Duchess By Night,
Written By: Eloisa James
Published By: Avon Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2008, First Avon Books Printing, 373 pages, paperback
“Duchess By Night is a decadent, sizzling romp; a tale of Historical Romance that is thoroughly enjoyable.”
Lady Harriet, Duchess of Berrow is the portrait of perfection and responsibility. But being a Duchess has turned into a weighty burden and has become intolerably suffocating. The beautiful Lady Harriet has been a widow for more then two years and has lived the luxurious but demanding life of integrity and refinement that is required of her.
When the ducal bonds become too suffocating, Harriet wishes for some sort of diversion that would liven up her world. Why can’t she be more like the ravishing Duchess of Beaumont or the gorgeous Duchess of Cosway?
As Harriet longs for some freedom and distraction, she and her cohorts, a fellow Lord and two Ladies of the Realm, come up with a plan to attend the scandalous party hosted by the infamous Lord Justinian Strange. They decided that Lady Harriet would be disguised as a man so she can remain anonymous.
Lord Justinian Strange also known as Jem, hosts titillating fete’s at his large Country Estate on a continuous basis.
Jem is famous because of his elaborate and scandalous parties and his vast fortune. Anyone daring enough to risk scandal was sure to have a delightful time in his ‘strange’ world.
As a widower and father of an eight year old daughter, Jem is not nearly as peculiar as many would like to believe. The love he has for his adorable daughter Eugenia, keeps Lord Strange from slipping too deeply into the fantastical-world he has created on his Estate.
With an inventive mind and limitless funds at his disposal, why should he not host parties and gatherings where actors, musicians and people from all stations of life could mingle freely and take pleasure in self-indulgence?
When Jem finds himself strangely attracted to the young man called Mr. Cope, he simply can not understand it. He had never considered himself to be a ‘molly’…
Duchess By Night is a lovely story of strictures falling away and the freedom to enjoy life’s pleasures. As Lady Harriet starts to experience life from a male perspective she realizes that she has been missing out on a lot for much of her young life.
I really enjoyed the flow of the story and found that it was somewhat unique, compared to some of the standard historical romances I’ve read. It had an added freshness and there were some encouraging variations from the usual structure.
The characters were convincing and well described. I did find Lord Strange’s limitless amount of money a little over the top, but I guess that is just the view from a ‘regular’ person who isn’t rolling in heaps of money *smiles*.
The parties are lovely and well described. The steamy sex scenes between Harriet and Jem are mouth-watering!
I really enjoyed reading this book and I recommend it!
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (7 out of 10 Diamonds) – I really enjoyed it