‘Four Nights with the Duke’ by Eloisa James: Romance by the master of romance

4 ngihts

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

No one writes romance like Eloisa James (except perhaps Julia Quinn). Is it her years studying (and teaching) Shakespeare that gives her stories an extra bit of veritas?

Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington, the female protagonist in this love story, knows what she wants. She’s known it since she was a child. She wants Vander, also knows as the Duke of Pindar. That’s where it all gets sticky in a convoluted way that only James would be able to write her way out of.

Mia’s father and Vander’s mother were lovers for years and years. In the meantime, Vander’s father was still living while the affair raged. The why’s and where’s come out in detail in this story.

Mia needs a husband. If she doesn’t bet one, she will lose custody of her frail nephew, and he might lose his estate. She happens to have a letter that enables her to blackmail the duke into marrying her. She plans on a quickie marriage and quickie annulment. Vander thinks otherwise.

Mia is a great character. She is not a slender heroine with long limbs. She describes herself as having “distressing expanses of pink flesh,” and she prefers not to look in mirrors when not clothed. She also writes novels — the romance novels of that time. So the story alternates between the love story and her correspondence with her editor about her current novel.

It’s all beautifully written and carefully crafted, featuring characters from previous novels, including “Three Weeks with Lady X.” Don’t miss reading both romance stories!

Please note: This review is based on the final paperback book provided by Avon Books for review purposes.