The Duke is Mine
by Eloisa James
I haven't read many regency romance novels until this year (even now, I've still not read a lot of them) but Eloisa James fairytale retellings have definitely made me want to read more and I'm kind of sad that I've now read the last of the ones currently released.Summary: For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick -- hardly a Prince Charming -- feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, who is a perfect match for her in every way. There's only one problem: Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia. Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him -- a desire they are both powerless to resist. When a scandalous affair begins, the couple risk losing everything. Only one thing can save them -- and it waits in the bedroom, where a magnificent mattress holds life-changing answers to the greatest romantic riddle of all.
I haven't loved all of the retellings, I think it was The Ugly Duchess that didn't quite work for me, but this one is probably one of my favourites, I really liked it.
I really loved the characters in this one. Olivia made me laugh and she was realistic and Quin was lovely--I loved the two of them together, they were an odd pair but they just made sense and I loved that it showed that you don't get to choose who you fall for and that you can make up a list of things you think would make up your perfect match but end up totally surprised by what your heart ends up wanting.
Even the side characters were great, his mother could've been awful and she had her moments but we were made to understand her and she had more depth than characters like her often have in these types of stories. And Georgie was great too, her character actually surprised me because in the beginning she was a bit dull and I didn't expect her to end up being the way she was.
I had read some angry reviews of this one before reading (most from people who didn't finish the book, which is fair enough) who had an issue with the comments made about Ruperts character (who had some mental health issues thanks to some oxygen deprivation when he was born). But the thing is, while some of what was said about him earlier in the book is not okay, comments like that would've been historically accurate...mental issues back then weren't understood in the way they are now and people weren't quite as politically correct (hell, even now people can still make some nasty comments about people with mental health issues).
I don't believe books should be censored in the name of political correctness, especially not books with a historical setting. Including things like this is not in any way condoning it or saying it's okay. Quite the opposite really, it was obvious that the characters in the book came to respect Rupert, and he was portrayed as sweet and talented and brave and so much more than people expected him to be.
Books like this...they're not the most amazing books in the world, but they make me smile and sometimes you just need to read a book like that. And I guess that's all I have to say about the book...and now I'm gonna go in search of some more regency romance novels because I may be a bit addicted now. Don't judge me.