has finally decided to make his presence known.The very beginning of the story is enchanting which was entriely unexpected since I hadn t cared for isadora in the slightest in previous duchess novels She always reminded me of Samantha from Sex in The City Flamboyant, selfish, hussyrific, occasionally quite amusing in small doses Simeon on the other hand is a freakazoid He comes across sexy as hell once or twice But mostly he s just full of hot air, vague eastern spiritual woo woo, and constant whining yapping on about how he needs to be in control his manhood I m all for He man HULK SMASH types of heroes, but Alpha our Simeon ain t He s of a petulant Beta with a complex There s also a sub plot involving Jemma which is yawn city, so I wont even waste your time summarizing it.Early on in the novel, there are about 2 3 chapters full of way too many irksome side characters being introduced to the story and massive info dumps disguised as casual conversation I skimmed like the dickens to get through this novel towards the end, and threw the paperback at the wall when the couple had a serious conversation about the need to have a silly foreign sounding secret code word when she needed to meekly acknowledge or comply to his demands, no matter the request or the terrorists win With the exception of a sparse handful of delightful moments James is known for, the book sucked.hard I d advise skipping directly from Duchess By Night bk3 to A Duke of Her Own bk6.a 1 star rating for me means literally what it flashes when you hover over it, Didn t like it And I didn t like this book, but I don t hate it I try to use a crap load of tags to differentiate give additional insight as to what level of non like I felt while reading it why In this case, I enjoyed a few aspects of this book but the majority of its execution was WEAK Maybe I ll continue reading some of the books in the series, maybe not There so many really great books out there and this isn t one of them.Happy Reading Folks

  4. says:

    From the start of this book I found that I liked it the best of all the books Interesting plot and Isidore and her Duke, Simeon Jermyn, make for a very interesting couple I loved his harridan of a mother and sympathized whole heartedly with Simeon s dismay after being gone so long, both with his mother, his estate and his bride, who turned out to be nothing at all like he imagined Ongoing sub plot about Jemma and Villiers and the chess match Jemma s husband is having regrets about how he has treated her and that their problems may not get resolved, in this book at least.Lady Isidore married Simeon Jermyn, the Duke of Cosway, by proxy when she was 12 years old and had just lost her parents As a married person can t really call her a lady or a woman at 12 she conducted herself with propriety as befitted her married state and waited, and waited, and waited for her Duke to return She got tired of acting with propriety and decided to raise a little Hell to see if she could get the Duke s attention Mission Accomplished Now, all she wants to the be bedded and get pregnant, and be loved Problem, big problem.Having traveled the world and seen a lot of stuff, Simeon Jermyn had made his mind up about what kind of marriage and life he was going to have on his return to England He had been lead to believe by his mother that his child bride was meek, mild and biddable Just what Simeon wants, but defiantly not what he gets His world philosophy had taught him a man must control his anger, lust and fear Isidore is three for three in testing Simeon s control His solution to this unexpected problem is to suggest they get an annulment Not happening and Isidore is not going down without a fight and she fights dirty.

  5. says:

    This wasn t quite a 4 star read, but the ending of it was just fabulous, so I bumped it up.I haven t read the rest in the series I know, I know, bad Highland Hussy Read in order so I m hoping that would help as well.I think that from the first page I just adored Isadore She is beautiful, spunky, witty, and fun to read about.I didn t like our Duke, though I liked him in the first few pages, but then as I got to know him, I began to dislike him A lot And not because he s a virgin at 30 See, they married when she was 12 but the Duke was already traipsing about Africa Middle East, so it was done by proxy but my point is that he has stayed faithful to her, so that s actually a point in his favor I don t like how he has all these weird tendencies He runs I like it He used martial arts kicking not just punching in a fight , I liked that What I didn t like was all the Middle Way stuff He kept saying he had to keep strict control over his body and his mind, and he couldn t allow himself to show his anger, lust, passion, emotions It was annoying, rather than quirky.Well, Isadore has been waiting for the duke to come and get her for over 8 yrs I think they ve been married for 11 yrs at this point At one point she was asking Simeon if he d ever even thought about her, and what his waiting had done to herhe shrugs and says no Of course not, he just wanted as far away from his crazy overly rigid mother.I really didn t like him until after they d had sex Which was by the way, hysterical For Simeon it was earth shattering, and for Isadore, it was meh OMG I was cracking up during the part where Simeon realized she didn t want to do it again that night and that she wasn t nearly as overcome as he THAT was true Eloisa James Witty and well written.But I did like the plot, love Eloisa James writing, loved the heroine, and I LOVED the ending There was a small subplot that I didn t quite get at first, and I m wondering if it s been on going throughout the whole series But as there was no closure between Jemma and Elijah, it might not be til the next book.Overall, a fun read, but I just couldn t get into the hero s character The writing saved himanyone else, and I d have docked it a star, but EJ has such a way with words, that even not liking our meh hero, I still enjoyed the book.

  6. says:

    3.5 3.75 starsWhen the Duke Returns kept me engaged from start to finish and I read it in a day but it was my least favorite in the series so far Maybe it was because I just didn t like the premise and the hero Isidore and Simeon were married by proxy 12 years earlier she was 12 and he was 18 He then left to go to Africa and kept no contact with her and virtually no contact with his mother Isidore is Italian, both her parents died suddenly and she was left alone in the world, save for her aunt, and her husband, who was off on his travels She came from money and the marriage was arranged by the parents Isidore is beautiful, independent and spunky but when Simeon meets her, she is not the docile, biddable, agreeable wife he envisioned Honestly, Simeon just annoyed me he didn t take care of any of his responsibilities for 12 years His father died three years before this and he still didn t even bother to return to England and care for his family estate He was caught up in this Middle Way philosophy which taught he shouldn t fear, get angry, have lust blah, blah, blah I hate to sound so rude, but after a while, it was just too much I wanted to reach into my kindle and strangle him He had all sorts of preconceived ideas of what a successful marriage would entail and his wife, who had so patiently awaited his return, didn t fit into the picture He was ready to annul the marriage Yeah, great guy Like anyone really knows what they want in marriage and get everything they want This guy was delusional Isidore wanted to be his partner he wanted a wife who was blindly devoted to him and did everything he asked and had no opinions of her own She made decisions impulsively yet he never realized that it was his fault she did that if he had returned when she was 17 or 18 and assumed a married life, she would have followed his lead Instead, she had to manage her estates and her own life, basically like a widow, since he was nowhere in sight She had to make her own decisions and lived an independent life The melding of these two lives would not be easy Is marriage ever easy but the problem I had is that it took the entire book for Simeon to realize that He was too quick to give up view spoiler So, finally, these two do have their HEA I liked this part when Simeon was thinking to himself he realized something his heart already knew They were partners She would always make impulsive decisions and he would make slow, reasoned ones He would always be a little terrified that she would look at him with the scorn he saw in his mother s eyes And she would always be a little terrified that he would look at her and not love her enough In short, they were made for each other hide spoiler

  7. says:

    I like this author, I liked the story, I even liked the premise both virgins I was surprised how sexy she was able to make Simeon and how sensible his decision to remain chaste was Their scenes together were well done but the dirty girl in me would have liked it a bit steamier I wondered too, how the author would explain Simeon s knowledge of things like oral sex and where his fingers should go, when the author told us next to nothing about him Guess he was born knowing this is fiction after all, lol I liked both characters very much The whole water closet subplot was very amusing as well I also really like Eloisa James writing style I hadn t read any of her books until A Kiss at Midnight, which I loved As much as I liked this book I probably wouldn t re read it and that factors into how I rate them unless I start the series at the beginning and need to re read the parts about Jemma and her husband.Jemma, Villiers and her husband their storyline is my only real complaint about the book I know it s a series, and I should have known better, but if you re standing in a book store it doesn t SAY it s a series I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what was going on with them Hard to care about them when you re left with cryptic passages about affairs, lovers, weak hearts and asking your former best friend until he let your dog die, WTF to woo your wife Huh That starts another lament of mine, called why can t anyone write stand alone romance novels any.3.5 stars

  8. says:

    Lady Isidore Del Fino s husband by proxy returns to England from far away lands Simeon, Duke of Cosway, decides that Isidore won t do as his wife because she dares think she s her own person with ideas and opinions like some kind of man or something Also, his boners are uncomfortable because his bastardized Eastern religion says that he should not succumb to lust Except he totally does and they bone The end 1 I m going to address the shit covered elephant right away I m pretty sure that house needs to be CONDEMNED and BURNT TO THE GROUND Now and I could be understanding this incorrectly, so please let me know if you have a different idea of things it sounds as though there are multiple water closets in the house, connected by pipes with running water that feed to a central pit under the main closet on the ground floor The pipes were made of wood and are rotten, meaning thatfor 5 years of people using the water closets, waste was justpiling up In the house Honeydew pointed to the ceiling Simeon looked up and saw a dingy stain that stretched from one corner over approximately a third of the room I m afraid that when the water closet pipes leaked, they inundated the study, causing the rot of a number of books THAT IS DISGUSTING I don t even mean this in a ewwww way but in a Your house is a hazard and will cause you many horrifying diseases if you continue to live there GET OUT NOW way Like, I am not playing 2 Now, the romance MEH 3 The handling of the Far and Middle Easts, as well as Africa HUGELY PROBLEMATIC 4 The horrifying misogyny DISGUSTING 5 Overall reaction THROW IT IN A SEPTIC PIT

  9. says:

    I was so sure I was going to regret reading it BUT NO Isidore was..dumb sexually starved idiot less than perfect at first All she s focused in on is how all the men she meets would drop at her feet and worship the dirt under her feet Yet her husband continues to roam around the world, without sending one letter to her I would sympathise with her, if she wasn t so solely focused on how her virginity was such a burden Frustrating dunce, I know I kept staring at her dialogues in the book and then turning up, looking for something to throw at her shallow head.But with the story s progression, she changes too Thank goodness for her, because I was extremely close to dumping the book.Soon we learn about her strong character She s impulsive but she s a very clear headed woman She knows what she wishes from her life and she is capable of managing her life and everything that is under her care.It is admirable how she deals with a reserved husband who is so different from what an ordinary english noble is like Even when she lets go of her ego and even dignity to give one last try to saving their marriage, she s admirable She turns to out to be quite a wonderful heroine at the end of the book.On the other hand, I felt odd about the husband in question And I am not sure if its his problem or James writing She s given him a such a diverse and adventurous back story that he becomes a clich It was only when he dealt with the ducal estate s matters, does the reader learn about his impressive character It s a shame how Eloisa James overshadows it with too many adventure stories that are so typical that it sounds like a broken record that s been playing for years.But it s their first time, that s the highlight of the book YES It s amazing how funny and perfect the whole encounter was Not because it sends tingles down the spine it does that too but because the whole scene is wonderfully written Simeon What did you do What You you peed on me In me Lol I had always wondered why of the virgin heroines with no knowledge of sex, haven t reacted the same way Isidore s shock and slight revulsion is as funny as it is truthful There s nothing sadder than a man who feels the need to boast about the size of his equipment That was a long time coming I am so glad someone finally said it It is weird how fixated people are becoming about sizes Poor men and poorer women Why is it so important that the perfect person has to be the perfect shape and size Whether its is the waist size or chest size or anything In short the characters are wonderful but Eloisa James does something of a messy job executing their story.

  10. says:

    Despite the lower rating compared to Duchess By Night, I found myself enjoying reading this book.Isidore had been married by proxy at the age of 12, and her husband, the duke, at the age of 18 For such at tender age, the marriage was never consummated and the duke never returns home He went adventuring somewhere in the Sahara dessert, or at Nile river Isidore got tired of waiting and coveted for her husband to return to her, went to Lord Strange s scandalous home in ensuring that the duke returns frolicking the Middle East And then, her husband indeed returned after much persuasion and desperation from his own mother Despite his age, Simone, the duke was a virgin and so do, Isidore Despite her tempestuousness, she remained a virgin and never conducted an affair Simone famous for his reservedness, somehow found his tempers flaying or his wits challenged when he found Isidore was not what he expected.The story delved into the duke s household especially his mother Even though, the dowager duchess was described in such a thorough halting manner, she didn t find a spot within the second half of the book I was left wondering what actually occurred to the dowager duchess since Simone despite his attitude, wasn t appreciated by his mother even though he saved her from villains I like the fact that Isidore was trying her best to tempt her husband, and then, Simone in all his life, didn t even lost control except when Isidore is concerned A sweet bitter story, and a love story.

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