Review: The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales #4) by Eloisa James

Thursday, August 25
My rating:
5 Stars… 

What I loved:

How can she dare to imagine he loves her... when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess?

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke's passion.

Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months.

Theo would have given it a lifetime... until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry. Society was shocked by their wedding; it's scandalized by their separation.

Now James faces the battle of his lifetime, convincing Theo that he loved the duckling who blossomed into the swan.

And Theo will quickly find that for a man with the soul of a pirate, All's Fair in Love — or War.


This might be spoiler-y, but I'm too excited to stop it!

What I loved:

I cannot count all the ways I loved this book. I mean - I'm going to try because this is a book review, but I don't think I could do it justice.
- Theo & James had such a beautiful friendship - I so believed in it. They were funny, honest, playful, teasing, and just plain old glorious. Like after their wedding night, talking about a guy who's nickname is Periwinkle...
Quote…She hesitated. "Is that a reference to the size of his male organ?"
"I'm afraid so."
"I should think small would be a benefit. I'm certain most women would prefer it. They should boast about those nicknames."
A little laugh exploded from his mouth. "Am I to take it that you're sore from last night?"
"Yes," Theo admitted. "I wish you had a periwinkle."

- EJ writes smoking hot, 10 star sexy times!
- Theo's vengeance is swift and brutal, and I am still convinced that James deserved it. I have never seen a hero so punished by a heroine.
- I've read heroines that don't realise how beautiful they are - but really we find out they are actually supermodels. Theo isn't that heroine. Her beauty comes from something much better than a perfectly delicate face and being built like a pixie pinup doll. She is dazzling, entertaining, smart, vivacious. If Scarlett O'Hara manipulated people into not realising she was plain, Theo dazzled them into not caring. She won me over, just like she won over Paris, London, and James.
- A pirate! I've never met a pirate hero before. James was imperfectly wonderful, and deep down I stand by the opinion that he had a beautiful heart. Having said that, he deserved to have his ass kicked. But more on that later.
- Theo & her mum had such a wonderful relationship. I was absolutely invested in her opinion, her thoughts, her feelings. Mrs. Saxby was fantastic, took no shit, and loved her daughter.
- The 'baddies' in this story were not caricatures. They were human beings who had flaws. They made mistakes. James' father was a c*nt - like, I hated him and was happy when he died - and then after he died I started to mourn right along with James. I am so happy that EJ can manipulate my emotions that way!
- Did I mention that I loved the way Theo handed James his ass when he betrayed her?

What I didn’t love:

- I was so crushed at how James' betrayal squished the passion and joy out of Theo's life. I know she achieved amazing things, and that the way the story plays out is good for feeding James' guilt... but how wonderful it would have been if she also had a bad mamajama of a lover. Or two! I didn't want her to lose her sexuality.
- James was a liar, not including the main lie he tells to cause his split from Theo. Case in point:
Quote…He ran his hands through her hair and then said, quietly, "You were the second, Daisy. And the last."

Oh, ho ho ho - no she fucking was not the last.
- Seven years apart. Really? Even though I hated how James betrayed Theo, by about year 2 I was thinking uhmmm... can he go home now. And then a thing happens and I think Aha! Now he'll go home and start fixing what he broke. He didn't. He makes it worse. And then a sad thing happens and he still doesn't go home! It was the perfect opportunity. So what if she was super clear about never wanting to see your face again - go after what you want, damn you!!


This is my second book of Eloisa James' Fairy Tales series and I think I love it even more than When Beauty Tamed the Beast. Maybe. I cried, and cheered, and cursed, and swooned. I adored the underlying message. Wonderful!

Quote…He glanced down at Theo. Her eyes were painted with an exotic tilt at the corners. Her cheekbones were regal and her bottom lip was colored a perfect red that made it more kissable than it already was. Small but lush breasts, skin the color of clear moonlight, rose above a waist the size of a man’s hand.

But none of that mattered compared to the innate kindness in her eyes, the joyful turn of her lip, the wild intelligence with which she greeted every day.
That was beautiful.
Post Comment
Post a Comment

Auto Post Signature

Auto Post  Signature