"The Ugly Duchess" Review

"The Ugly Duchess"
by Eloisa James

Publisher: Avon
Release Date: Aug 28, 2012
Source: sent by publisher and publicist

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
How can she dare to imagine he loves her…when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess ?

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 Review:

I really enjoy this author's historical romances, there is no doubt that she is an excellent writer. The first "part" of this book was amazing, I was totally addicted to the romance between Theo and James. However, Part II really went awry for me. It just jumped ship (pardon the pun) and went so far out into left field that it stopped being believable for me. If I were reviewing just Part I of the book, I would give it 5 stars, hands down.

In Part I, the romance was very sweet, and very believable. Theo and James were best friends before they became romantically involved, so you could really see where their feelings were coming from. Part of the sweetness of the story was because they were both so young, 17 and 19. I really liked where the story was going with them being so young, but then in Part II, they aged 7 years, and then it became the typical story of grouchy spinster-type woman and world-weary, over-experienced man. Sigh, I really enjoyed the uniqueness of their sweet, young romance at first.

I enjoyed reading about Theo's outrageous fashion sense in the beginning. Her fashions were detailed, and it was fun to read about. In  Part I, James was an interesting mix of brooding temper, and very sweet and loyal husband. Their personalities at the beginning were fascinating to read about. They just turned cliche in Part II.

Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Setting: 4/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5

Bottom Line:  Even though I was disappointed in Part II, the book is still worth reading just to enjoy the sweet romance in Part I.

Check out the rest of the stops on the TLC Book Tour here!


  1. Oh this sounds a bit disappointing since it was on the right track and then veered to an unexpected place. Sounds like the characters weren't allowed to stay true to their initial portrayal.

  2. I love best-friends-turned-lovers stories! I'm glad you loved the first part, even if the second part didn't work for you.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  3. Dunno but I still want to read it :)

  4. Awash..it sounded good. Sad when a book goes cliche.

  5. 'At first' I meant to say..autocorrect add the strangest words. lol.


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!