Book Review (#104): Duchess by Night by Eloisa James

Title: Duchess by Night

Author: Eloisa James

Published: 24 June 2008

Publisher: Avon

Rating: 3/5

One night’s disguise could lead to a lifetime of passion…

A Mischievous Charade…

Harriet, Duchess of Berrow, is tired of her title and the responsibilities that come along with it. Enough with proper tea parties and elegant balls; what Harriet really wants is to attend an outrageous soiree where she can unleash her wildest whims and desires. But to attend such an event—especially if the event in question is Lord Justinian Strange’s rollicking fete, filled with noble rogues and rotters, risqué ladies and illicit lovers—would be certain scandal. That’s why she must disguise herself . . .

Looking forward to a night of uninhibited pleasure, Lord Strange is shocked to discover that beneath the clothes of a no-good rake is the most beautiful woman in the room. Why is a woman like her risking her reputation at his notorious affair? And can he possibly entice her to stay . . . forever?

I WAS BORED WITLESS BY THIS BOOK

Thus, I don’t think Eloisa James’s books are for me especially if its audiobook, I think hardcopy would be a different matter, the reason I say this is due to the fact that to me this book dragged on forever for me and I MEAN FOREVER!

THERE WAS TOO MUCH TALKING ABOUT INCESSANT THINGS IN THIS GOD DAMNED BOOK… IT WAS SO MENTALLY TAXING…

Also, I don’t understand why Harriet had to dress as a man to join in the party, Villiers said its due to Tem (Justinian strange, hero of the book) having a disdain for nobility but it was never shown why he has such a disdain for them. I wish there was a better reason that Harriet had to dress as a man, perhaps a good prank? She wanted to feel the freedom that a man has… something more substantial instead of just wanting entry to Tem’s infamous parties.

I say this because eventually most of the characters figure out Harriet is a woman so what was the point? Like what you wanted to have some queerbaiting ala Coffee Prince? or Midsummers Nights? What?

Another issue I have or don’t understand is Harriet’s feelings for Tem’s parties. First, she says she enjoys it and loves it and the freedom she has but then soon after she says she hates it, she hates how there are strangers in Tem’s house constantly and how it is unsafe for his daughter and such and then she wants Tem to change his life. Like, you can’t have it both ways, you can’t love his parties yet also hate it, because if you did that wouldn’t that make you a hypocrite?

Also, this turn to hating his parties felt so rushed. They were having fun and enjoying themselves and then suddenly she just ups and hates it. This change truly felt like it came out of nowhere. Like, okay chill girl.

My last point that made me disappointed in the book was how tame Tem’s parties were. I was fully expecting a sex orgy ala Eyes Wide Shut but what I read was just boring plays and boring dinners. Had the author also explored other aspects of worldbuilding in the book, I felt like the book would have been far more interesting to listen to.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book although the premise was so promising.

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