Review – The Duke is Mine
  • Posted:
  • February 9, 2012
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Well, that’s the last of the Eloisa James Fairy Tales books. The Duke is Mine follows the tale of The Princess and the Pea… for the record, it’s the loosest adaptation of a fairy tale retelling I have read. That said, much of the book is good.

Olivia Lytton is betrothed to the future Duke of Canterwick, Rupert. Rupert is not all there and his Father hopes that Olivia will be able to provide many sons. Olivia is a larger girl and that is what attracted the proposal in the first place – the possibility of children in the bargain. Meanwhile, Olivia’s twin sister, Georgiana, has marital pursuits of her own. She must go to the Duke of Sconce estate to engage in a friendly test for his hand. Tarquin, called Quin, is an unemotional man. He is in complete control of his actions, but when it comes to his desires… well, all it takes is the introduction of the Lytton sisters to undermine him; specifically the Lytton sister which he is not supposed to be attracted to… Olivia. Quin is fascinated by her; her mind, her body, and her beauty. He thinks she’s the most stunning woman he has ever met. This complicates everything.

Much of this book was pretty interesting and I was prepared to give it a four… and then the last 50 pages happened, and she lost me. There’s a really weak “must do this” plot line that I felt did not work with the previous part of the book. That is also where James introduces the only element that hearkens back to the original fairy tale. To go that long and then finally put in the bit from Princess and the Pea feels tacked on. It feels like James said last minute “Oh yeah, I gotta make this book Princess and the Pea!” As a romance book without that element it would have been a more solid book. However, trying to add it last minute is not a good idea. It needed more up front to make it work.

I did love that Olivia wasn’t your standard cookie cutter heroine. She tells bawdy jokes, she’s a bigger girl and though she has her issues about it she owns it in the end. I also like that James did not have her gorging on food throughout the whole book to further the point of her weight. She simply was bigger and that’s ok. He liked her for it… and there needs to be more books with this idea in mind. That big girls need love too.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

– BP

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