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Search tags: Eloisa-James
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review 2017-06-26 06:53
Just odd
Desperate Duchesses - Eloisa James

I've been intermittently reading James's novels as the mood strikes me for historicals, and it always seems to go thusly: one novel that's cute and light, followed by one (or even two) that are too douchey or dumb. I first hit James because she's the daughter of Robert Bly, a local poet of some note. I pretty much live to hate read Bly's stuff, which I have the occasion to do because my dad thinks he's awesome. So there's this tangled web of fathers and daughters and reading and whatnot. 

 

Though James is a romance novelist, she's also a Shakespeare scholar and Robert and Carol Bly's kid. (I like Carol better than Robert as a writer; Carol's essays are aces.) So sometimes James writes a nice little ditty, and sometimes she goes too far up her own thing referencing Elizabethan poets. I adore Donne, but seriously, there's a limit. It just feels douchey at a point in Georgian romantic smut. And it's not as if I oppose some literary gilding in ur romance fiction, but just that it was excessive here. For sure the main character's dad DID NOT write the Christopher Smart poem to His Cat Joeffry, which is a great poem, and the misattribution annoys me some, even though it's fully acknowledged in a preface. 

 

This was not bad, just .. odd as a romance novel. It took me ages to sort the primary couple, which can be fine, like in Talisman Ring, but here just felt diffuse. Maybe it's the Georgian setting, which is historically less, ahem, straightlaced than either the Recency or the Victorian periods, but the open fuckery sometimes felt forced. Even set now, where fuckery is not entirely unexpected, I find the easy acceptance of marital affairs, especially by women, not precisely believable. Women have always been under the thumb.

 

Anyway, this was fine, but clearly the start of a series, so it feels like set dressing more than playing. I'm sure I read a later book in this series at one point, and while are nods to all kinds of shit that happened in previous books, which I find irritating, the book itself was well richer for the personalities laid down earlier. Alas, early and later have their issues. 

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text 2017-05-13 20:49
Much Ado About You (Essex Sisters Series Book 1) by Eloisa Jame $1,99
Much Ado About You - Eloisa James

When you're the oldest daughter, you don't get to have any fun!

 

Witty, orphaned Tess Essex faces her duty: marry well and marry quickly, so she can arrange matches for her three sisters -- beautiful Annabel, romantic Imogen and practical Josie. After all, right now they're under the rather awkward guardianship of the perpetually tipsy Duke of Holbrook. But just when she begins to think that all might end well, one of her sisters bolts with a horse-mad young lord, and her own fiancé just plain runs away.

Which leaves Tess contemplating marriage to the sort of man she wishes to avoid -- one of London's most infamous rakes. Lucius Felton is a rogue whose own mother considers him irredeemable! He's delicious, Annabel points out. And he's rich, Josie notes. But although Tess finally consents to marry him, it may be for the worst reason of all. Absurd as she knows it to be, she may have fallen utterly in love . . .

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review 2017-04-29 06:04
Quick Thoughts: Storming the Castle (novella)
Storming the Castle: An Original Short Story (Audio) - Eloisa James,Nicola Barber

Storming the Castle
by Eloisa James

audio book narrated by Nicola Barber

Fairy Tales #1.5 (novella)

 

 

What Miss Phillipa Damson needs is a good, old fashioned knight in shining armor.  What she has is a fiancé she never wanted and a compelling urge to run away.  But if she manages to escape, will she find her happily ever after?



This novella started strong, and truthfully, I had been thinking that I liked it more than I liked it's preceding book, A Kiss At Midnight.  Because, truthfully, A Kiss At Midnight was just riddled with romance plot clichés and over dramatic angst, even if the book itself was pretty enjoyable.

The conditions of which Phillipa leaves her family and her betrothal to pursue a life for herself was exciting.  In fact, it was the best part of the novella, because it helps establish Phillipa's character outside of just being a Romance Novel Heroine, where everything revolves around a man and her love life.  I loved that she has a self-revelation about not wanting to continue being told what she should feel, how she should think, what she should want with her life, or how lucky she was to have her future taken care of for her.

That she took the initiative to step out of that mold to find her own way in life drew me in, and made me intrigued at what was in store for her.

That she would find Jonas Berwick, majordomo extraordinaire, in her future was also a bonus for me since I absolutely loved him from the first book.

The insta-lust that took place as soon as she enters the castle to become a nursemaid was not surprising.  And I was actually looking forward to the potential love story between her and one of my favorite characters from A Kiss At Midnight, Prince Gabriel's half-brother, Jonas Berwick.  Since the first book, I had found Berwick's character to be much more attractive and interesting than the main male character and had secretly wanted Kate to fall for him instead.

I had hoped he'd get his own book.

But a novella will have to suffice, I suppose, though, to be honest, after finishing this novella, I feel like Berwick deserved a much better story.

The moment we get to the castle, the story kind of plateaus and stops being exciting.  The love story feels supremely lukewarm, and while I like that Phillipa and Berwick don't fall in love at first sight, I never felt the chemistry between them.  I felt more chemistry between Kate and Phillipa, or even the castle's French cook and Phillipa, than between our resident main couple.  Berwick was severely underused in this novella, and honestly, I repeat, he deserves a full length novel and a better story.

When we get to the concluding chapter and find out that Phillipa had, yet another reason for not wanting to marry her betrothed Rodney... I guess that was it for me.  Because simply wanting the freedom to make her own choices wasn't enough?  I couldn't fault her for that.  But she announces another, much more superficial reason to her father, barely even mentioning the fact that she was tired of being strung around like a puppet by the people in her life.  No, Phillipa's reasons for not wanting to marry Rodney had more to do with the fact that Rodney isn't exactly the most physically appealing person, despite the fact that he was never a bad person to begin with.

That conclusion severely set Phillipa's character development from the first couple chapters backwards, and I stopped feeling bad for her that her father kept trying to force her into a life she didn't want.

Anyway, I can't deny that despite everything I disliked about this novella, Eloisa's writing style for the Fairy Tales stories are written in a distinctly "Once Upon A Time" like whimsical way that I like.  It truly feels like I'm reading (or in this case listening to) a fairy tale being told.

***

Booklikes-opoly


Roll #4:  (A third double landed me in Jail.)
Read 138 pages to add onto my 300 page Jail sentence.

No increase in Bank.

See Also:  Fourth Roll Activities

 

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/04/quick-thoughts-storming-castle-novella.html
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review 2017-03-21 00:26
A Nice Audiobook Retelling
When Beauty Tamed the Beast [ WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST ] by James, Eloisa ( Author) on Feb, 01, 2011 Mass Market Paperbound - Eloisa James

April 2012

Audio- wonderful tale of love lust and anger. The beast is a young Doctor with daddy issues and a physical injury that left him with a bad leg. He roars around yelling at all and happy with none. The beauty is of course a beauty that was used for her looks and tossed out of the Ton because of pregnancy rumors. She is shipped off the the beast in an arranged marriage to give him an heir and her a husband to save her from ruin.
Their tale is filled with anger, snarky humor, lust and stubbornness. They are beautiful together, even at the worst. The supporting characters fit well and bring laughter to the right moments. We all know the tale of beauty and the beast, and still there are many surprises here. Not to be missed for a romantic, historical fairy tale.
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text 2017-03-20 19:53
When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James 99 cents!
When Beauty Tamed the Beast [ WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST ] by James, Eloisa ( Author) on Feb, 01, 2011 Mass Market Paperbound - Eloisa James

 

A wonderful spin on a much-beloved fairy tale, Eloisa James’s When Beauty Tamed the Beast is heart-soaring and fun historical romance at its finest. No wonder People magazine raves about her books, saying, “Romance writing does not get much better than this.” Eloisa’s delightful take on Beauty and the Beast unfolds in Regency England, where a beastly, bad-tempered Earl matches wits with a brazen beauty who has vowed to make the handsome grump fall in love with her in two short weeks.

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