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You are here: Home » Book Review » Four Stars » When the Duke Returns by Eloisa James Romance Book Review

When the Duke Returns by Eloisa JamesWHEN THE DUKE RETURNS by Eloisa James
Series: Desperate Duchesses, #4
Publication Date: November 25th 2008 by Avon

Summary: The Duchess of Cosway yearns for a man she has never met . . . her husband.

Married 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 strikes.

The duke demands an annulment.

Forsaking 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 fight.

She will do whatever it takes to capture Simeon’s heart, even if it means sacrificing her virtue. After all, a consummated marriage cannot be annulled.

Yet in forcing Simeon into a delicious surrender, will Isidore risk not only her dignity—but her heart?


Heroine: I love Isidore as a protagonist. I really like how she’s openly passionate and she know what she wants in her marriage. I love how she’s willing to make the first move in their relationship.

Hero: I love heroes that stray from the stereotype. In When the Duke Returns, Simeon turns out to be a virgin. After spending years abroad, Isidore finds out that he believes that lust is a vice and spent years saving himself for his wife. Simeon’s restraint from certain vices are admirable, but he also has a fear of losing control. The constant need to control all aspects of his life is what he needs to overcome as a hero.

Supporting Cast: I love that this series has a really involved supporting cast. Sometimes, their dedicated chapters take the focus away from the story a little too long. I find myself wanting to go back to Isidore and Simeon, but it is a great way to incorporate the other characters and future novels in the series into the book. The way that the book is written makes me think of the book as part of a series, rather than a standalone title.

Plot: I really love the idea of a marriage by proxy, and I enjoyed the discussions and debates of an annulment. I’m really enjoying this series a
lot. I like how all the women are already in established relationships and they fight to make it work.

Romance: The chemistry between Simeon and Isidore is perfect. The steamy scenes come towards the end and they are worth the wait.

Love Potion Strength:

I continue to enjoy this series more and more. I love this series on audiobook. Susan Duerden, the narrator, is immensely talented and it sounds like I’m listening to a multiple narrators. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest in the series.

 – Exceeds Expectations



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... when you're walking away from a bus that's just been attacked by monster hags and blown up by lightning, and it's raining on top of everything else, most people might think that's just really bad luck; when you're a half-blood, you understand that some devine force is really trying to mess up your day.
- Rick Riordan, The Titan's Curse


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