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Mass Market Paperback When the Duke Returns Book

ISBN: 0061245607

ISBN13: 9780061245602

When the Duke Returns

(Book #4 in the Desperate Duchesses Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

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Book Overview

The Duchess of Cosway yearns for a man she has never met . . . her husband. Married by proxy as a child, Lady Isidore has spent years fending off lecherous men in every European court while waiting to... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

When the Duke Returns

Married since she was a young girl, Isidore, the Duchess of Cosway, is tired of her husband being gone from her. She and Simeon were married by proxy more than eleven years ago. Since their wedding day, Isidore has not laid so much as one eye on her husband. She remains a virgin despite the various attempts of nefarious rakes wanting her maidenhead. Yet, what good is her being pure when her husband is not in the same country and has not been for years. Isidore has a plan to bring her wayward husband to her side. The plan? To cause as much scandal as possible so that he has no choice but to come and claim her. Her playground for this scheme? Europe. Simeon Jermyn, the Duke of Cosway, finds himself in a dilemma. Not wanting to upset the inner balance and fortitude he learned at the hands of Asian masters while on his travels, Simeon knows he has to retrieve his wife. Reclaim her he does but consummate his marriage he does not. Simeon wants to remarry Isidore because he feels the vows they exchanged by proxy so long ago don't count. Plus he wants to give her the opportunity to have their unfulfilled marriage annulled if that is what she wishes. What Isidore wishes is for her husband to want her. She sets about trying to entice and seduce. All the while Simeon fights his own inner battles. Wanting to live his life the "Middle Way", he is in for a challenge with his duchess. I am betting I know the winner of this battle! Isidore was way more patient than I. More than once I found myself wanting to take Simeon's clothes off myself just so he would get on with the marriage consummation. His wanting to resume his obligations to his family was note worthy and while he thought Isidore was not the proper sort of duchess I loved watching her change his mind. Her tenacity at getting what she wanted made me smile more than once. The side plot of When the Duke Returns was just as enticing as Isidore and Simeon's story. Rooting for Jemma to find happiness, I am now on pins and needles waiting to see if she gets her happy ever after. Eloisa James is a household name for me in the genre of historical romance. Knowing without a doubt that I am in for a great storyline and beautiful setting with each novel I read, I welcome each addition to my keeper shelf. When the Duke Returns has me smitten and I can't wait to see the next Desperate Duchess installment. Cross your fingers it is Jemma's story! Talia Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed

A refreshing and entertaining story

I read another review from a reader stating that James's "Desperate Duchesses" series improves with each book. I think she finally hit her peak with this one. It really was the perfect historical romance with a hot blooded Italian and an eccentric, reluctant duke who runs about the countryside in short trousers (oh, the scandal!). I loved that our heroine, Lady Isidore, was completely unwilling to compromise her beliefs, opinions, and ideas because a man and--more specifically--her husband told her to do so. At every turn, she frustrated and irritated our hero, Simeon. My suspicion was that he was frustrated because what he loved most about her turned his life upside down. Feisty, beautiful, and incredibly bright, Isidore was a woman before her time. And she's a little bit of what every woman strives to be. Simeon, on the other hand, is intelligent, thoughtful, and stubborn to a fault. He has his own ideas about this proxy marriage of his and feels that Isidore should bend to that will even if she doesn't agree with it. He spent years traveling abroad and gathering up unique experiences like a bouquet of flowers and yet knows little of the ways of the world. What I loved most about this particular novel is that it was unusual in that very early in the book, we discover that not only is Isidore a virgin (of course) but that Simeon is also a virgin. I've read tons of romance novels over the years, and this is the first one that identified the hero as a virgin...and he's proud of it! What a refreshing change! Isidore is shocked and actually assumes that something must be wrong with Simeon. But it's revealed later on that he had several very good reasons for maintaining his own innocence. I truly loved this story and loved it even more as it progressed. Definitely one of James's best!

A total pleasure!

I'm so happy to be able to say that this is one of Eloisa's best books yet. The things I had a bit of trouble with in the last book have been smoothed out and it's just a pleasure from beginning to end. There are still multiple story lines going, but this time it down to just two and I'm really, really looking forward to the next book which should be Jemma and Elijah's story. She has really brought those two to life and I'm liking them even more in this installment although the hints that are being thrown out make me wonder what's in store for them. Thankfully there was plenty of time for our main couple Isidore and Simeon, the two Virgins. A very different kind of couple, a passionate Italian and a Duke who was following The Middle Way after having lived in India for so long. They were both delightful and the writing was above and beyond. Their 'first time' scene was so realistic and funny. And the problems with the privys...I can still smell it...LOL Great hero. Great heroine. Great plot. Great writing. Great book.

Desperate for more duchesses

The series continues to improve with this book. Isidore and Simeon, married for years by proxy, finally meet, and while we pretty well know the ultimate outcome, we are regaled with Ms. James' usual witty diaglog, spot on descriptions of the period, and complexities of plot and character development. The previous book, beset with the usual problems inherent in plots using the "girl dressing as boy" conceit, was the weakest of the series. This, by far, is the strongest. The sub-plot of Jemma, Elijah, and Leopold grows more intricate as well and the author promises the next book to be Jemma's story. I'm a little concerned about it's outcome, considering the hints being thrown out, but it just makes me want to learn more about the duchesses. Not the mundane family saga of siblings lined up to be presented with their sagas by turns; these are people who have established relationships, know the real rules of their society, don't speak in anachronisms, and come to life. Highly, highly recommended.
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