Download PDF Desperate Duchesses Author Eloisa James – serv3.3pub.co.uk

Download PDF  Desperate Duchesses Author Eloisa James – serv3.3pub.co.uk ❴BOOKS❵ ⚦ Desperate Duchesses Author Eloisa James – Serv3.3pub.co.uk Welcome to a world of reckless sensuality and glittering sophisticationof dangerously handsome gentlemen and young ladies longing to gain a title of games played for high stakes including on occasion Welcome to a world of reckless sensuality and glittering sophisticationof dangerously handsome gentlemen and young ladies longing to gain a title of games played for high stakes including on occasion a lady's virtue A maruess's sheltered only daughter Lady Roberta St Giles falls in love with a man she glimpses across a crowded ballroom a duke a game player of consummate skill a notorious rakehell who shows no interest in marriage until he lays eyes on Roberta Yet the Earl of Gryffyn knows too well that the price reuired to gain a coronet is often too high Damon Reeve the earl is determined to protect the exuisite Roberta from chasing after the wrong destiny Can Damon entice her into a high stakes game of his own even if his heart is likely to be lost in the venture.


10 thoughts on “Desperate Duchesses

  1. chan ☆ chan ☆ says:

    despite the gorgeous stepback this book wasn't a success for methis is definitely the most uniue historical i've ever read so it kind of pains me to rate it low but i just don't think it accomplished what it set out to do the story is told from multiple POVs and has sort of a Gossip Girl meets Pride and Prejudice feel you've got a wise duchess who has been neglected by her husband taking in a distant cousin who is looking to marry a sensible man and then you've got the many men in their lives the brother the husband the fiancé the lover set in the 1700s with LOTS of chess playing and overall machinations the story sets itself up to be interesting and in some ways it was it just wasn't successful as a romancereally my biggest complaint was the lack of payoff you've got 2 separate relationships you think are going to happen one never does and is never suitably resolved and the other was lame? there was lots of lackluster canoodling and sex but never anything to get us invested in the relationshipultimately i just don't think this book knew what it wanted to be i appreciate what eloisa james does in the historical space i think she focuses on time periods that aren't usually focused upon and i think she writes pretty sophisticated non rom com stuff this just didn't hit the mark


  2. Anne Anne says:

    I'm not sure about this one It wasn't unreadable but it is definitely not one of my favorite Elosia James novels There are too many points of view and too many different story lines going on at the same time I didn't feel connected to any of them in particular I guess this story is about Roberta and Damon but I couldn't really muster up enough emotion to care Roberta was a bit of an idiot but I probably could have forgiven her of that if she had been crazy about Damon's son Teddy I understand not all women immediately love children Hell I couldn't stand kids until I had my own Believe me I get it Still I was surprised that there was never really a 'his child has captured my heart' moment that I assumed would happen She just seemed to become less repulsed by him as time went by It was especially strange because Damon was such a wonderful father He seemed to love Teddy with every fiber of his being so why would he want some woman who didn't really seem to like his kid? Even beyond that I couldn't see what the attraction to Roberta was for Damon However I did enjoy When the Duke Returns and I would like to find out who Teddy's mother is so I doubt that this is the last of Desperate Duchesses series that I'll read


  3. Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more says:

    25 stars1 I hate chess #sorrynotsorry2 This reminded me of MANSFIELD PARK and not in a good way It wasn't uite as sordid but it was close3 Too many unresolved plot lines


  4. Vivian Vivian says:

    Life is a chessboardThere is a freedom of the Georgian period utter absence of bourgeois attitudes of propriety ridiculous morality born out of class distinction that is compelling to read James does beautiful characters in the style of Dangerous Liaisons as the first book in this series beginsI shall obfuscate the precise relationships in this book so as to avoid spoiling it Safe to say that this is a game and persons are being moved around alliances made revenge sought and shocking behaviors by our present standards engaged in The beauty in the story is the game Not the real chess games being played but the metaphorical ones And it is the chess masters who are in charge This fun flirtatious and reminds me of a perfect cocktail party where everyone is at their peak witty and charming with double or triple entendres and innuendoes flawlessly delivered It's sexy like listening to Mozart That said there are things that might not appeal to all readers It is written such that five different storylines are intertwined and while one of the threads is tied off by the end the others are left incomplete Readers will have to continue on with the series to find out the resolutions to characters who have peaked their interest I enjoy James' writing a great deal; I had just forgotten how much It is seamless well researched and entertaining This is a romance by contemporary standards so an HEA is reuisite and readers will not be disappointed merely taken on a diverting amusement ride I shall continue on with the series because there are certain devilish characters herein that charm meFavorite uote It was true that he hated—if momentarily—every person who beat him at a game of chess but to have that person be a woman who seemed supremely insouciant about his offer to take her to bed was infuriating


  5. Felicia Felicia says:

    Trashy fun Love it Corsets


  6. Jacob Proffitt Jacob Proffitt says:

    At around mid story I'm giving this one up We jump into so many perspectives and I can't find any I actually like Roberta is closest to sympathetic but even she is mostly just pathetic as opposed to actively off putting Her crush on Villiers is absurd and it's made worse knowing that he isn't even the real love interest All the other friend circleduchesses are kind of vile too I mean Jemma is a calculating monster getting revenge for an old hurt and the others aren't far behind her in selfish stupidityAlso chess and sex? Yeah I'm not buying that byplay at all And it's worse that every single relationship revolves at least partially around chess Also chess and sword mastery? Not linked by anything except apparently social status Just saying


  7. Fangirl Musings Fangirl Musings says:

    Roberta wants Villiers Villiers wants Jemma badly but she Jemma who is also the sister to Damon and he Damon wants Roberta while she Roberta only wants Villiers though Villiers remember only wants Jemma while she Jemma is estranged in marital hell with her husband Elijah who he Elijah pulled Ass Hat Number Four by cheating on her Jemma years ago but who she Jemma still loves but who he Elijah was also once friends with Villiers who he Villiers only wants Jemma and not Roberta but who Damon the brother to her Jemma does Got that? YeahTo say that Eliosa wasn’t channeling Shakespeare in this novel would be the lie of the century Without uestion this book is a sort of homage to the concept of the divine comedytragedy Considering the fact that the book opens with an insta love connection whereupon Roberta meets Villiers the pseudo bad guy but not really character for the first time in November of 1780 and immediately decides she must marry him my first thought was”Romeo and Juliette anyone?” After this wiz bang meeting comprising of the prologue the book dashes off to the next scene Well sort of dashes considering such takes place with the beginning of Chapter One which starts in April 1783nearly three years later And frankly that's only the start of my problems to this bookHere it is my Biggest Issue of All the Issues in This Issue y Book; no direct emotion exists on page with Roberta or Damon While there is lust peppered throughout between the two lead characters at no point did I feel as though they were emotionally connected This becomes exemplified on page 333 whereupon not only is the ending of the novel coming to arise but the two characters have had a plethora of interaction and boinking During the “river boat” initial climax scene Roberta makes a half hearted attempt to learn about her lover This is even stated by her ‘“What do you do all day?” she asked impulsively She wanted to know everything about him what he ate for breakfast and what he named his mare and where he met his friends’ Less than half a page passes and this story thread is immediately dropped One or two sentences of Damon talking about himself arises and despite previously telling herself she was interested in learning about her lover Damon calls Roberta out on being bored with his reply Of which she totally was And thenyou guessed it boinking I think my second problem is of an explanation of why the emotional connection between Roberta and Damon was nonexistent in this novel Throughout the course of the story Eloisa ping pongs between Roberta’s POV with Damon and life and all that jazz and the telling of the chess game and interplay between Jemma and Villiers Even though Eloisa does a brilliant job at meshing these two stories together in a believable way I still feel that despite such masterful story telling this turned out to be a big hindrance to this as a romance The emotional aspects of the novel went unmet I feel because so much time was spent developing the dynamic and plot drive of Jemma and Villiers there was almost no time for the emotions of the leading couple to ferment As a direct result of this limited time the only way to transmit the relationship of Roberta and Damon was via lust and sex While it’s true lust and outward attraction are an integral part of love they are not the key motivators Lust is physical while romantic love is emotional and one can’t experience romantic love until identity of the significant other is learned or at the very least broached Such knowledge doesn’t have to be all encompassing either Even just learning the basics about personalities interests hobbies or passions would have been sufficient for me to buy into the romance being real between these two people Hell even just the character’s learning or broaching ONE of these subjects about the other would have been nicely believable Ironically this is even as much as stated by Jemma on page 369 during the dueling scene at the end of the novel When Jemma tells Roberta that Damon does indeed play chess Roberta states she had no clue to which Jemma promptly replies Have you talked of nothing all this time you spent in bed together? And most appallingly Roberta admits just thatAlong the same lines of thought specifically the lack of basic identity sharinglearning causing the lack of emotion on page arrives the issues I had with the actual characters in this story As said before I did find all the characters of Desperate Duchesses believable somewhat enjoyable to one degree or another and most importantly three dimensional Eliosa took an interesting route by creating characters that were in many respects unlikeable un relatable or just plain boring I say “interesting” because I’m willing to submit that Roberta and Damon were in fact naturally boring As in life some individuals are fascinating some are not so I’m not of the opinion this was sloppy or lazy writing on the author’s part But still the two most important people of the book Roberta and Damon were unuestionably the most uninteresting characters I’ve ever read before in my entire life As boring and cardboard as Damon was Roberta was as dislikable and irritating Damon had no personality to speak of whatsoever while Roberta came off as being air headed in decisions she made with Damon making no decisions except to get an erection every time Roberta was within grabbing distance I would say that Eloisa utilized the “tell rather than show” method for detailing Damon’s attributes but the sad reality is that such didn’t even occur At no point was the reader given any hints into just who Damon was so focused on the Chess playing Jemma Villiers Elijah Harriet reality that was the book Again I’m inclined to believe this was deliberate Still intentional or no it was fundamentally very disappointingAs unimpressive as the two lead characters were the total antithesis was the reality for the secondary characters I hate the use of this term with this particular book however because the way in which the novel was constructed made it seem as though Jemma and Villiers and Elijah were the lead characters with the romance carrying Roberta and Damon shoved to the back burner I could be wrong but aside from feeling as though Jemma and Villiers attained page time than the romantic couple so too did they hog the market on personality For as dull and uninteresting as Roberta was Jemma was as eually extravagant personable funny passionate and logical For as void and lackluster as Damon was Villiers was eually full of life expression opinion and thought Elijah the husband was eually impressive as an interesting guy impassioned with politics socially minded for the people and very much career and responsibility driven And yet the author makes it very clear that huge personality defects exist in all three of these people Villiers is irresponsible having fathered many bastards some uncared for and unloved He is a reckless and self absorbed man though thankfully not without his own moral code skewed though it might be He is very much an onion that is revealed slowly over the chapters of the book predominately within the scenes between he and Jemma Jemma likewise is flawed being almost calculating in her scheming primarily through her internal manipulation of managing the Harriet Benjamin revenge aspect with Villiers and her marriage Though blessedly this is done as a backdrop than as enacted in any actual ploy She is entirely self possessed and one could argue materialistic Her almost and occasionally uite deliberate flaunt of society’s rules has marked her not just as eccentric but almost as nearly socially taboo And yet she too is not a completely dislikeable character for though she deliberately challenges and manipulates both her situation and her husband she is not without reasons Having caught her husband philandering soon after her marriage her abandonment of him in London and her subseuent eight year hiatus and thus scorned feelings and actions lend her creditability and relateability Elijah likewise in many respects contains obvious flaws such as his inexcusable actions of the past and seemingly unapologetic attitude for his past transgressions Interestingly he too seems redeemable since he depicts himself as not malicious not self possessed and not unbending but rather as a man of his time And yet still after all that the above book people held far interest and likability for me than the two nothings of characters Roberta and DamonStill another big BIG issue I had with Desperate Duchesses was of all the unresolved issues within this story First there’s the fact that Eloisa makes a significant effort to paint the character of Villiers and his role in the story With as much time as this author put into this pivotal character one would think there would be at least a marginal resolution to his storyline in this book I understand not wrapping up everything in a neat tidy bow but some resolution at least as far as his influence in the book is concerned should be resolved The issue of Teddy’s parentage goes completely afar in left field as well never once being resolved In truth Eloisa makes almost a small production over the identity of Teddy’s mother plugging in a seemingly foreshadowing element When asked who the mother is Damon cryptically replies “I promised never to tell” Along with not resolving this issue at all never once referencing it again even the author also never once touched on the realistic complexity that A Roberta doesn’t like kids but wants to hitch her bus to a dude who’s got a kid and B the dramatic undertow of being with a man who previously had a child with an unknown woman While this concept might be common and acceptable in our time such an act would have been marginally dramatic during the time in which this novel was written Not to mention while it’s not unusual today dialogue still exists about past lovers the parents of children not the mother and emotion about previous relationships being resolved or unresolved This Never Happened Even ignoring this fact and the fact that Roberta will now take over the role of mother to Teddy despite not liking children she’s preggers at the end of the book Two big kids are here issues that go completely unresolvedAnd what’s frustrating there exists even additional aspects to the book which go unanswered Another issue is the importance necessity and even logic or lack thereof in including the random appearance of the character Charlotte and why her perspective was even vital to the novel to begin with? Granted while this character was only briefly on scene and only point of appearance being to develop a spontaneous crush on Elijah I still fail to understand why the author brought her into the book unless she’s to be series bait So too might have been Selina and Mrs Grope and even Villiers perhaps? But no apparently not because none of the subseuent books in this series that I examined contain any of the characters mentioned in this novel None of these characters’ appearance made any sense and all of their stories went unresolved Adding this to the fact that the huge dynamic that was almost the entire book among Elijah Jemma and Villiers as well as the bad marriage but things are lookin’ up aspect to Jemma and Elijah that all went unresolved and dropped hotter than a supernova and I’m left wonderingwhat the crap did I just read?The subseuence problems I had with the novel were miniscule in comparison but still viable as being problematic for me I struggled greatly with the fact that Eloisa in the early stages of the book made a big production out of the fact that Damon and Roberta were related While I understand very logically in fact the need for this plot device what with Roberta reuiring some other believable means of staying within the Beaumont house aside from Jemma’s eccentricity I still found its overuse annoying Many instances Eloisa uses the kinship of the hero and heroine as a way of an ice breaker mostly driven by Damon Many times throughout the book Damon would constantly reaffirm the family reality between himself and Roberta so as to bring Roberta into a comfortable mindset when dealing with intimate subjects or even disturbing in one instance even intimacy During a heavy make out session the hero actually reaffirms comfort during some smooching with the ‘it’s okay we’re family’ shtick This was big time difficult for me truly It’s one thing to utilize family dynamics even thin ones to establish logic in an historical romance especially one set in Georgian England I can handle that because when considering the small numbers in the society of that era with their emphasis on bloodlines I historically comprehend that plot device I do however find it seriously disgusting too much so for my modern mind to be reminded of the loose family connection during a physical scene Even so for that to be a driving force of sorts for said scene Big huge honkin’ no noAnother tiny problem I had was Eloisa’s choice to bring in so many different perspectives all the while without ever mending every POV into the story There’s Roberta’s which makes sense There’s Damon’s which makes sense There’s Villiers which makes decent sense There’s Jemma’s which makes decent sense There’s Elijah’s which makes less sense but okay There’s Charlotte the chick who likeddancedhad a crush on Elijahremember? which made even LESS sense And then there was the fact that Eloisa would briefly remove herself from perspective entirely operating as her own narrative This was predominately done in the river boat climax scene where no perspective was utilized to tell the events of Damon and Roberta’s boat lagging behind the others Here Roberta’s father yells that his daughter must have been abducted and Eloisa actually says on page 340;‘”My daughter” he roared “She’s been abducted” Now you may think that there was nothing but cows to hear the maruess’s howl of parental distress but in fact he was lucky’ That is a literal uote from the book and though it’s infantile that one little “you” drove me nearly bonkers with nerd rage Grammatically it might be fine since Eloisa was operating in the narrative and outside of character perspective but holy Budda’s belly from a reader point of view it was like finding a hair in my waffle The reasons are obvious and the rage is genuineDespite some of the epic book hate spewing forth I did find uite a number of things about this novel that were very enjoyable Over all despite its problems I did actually enjoy the plot of the story Such enjoyment though probably had to do with the style of writing as opposed to the actual seuence of events within the story I enjoyed the flow of the story how one event for the most part was integral to the story as a whole While there were scenes in the book that felt forced or ham fisted such as the river boat scene towards the end of the story overall I felt the book’s actions were real The scenes between Jemma and Villiers even the lust and physical obsession Roberta and Damon and the subseuent actions of their story all felt as though it were actually happening The detail was never so sparse that I couldn’t visualize what was happening around me but not so drenched into the story that I was ever denied my use of imagination I very much enjoyed the language of the writing and how genuine to the era the dialogue and internal monologues felt In addition to the enjoyable technical aspects to the book little gems were thrown in that were uite pleasant too Aside from learning that Chess was an extremely popular hobby among the ton in Georgian era I too learned that purposeful lisping was considered in vogue and a mark of high class uality Fashion too was subtly woven into the forgive the pun fabric of the story most especially with Villiers obsessive sense of outlandish fashionable colors and Jemma’s style Lastly I so truly appreciated the direction Eloisa adopted in regards to depicting children in her romance Not only was Roberta not obsessed with children marginally fearing them and even disliking them but likewise was Teddy Damon’s bastard never depicted as the classically cheesy Adorable Munchkin Not only were these two elements refreshing to see but they actually succeeded in bringing a degree of realism into the novelWhen proofreading this review it dawned on me that fundamentally I had far complaining than praise for this book and yet I stand this book at a two star rating Surprisingly if any book can prove that an author can run in direct contrast to a reader’s personal taste and still manage to entertain this one proves just that Even though I cringed at many major and minor aspects of this book even though there were characters that drove me up the wall even though many aspects of the story remained unresolved at the conclusion I still enjoyed the story I was interested in how the novel would resolve itself I was invested in the characters even the ones that bored me and I cared enough to truly want to arrive at the happily ever afterEloisa did a marvelous job in creating a diverse cast of characters that succeeded in keeping the story fresh At no point did the pacing ever diminish never once did a scene drag unnecessarily or boringly and at the end of the day I did not walk away from this book in book rage While I now officially realize Eloisa James’ style isn’t to my particular taste I accept that she knows her history and she does a marvelous job at painting a fictional landscape which pleases me to have been a part of truly


  8. Ezinwanyi Chinyere Ezinwanyi Chinyere says:

    35 stars


  9. Kate Kate says:

    Ah Ms James you certainly know how to make a girl want to stay up all night reading your entire series As the first installment in Ms James' Desperate Duchesses series Desperate Duchesses managed to introduce most of the characters we will be seeing in the coming books and still have time to fully develop a romance that was so sweet I will be grinning about it for daysRoberta is to be honest a bit of a brat She feels that her father is unfair to her and that because of him she will never ever marry So she decides to take matters into her own hands she even picks the man she will marry He is a Duke the Duke of Villiers one of the most notorious bachelors in London Notorious for his ruthless skill at chess as well as for his dalliances with young ladies even marriageable young ladiesDamon the Earl of Gryffyn knows that Villiers isn't the man for Roberta because he himself is of course Now if only he could prove that to her of course Ms James specifically chose the Georgian time period because of the blatant debauchery so it's no surprise when Damon decides the only way to persuade Roberta is to seduce her until she surrenders to himSome spoilers may lie ahead ye be warnedIt's difficult to get all of the wonderful detail of this story into a brief synopsis The main romance is a beautiful story Roberta really grows up over the course of the story and Damon learns an important lesson about having to fight for what you want But the true joy in this novel is seeing the future storylines coming into play Ms James is clearly weaving these stories together very intricately building them on top of each other structuring them actually rather like the chess game that Villiers and the Duchess of Beaumont play for many chaptersI adored Damon's son Teddy We see Roberta gradually accept him as the adorable rascal he is We can tell she will be a good mother to him despite her internal insistence that she would be terrible mother material She is clearly good with Teddy and even slightly critical of the way Damon speaks to himThe only issue I had was with the dissolution of Roberta's engagement to Villiers It happened too uickly too eagerly almost But I feel that it was somewhat redeemed by the following scenes with Villiers and some of his chess mates I also liked that we could see Villers' regret at some of his behavior and hints at his reformation in the last book in the series A Duke of Her Own which is coming out this year In the meantime there is a slew of other characters that will continue to delight and intrigue me for the next four books before that one


  10. Insh Insh says:

    I know that this is roberta's and damon's bookBut it feels like attention is paid to jemma and elijah even though their story is in the 5th book😕😕😕Im so confused that i cant seem to enjoy the storyOkay new updateThe ending was enjoyableespecially because it was focused on roberta and damon


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