Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Blog Tour: Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James (Review + Giveaway)

Love Saves the World welcomes Eloisa James! This is truly a wonderful honour for my blog because I am such a big, big fan of Eloisa James and loved, loved, loved her last book and all her other books, actually. ^_^

Avon is hosting a tour-wide Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for A Print Copy of A DUKE OF HER OWN, Book Six in the Desperate Duchesses Series. To follow the rest of Eloisa's tour, click here.

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About the book:


The next fabulous romance by New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James.

Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized fa├žade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India. Exquisite, headstrong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks. But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them. Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option. But there is only one thing that will make India his ... the one thing Thorn can't afford to lose ... his fierce and lawless heart.

Link to Desperate Duchesses Series at Goodreads:

Buy Links for the book:

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My Review:

There's an air of nostalgia in the world of romance lately where I've noticed some authors revisiting their past series and characters -- and I love it!

In Three Weeks with Lady X, Eloisa James returns to her much beloved Desperate Duchesses series and tells the story of one of the Duke of Villiers's bastards: Thorn Dautry and his "Lady X".

From their first meeting, there is so much intensity that crackles between him and India. I thought they were a well-matched pair: both are self-made, very professional, and very driven, but there are also so many differences that separate the two:
1. The circumstance of their birth: Thorn is a bastard and India is the daughter of a marquess
2. The circumstance of their upbringing: Thorn had a generally happy life (from the age of 12) and India's whole life was filled with instability and uncertainty (and hunger) because her parents were flighty

Thorn and India have focused their entire lives to realise a dream: the perfect life. It is a bit ironic that India's job is to improve other people's homes and lives, but she has never directed her efforts on herself.

It was exhilarating to create order from chaos. She would renovate a room or two, turn the staffing upside down, and leave, knowing that the household would run like clockwork -- at least until the owners mucked it up again. Every house presented a different -- and fascinating -- challenge.
- loc 196

For Thorn, he already has the money, the friend, and the (grudging) acceptance of society -- but he believes that a titled wife and a country home would be the crowning glory to his life's work. He has the perfect lady in mind and the perfect country house purchased -- now he just needs India's services to tie everything together. Thorn doesn't count on being so interested in India, and being so exhilarated and excited by his encounters with her -- and who wouldn't be?

Something about those furious blue eyes was giving him an erection. A very unwelcome erection, since he hadn't bothered to put on a coat when the ladies were announced. Damn it, there was a reason men wore coats, and his reason was getting bigger every moment.
- loc 638

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"If you ever say anything like that to me again, I will walk out that door and never return," India stated.

There was a moment of silence, and then he smiled again. It was galling to recognise a drop of admiration in his eyes. "Balls," he said, "you've got them."
- loc 1339

India is just one of the most sparky heroines that I've ever encountered. She is a bundle of energy and creativity and fire -- I really did fall in love with her when I read her. I love how hard she works and how practical she is. I also love that India isn't an intellectual and never pretends to be -- not to say that India is dim, because she possesses a special kind of intelligence. Lala, Thorn's object of desire, is another woman who possesses a special aptitude that isn't appreciated by the people around her.

I love how the author used the love triangle theme in this story: Thorn wants Lala. India wants Lala for Thorn. Lala doesn't want Thorn. There was no contest because neither of the ladies actually wanted to gentleman and it made for an interesting dynamic how India tried to stay out of Thorn and Lala's way -- and, in the end, it was Lala who removed herself from the equation. It was nice to read Lala's thoughts and feelings about herself and society. It was also painful to read such honesty from her. From the outside, she seemed the perfect debutante -- but, on the inside, she loathed the attention and the "games" --

There is a wonderful reflection on "The grass is always greener" idiom as Thorn reveals his "jealousy" over India's pristine bloodlines and how India envies Lala's joyfulness. It is a reminder how we all have our burdens and concerns and histories -- and it is an invitation to look closer and to peer deeper. The danger of taking things at face value is seen in Lady Rainsford, Lala's mother. She is a shallow and vain woman who is too self-centered and self-serving -- poor Lala was so stifled by her mother, so I'm glad that she was able to get out from under her mother's imperious shadows.

Throughout the fuss over the tea tray, Lala told herself that she was not going to sit like a stone, without opening her mouth. She was going to be witty. She had rehearsed some clever things to say, and she had asked her maid to read aloud the Morning Post. If the conversation lagged, she planned to say -- brightly -- "Isn't it marvellous that those terrible mutinies in the Royal Navy were put down quickly?"
- loc 1486

As I write this, I realise now that there are a lot of characters in this novel and all of them have very interesting stories: Rose, Vander, Lala, Lady Adelaide, Eleanor and Villiers -- normally, too many characters would weigh down and muddle a story, but Eloisa James manages to highlight each character. I would love to read more about Vander and, even though James never mentions the rest of Villiers' motley brood, they sound like a very fascinating group of children. ^_^

One of the ways I know that I've read a really good book is that I ask the question: "What's next?" and I proceed to stalk check out the author's website, Facebook, and Twitter pages to find out. I did that with this book -- and I'm really, really excited to read Vander's story next. ;-)

Disclosure: I received this ARC from Edelweiss as part of the tour. Thank you to Avon, Eloisa James and Tasty Book Tours for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.

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About the author:

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa's very first book that she "found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar;" later People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is a distinguished professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her "double life" is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she's written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women's magazines such as Good Housekeeping and More to writers' journals such as the Romance Writers' Report.

Author Links

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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for A Print Copy of Desperate Duchesses #6, A DUKE OF HER OWN
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To follow the rest of Eloisa's tour, click here.



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