Skip to main content

Book 28 of 52: A Duke of Her Own

Ladies and gentleman, we have a bodice ripper!

Well, not quite. If you look at the cover, you see an undone dress of a very frilly matter, and indeed, Eloisa James' A Duke of Her Own(pub. date July 28) is a historical romance, but this isn't your grandmother's romance. It involves a woman who would fit in modern day times (without the classic manners of course).

Eleanor Lindel does not have a husband. Given that she's in her early 20s in 1784, she's frightfully close to being called a spinster. She still holds a candle for her teenage love, who was forced to marry another woman to whom he was betrothed at birth (and they actually had sex -- scandal!) She has announced that she will marry no one under the stature of a Duke. Sounds haughty" Sure is. But it was her way of sending a message to said teenage love, who happens to be a duke.

In strides the Duke of Villiers. He's a rake in every sense of the word, from his dark brooding looks to his six illegitimate children, who he is finding and bringing under his own roof. He needs a mother for them, and he's a duke. And the story rolls from there.

I've never read a historical romance outside of sneaking peaks at other books (I remember going through a bunch at the library when I was a teenager and putting them back -- not a fan). But this was a really enjoyable book to read. James is actually Dr. Mary Bly, a Shakespeare scholar at Fordham University. I interviewed her yesterday for another article I'm writing about the romance novel industry, and I could see the skill she puts into the writing. It's a very tight narrative, funny and even weaves Shakespeare and Lord Byron works into the story without hitting you over the head with academics.

James/Bly has a great back story. You can read about it when my article comes out in May, or click here. I remember reading about here in 2005 when she shared with the public that she was a Shakespeare professor. See, all that random knowledge rolling around my brain CAN be handy!

When searching for a cover image of James/Bly's book, I came across an older book with the same title:



YIKES on the cover (the abs! the fuchsia!) though the pub date on THIS version of that title is 2006. I like the James/Bly cover better.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book 23 of 52: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

More romance? Of course! The world is on fire, and I can't ingest all the fires all the time. Sometimes I want to turn to genre fiction as an escape, even if an escape is into a patriarchal society where it's SCANDAL that a woman sometimes, when riding a horse, wears pants. Because of Miss Bridgerton is the first book in Julia Quinn's Rokesbys Series , which are prequels to her enormously popular  Bridgerton Series  (and now a  Netflix show ). These books are similar, of course, but instead being set in the Recency era of the 1810s, these books take place at the same time as the American Revolution (though still in England).  Here we meet Sybilla "Bille" Bridergton, who is stuck on the roof of a building because she chased a cat up there. She climbed up herself (scandalous woman!) but also twisted her ankle in the process, which is why she needs help to get down.  That help comes from George Rokesby. Their families are neighbors, and they've known each other

Book 26 of 52: The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown

I'm not going to write a long review of Tina Brown's The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil  for two reasons. First, it's been hashed to death already, as anything about the royals is, by people who are far more invested in this whole thing than I am. And second, I'm in the frantic "do I really need a jean jacket AND a windbreaker" level of packing before a long trip. I can say that I didn't mind listening to this nearly 18 hour audiobook while the rest of the world is on fire, although of course they are not insulated. We can pretend that the Royal Family lives in a bubble, but they are enormously influential; touched by the same issues of race, class and gender; and Queen Elizabeth II is one of most influential politicians of modern times — and she is a politician, no matter what anyone says. Her death will be a global, cultural moment. Same thing with the Pope, on both fronts. I listened to Brown's  The Diana Chro

Book 12 of 52: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi is an author and graphic novelist who grew up in Iran and, as a tween and teen, lived in the country through  the Iranian Revolution before her parents sent her to Europe for school, and for her safety.  As an adult, she wrote Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood ,  a nonfiction graphic novel, originally in French. I read the English translation, which was published in 2003, three years after the original. It was a critical success, won a slew of awards, and became a movie . I haven't read the sequel, Persepolis 2 , but I hope to (you can also  buy them in a set . I found Persepolis  in a Little Free Library, or I'd have bought them combined).  In the tradition of Art Spiegelman's  Maus , which is about the author's father talking to him about the Holocaust,  Persepolis  is a memoir of trauma told through a mix of images and words that when combined, combust into powerful, beautiful and soul cracking art.  For example, Satrapi portrays the 1978 Cinema R