So I’ve been on the road a lot for work this month. And by a lot I mean, over half the month of January, with more plane flights than I’d care to count. This means an endless loop of romance series downloaded from my charming library. But after having read 15 romances in January alone all but my favorites are blending together. I’ve decided to take a favorite or two from each series I’m reading and comment on them, because I can only say generic and mediocre so many ways for the rest.
My first complete series of the year (in order! Huzzah! OCD soothed) was the Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James. These were my first of her books, and overall they were pretty good. Although some were definitely better than others (looking at you An Affair Before Christmas). My favorite was book 3, Duchess by Night about Harriet, Duchess of Berrow, and Lord Strange.
Due to circumstances that don’t particularly matter for the story Harriet finds herself going along on an adventure to the “scandalous” house of Lord Strange, but with the delightful twist of her being incognito as a man.
Obviously many misunderstandings result, but in the end love conquers all and everything works out swimmingly. My enjoyment of this one comes two-fold especially with this story. First is Lord Strange’s confusion/attraction to “Harry”. James writes a pretty modern male lead, in that for a time he actually considers attraction to a man possible and feasible. It makes the story a heck of a lot more fun. But the second reason, and why I really loved this one, was Harriet and Strange’s respect for each other. They both respected where they came from as people (both widowed), but also their intelligence. Harriet has been the regent for her duchy since her husband’s death, handling it quite capably, and I really enjoyed her being on equal footing with the “brilliant inventor” Strange. Especially, when he discovers her ruse that he still completely respects her intelligence and her opinion. I’m finding the older I get, the more I appreciate the romances where it’s not the young ingenue, but instead a woman who knows something, and doesn’t automatically listen to the hero’s guidance. I know, it’s because I’m now a grown ass woman instead of a 13 year old, but still: it’s appreciated.
Overall it was a pretty solid series. I would definitely recommend, but if you try them out read them in order as there’s a redemption story occurring in the background that concludes quite well in A Duke of Her Own.