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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sneak Peek & Giveaway: Three Weeks With Lady X


PJ here.  I discovered the books of Eloisa James in 2006 and it didn't take long for her to secure a place on my auto-buy list.  In the intervening years I've read everything Ms. James has published. Many of her books have been 5-star reads for me but a few have surpassed that rating to achieve a rare Top Dish designation. Three Weeks With Lady X, a March 25, 2014 release is one of those special Top Dish books.  This story takes me on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end, introducing me to characters who fascinate me, infuriate me, elicit both tears and cheers and leave me thinking about them long after their story reaches its very satisfying conclusion.  This one is a Top Dish keeper.

I have a very special treat for you today.  Not only do we have a sneak peek excerpt from Three Weeks With Lady X  but one randomly chosen reader who leaves a comment on today's blog will have the opportunity to read this story a full month before it's published! Eloisa James has graciously offered one print ARC of Three Weeks With Lady X for today's giveaway. To be eligible for the giveaway, tell me which Eloisa James book is your favorite and why.  Or, if you haven't read any of her books yet, tell me why you'd like to read this one.  (Giveaway is limited to U.S. mailing addresses)

For more exclusive information about Three Weeks With Lady X throughout the month of March, be sure to subscribe to the Eloisa James newsletter.  

For more information about  Eloisa James and her other books, visit her website and connect with her online at the following places:

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Three Weeks With Lady X
by Eloisa James
Chapter One
June 14, 1799
Number 22, Charles Street
London residence of the Dibbleshires
 “Lady Xenobia, I adore you!”
Lord Dibbleshire’s brow was beaded with sweat and his hands were trembling. “In vain have I struggled, but I can no longer contain my ardent feelings; I must reveal to you, no, enlighten you about the depths of my emotion!”
India managed not to step back, but it took an effort. She tried to summon up a perfect smile, kind but not encouraging. Though she wasn’t positive that smile even existed.
Whatever she came up with, would be better than an utterly inappropriate shriek of Bloody hell, not again! Daughters of marquesses—even deceased and arguably mad marquesses—did not shriek. More’s the pity.
The smile didn’t seem to work, so she trotted out her standard answer: “You do me too much honor, Lord Dibbleshire, but—”
“I know,” he responded, rather unexpectedly. Then he frowned. “I mean, no!No honor is too great for you. I have fought against my better judgment and while I realize that there are those who consider your reputation to be sullied by your profession, I know the truth. The truth shall prevail!”
Well, that was something. But before India could comment on the truth (or lack thereof), he toppled onto his knees. “I will marry you, Lady Xenobia India St. Clair,” he bellowed, widening his eyes to indicate his own shock at this declaration. “I, Baron Dibbleshire, will marry you.”
“Please do get up,” she said, resisting the urge to groan.
“I know that you will refuse me, owing to your inestimable modesty. But I have made up my mind, Lady Xenobia. The protection of my title—and, of course, yours as well—will overcome the ill effects of your unfortunate occupation. A plight to which you were driven, a point I shall make early and often. The ton will accept us … they will accept you, once you have the benefit of becoming Baroness Dibbleshire.”
Aggravation marched up her spine like a troop of perfectly dressed soldiers. True, her reputation was tarnished by the fact that she refused to stay home practicing her needlework. But as she was the daughter of a marquess, technically a Dibbleshire would be lucky to dance with her. Not that she cared about such things. Still, her godmother accompanied her everywhere—even now Lady Adelaide Swift was likely within earshot—and if nothing else, Adelaide’s chaperonage had ensured that India remain as pure as the driven snow despite her unfortunate occupation.
Who would have guessed that taking on the task of ordering people’s lives would have tarnished her lily-white wings?
At that moment, the door to the sitting room opened and her suitor’s mother appeared. India’s head began to pound. She never should have agreed to Lady Dibbleshire’s plea that India refurbish her drawing room, no matter how interesting a challenge it was to strip the room of its Egyptian furnishings.
“Howard, what in heaven’s name are you doing?” the lady demanded, making the whole situation even more farcical than it already was.
Dibbleshire sprang to his feet with surprising ease, inasmuch as his center of gravity was quite low slung and hung over his breeches. “I have just informed Lady Xenobia that I love her, and she has agreed to become my wife!”
India’s eyes were met—thankfully—by a gleam of sympathy in Lady Dibbleshire’s. “His lordship has misunderstood,” India told her.
“Alas, I have no doubt of that. Child,” Howard’s mother said, “every time I think that you have demonstrated the depths of your similarity to your father, you astonish me yet again.”
Dibbleshire scowled and looked, spaniel-like, back to India. “I will not allow you to refuse me. I haven’t slept for two nights, unable to think of anything but you. I have made up my mind to rescue you from your life of drudgery!”
He reached out his hand, and India nimbly stepped back. “Lord Dibbleshire—”
“You move from house to house, ceaselessly working.” His pale blue eyes gazed at her with devotion.
“Dear Lord, Howard,” Lady Dibbleshire exclaimed, “if our estate is ever lost, I am happy to think that you will be able to support us by making a living on the stage. However, it is my duty as a mother to point out that you are being rather vulgar.”
Apparently, his lordship had confused vulgarity with honor; he gave his mother a ferocious glare.
“Lady Xenobia is our dear and valued guest,” her ladyship continued, “who has been kind enough to aid me with restoration of the drawing room, as well as persuading the inestimable Mrs. Flushing to be our cook. For which”—she turned to India—“I shall be eternallygrateful.”
India had the knack of moving excellent servants into households where they would be appreciated and well paid. Mrs. Flushing had been languishing in the employ of a dyspeptic general and was far happier cooking for Dibbleshire and his mother.
“And Howard,” Lady Dibbleshire continued, “clearly you too are enjoying Mrs. Flushing’s menus, given your expanding middle.”
He scowled again and pulled at his waistcoat.
India opened her mouth to say something soothing, but at that moment her godmother  bustled into the room, accompanied by a stream of words. “Darlings,” Lady Adelaide cried, “that lovely Mr. Sheraton has sent a delectable small mahogany table. Jane, you will adore it, simply adore it!” She and Lady Dibbleshire had been school friends; indeed, nearly all of India’s clients were her godmother’s near and dear acquaintances.
“How splendid,” Lady Dibbleshire said. “Where will you place it, Lady Xenobia?”
India had become famous for designing rooms in which furniture was scattered in unstudied, asymmetrical seating arrangements. “I shall have to see it to be sure, but in the grouping under the south window, I think.”
“Perfect!” Adelaide exclaimed, clapping her hands. “Your drawing room will be the talk of London, Jane, mark my words.”
“We shall come take a look,” Lady Dibbleshire replied, “just as soon as I’ve persuaded my feckless son that your goddaughter has far better things to do than marry one such as he.”
“Oh my dear, you mustn’t be harsh to sweet Howard.” Adelaide moved over to Dibbleshire and took his hand. “I’m certain that India would be ecstaticto marry you, if only the circumstances were different.”
“I would never burden your name with the social opprobrium resulting from the path my life has taken,” India told him, following up with a smile and a gaze that indicated clear-eyed courage and self-sacrifice. “Besides, I saw Miss Winifred Landel watching you last night, though you were tactful enough to overlook her obvious infatuation. Who am I to stand in the way of such an advantageous match?”
Lord Dibbleshire blinked at India and said, uncertainly, “Because I love you?”
“You merely think you love me,” she assured him, “due to your charitable heart. I assure you that you need not worry about my plight. As a matter of fact, I have made up my mind to withdraw from my profession.”


 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Three Weeks With Lady X
By Eloisa James
Publisher:  Avon
Release Date:  March 25, 2014

Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized façade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.

Exquisite, headstrong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.  But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.

Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option.  But there is only one thing that will make India his. 
The one thing Thorn can't afford to lose--his fierce and lawless heart.


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100 comments:

  1. I loved all three books in Eloise's The Pleasures Trilogy because they introduced me to her wonderful stories! Are you as excited as I am that Three Weeks With Lady X will be out in March?

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    1. Jeanne, the Pleasures Trilogy was my introduction to Eloisa's books as well. Of course, by the time I finished reading them I was hooked.

      I'm very excited that Three Weeks With Lady X will be released soon because I can't wait to talk with people about all the reasons I love this story!

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    2. I'm crazy about Beauty And The Beast stories, so I loved When Beauty Tamed The Beast. I also love stories about doctors, so this story was particularly delicious!

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  2. I haven't read Ms. James' books... yet :) I loved this excerpt!!! Thanks so much for sharing and this is definitely going on my want list!

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    1. Oh, Erin, you have some wonderful reading ahead!

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  3. I loved all the books in the Desperate Duchesses series, but the last one, A Duke of Her Own is my favorite because Leopold Dautry, the notorious Duke of Villiers, finally gets his own happily ever after.

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    1. Barbara, Villiers makes a cameo in Three Weeks With Lady X. He hasn't lost one bit of his allure. ♥

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  4. I've read most of Eloisa's books and it's hard to pick a favorite. I'll go with THE UGLY DUCHESS. I love that they were childhood friends and that even when James went on to become a privateer he still loved Theo. What a great couple!

    Marcy Shuler
    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  5. I love her books. One of my favorites is her Once Upon A Tower.
    Can't wait to read Three Weeks With Lady X.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. I enjoyed Once Upon a Tower too. She has so many great books it's hard to pick a favorite.

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  6. I like Beauty & the Beast themed books, so her book, WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST, Linnet and Piers' story is my favorite.

    I like strong, independent, intelligent heroines. India sounds perfect in THREE WEEKS WITH LADY X!

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    1. When Beauty Tamed the Beast was very enjoyable and had some powerful emotion.

      India is a wonderful heroine. I adored her and she's a perfect match for Thorn who stole my heart even though there were times when I wanted to give him a good wallop. That seems to be the case with many of my favorite fictional heroes. *grin*

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  7. Have been entering contest left and right trying to win a copy of this book. Love Eloisa!!

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  8. Hi. PJ,
    I haven't read any of EJ yet. I am always interested and love history. Wasn't she one of the speakers in D.C.? I was intrigued. Thanks for sharing this sneak peek. It sounds like another award winner.
    Anne

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    1. Hi, Annie! I highly recommend EJ's books. Do give her a try. Three Weeks With Lady X would be a good starting point. While it has a tie-in to a previous book it stands well on its own.

      Yes, she was one of the speakers in DC.

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  9. The excerpt of this novel had me chuckling. I love the names. Eloisa James and Julia Quinn are very creative with character names. As I'm a fan of Eloisa, I certainly look forward to reading "Three Weeks with Lady X." Thanks for the great giveaway.

    Everyone stay warm. Hurry, spring!!

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    1. She does come up with some great names, doesn't she?

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  10. *jumps up and down* Pick me! Pick me! I cannot WAIT for this book. I've been reading Eloisa James since her first series and loved them all. The original Duchess series has a place in my heart since Esme is one of my favorite characters ever, but if I have to pick a favorite book, I think it would be Duchess By Night. I didn't take to Harriet right away when she was first introduced in the series, but I loved her within pages of started her own story. And Villiers is at his best in this one. So so good.

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    1. *jumps up and down* Pick me! Pick me!

      LOL! Oh, the visual...



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    2. I know. I nearly put an eye out. :)

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  11. When Beauty Tamed the Beast is my favorite Eloisa James book. It features an unconventional hero, a surprisingly serious twist on the beauty and the beast theme, and a heart-wrenchingly satisfying HEA. It's a uniquely lovely story and I highly recommend it. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway.

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  12. I love this book! I'm one of the fans who begged for Tobias/Thorn to have his own story, so I was prepared to embrace the book. But it was even better than I expected, and India is such a wonderful character. And the thing about Eloisa's books is that I always fall in love with some of the secondary characters too.

    I've never met an EJ book I didn't like, but Pleasure for Pleasure will probably always be my favorite for sentimental reasons.

    Since I have an eARC of Three Weeks with Lady X, which I have already read twice, exclude me from the contest please.

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    1. Janga, I knew the minute the young Tobias walked onto the page that he had hero potential. So very happy that EJ finally gave him his own story. And what a wonderful story it is!

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  13. My favorite is With This Kiss. I love the HEA Grace and Colin finally got. Can't wait to read this book!

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    1. With This Kiss was such a wonderful story to introduce the fairy tales. I have a special fondness for it too.

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  14. Pre-ordered and excitedly waiting for it!! I cannot wait to read it....I know it will be wonderful. :) Especially since Janga has already read it twice.

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  15. She's one of those authors I always mean to try.

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    1. Do give her a try, jcp. She's a wonderful writer!

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  16. I love Eloisa James. She is an amazing writer.

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  17. I love every one of Eloisa James' books and can't wait for this one!

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  18. Her Books Are FunnY SeXy, And A JoY To Read. AfteR I Read The Paperbacks I've Bought Them In Audio, Too.

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    1. I've never bought her audio books, Patricia. Are they good narration?

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  19. I can't pick a favorite either but the last one I enjoyed was As You Wish. I love her voice!! This sounds like another winner!

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    1. She has a wonderful, unique voice and such a command of language. You could give me a manuscript with no identifying information whatsoever and I'd be able to immediately identify it as her's.

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  20. I like all of the desparate duchesses best. I like the georgian period better than regency. When i need a good laugh and a good escape, Eloisa James is it!

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    1. I admit, I prefer the regency books but I love that she has something for everyone. Thanks for stopping by, Jackie!

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  21. The Taming of the Duke is one of my favorites because of Rafe, the Duke of Holbrooke! Love him.

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    1. I adore Rafe too but I never was able to warm up to Imogen.

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  22. Once I started on her books I went out and found as many as I could to read. I always read her books. I can't wait for Lady X!

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    1. Me too. I was hooked from the first one I read.

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  23. Have read and loved every book Eloisa James has ever written. Am really looking forward to Three Weeks with Lady X.

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    1. Hope you enjoy it, Donna. I'd put it in my top 5 EJ books. This one really spoke to me.

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  24. I cant pick just one favorite as they all are my favorites. EJ is one of my autobuys authors. Heck for her books I tend to pre order as soon as that option becomes available for every one of her books. I am looking forward to Lady X.

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  25. I have not found a book by Ms. James that I didn't love! The teaser that I just read tells me I will love it as well. I can't wait to read it!

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  26. Enchanting Pleasures is one of my very favorites . Gabrielle is so not perfect, and her expectations were turned topsy turvy only to wind up with the one man she truely loves,and who was a broken man made whole again by her love and devotion. It really captures how us ordinary, plump and not so beautiful women may actually have all the right stuff!

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  27. I've been waiting with bated breath for this novel! Eloisa's books always shine :)

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  28. Eloisa James is definitely one of the best Historical romance authors. Her books never cease to have great plots written amazingly.

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  29. I haven't had the pleasure of reading her work yet, but I have read up on a lot of it. I am looking forward to reading this one. Hopeful to winning, but regardless it will be on my request list in the future from the library among others of hers. Can't wait! :)

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  30. I have had the pleasure of reading all of her books I believe and the small amount of this one that I have read has gotten me very excited for it. I really can not wait to get my hands on this one. It really is such a treat to read Ms James' books because she wrights them si that you feel you are inside the book watching the story play out. You really get to know the characters and get to love them as the story unfolds.

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  31. Wow! It's tough to pick one favorite, but I guess I would pick either A Kiss at Midnight or When the Duke Returns.

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  32. Have read all of her books and can't wait to read this one! I am so excited that Tobias has his own book, and I am very curious to see what Villiers will be like so many years after A Duke of Her Own.

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  33. I should have been more clear in my previous comment: A Duke of Her Own is my favorite of her books. Why? VIlliers, of course! :)

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  34. Great excerpt. Love Eloisas' books...

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  35. Even in a short excerpt, I so enjoy how Eloisa James is able to paint such a clear picture of the people and events. She'll continue to be one of my Must Have-Keeper Shelf-Don't Even Need to Read The Back Cover authors. "Desperate Duchesses" was my introduction to Eloisa James' writing, so that will probably always remain my favorite. From there I was hooked and I had to go find every book of hers I could get my hands on...

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  36. luv your writing. Thanks for sharing your talent.

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  37. I've only read a few of her books but I loved the Ugly Duchess and loved them all. I am moving thru her books and anxiously look forward to this one.

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  38. Beauty Tamed the Beast!! A keeper and a classic. I loved how she retold the story; I actually cried. It was so moving and the characters were a joy to read. Very well done!

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  39. A Duke of Her Own is my favorite. It takes us the whole series to see Villiers to the inevitable conclusion! Also love This Duchess of Mine. Hard to pick just one!

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  40. I have read all her books and they are on my keeper shelf!

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  41. When Beauty Tamed the Beast is my favorite in the fairy tales series. I loved the grouchy doctor.
    Mary Dieterich

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  42. I started reading with A KISS AT MIDNIGHT, which was so good that I ended up digging up every Eloisa James novel I could find. My favorite, is THE UGLY DUCHESS. I loved how strong Theo was, how talented. And, pirates! How can you not love pirates?

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  43. Love Eloisa James's books! I can't pick a favorite. I can't read the excerpt because I will go crazy waiting for the book.

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  44. I can't decided my favorite of her's but The Ugly Duchess was very good.

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  45. I really love When Beauty Tamed the Beast. I was just thinking the other day how I'd love to reread it soon. Thanks for the contest!

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  46. I've only read Eloisa's Desperate Duchess series and rather than one book, I enjoyed the arc of Jemma and Elijah's relationship throughout the series.

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  47. I have read many books published by Eloisa James and loved them all! My most recent read was The Tower. I am not sure which I would select as my favorite because each has been unique and intriguing in its on way. Looking forward to this next one!

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  48. I love the Desperate Duchesses series. I love all their differing personalities. I even love Villiers!

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  49. I don't think I have missed any of Ms. James' books, but my very top favorites are Kiss Me Annabel, Seduced by a Pirate and The Ugly Duchess. I eagerly await each of her new books. "Three Weeks with Lady X" sounds like another keeper.

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  50. I love Eloisa's books. They are awesome and I would love to read this one. The Desperate Duchesses series was one of my favorites.

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  51. My favorite Eloisa James book is Duchess In Love! I love all of her books but this one remains my favorite :)

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  52. In the Desperate Duchess series, the Duke of Villiers' (Thorn's father) is the hero featured in A Duke of Her Own. He's one of my favorite heros out of all the books she has written. I am THRILLED that his (bastard) son has his own novel; perhaps more of his children will appear? Anyway, I can't wait to read this one. :-) .
    Martha B.

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  53. I haven't had the pleasure of reading any of Eloisa's books yet. I know the reviews I have read are excellent, and I really need to find one of her books and start reading them. THREE WEEKS WITH LADY X sounds like an excellent book to start with. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  54. Once I found Eloisa's books I'e been devouring them - really looking forward to reading this Three Weeks With Lady X - the sooner the better

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  55. I love Eloisa's books, I can't wait for this one! Great review thanks
    Penney

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  56. I'm a huge EJ fan and have been for years. It's hard to choose one favorite book. I can better choose a favorite series. I absolutely adored her Essex Sisters Quartet....5 stars for each book. Can't wait for this latest book to be released. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  57. I haven't found a favorite of hers yet, but I'm still hopeful - maybe this one will be it!

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  58. Wonderful sneak peek! Can't wait to read the book

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  59. I can not just pick one book as my favorite of hers! I love all of her books! they make me laugh maybe even make me cry a little lol

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  60. I cut my teeth on Eloisa James with "Potent Pleasures", so I kind of have a special bond with that book....haven't stopped reading her since.

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  61. I love Eloise's books. I love her fairy tale series. If I have to pick just one I would have to say it is The Ugly Duchess. I loved it. I even cried reading this book. This is just so unfair a question because I love them all.

    Teresa K. tcwgrlup41 at yahoo dot com

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  62. seems to me I've only read a few novellas of hers though I've got some on the tbr/wish list & the excerpts shows why so not sure why they haven't made it to the read pile yet.

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  63. I am so in Love with the Duchess series...I could read them over and over!!!

    Josiehink122026 at gmail dot com

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  64. I am really enjoying the fairy-tale series, but the book I reread most often is "Much Ado About You." Tess and Lucius are such great characters, and I love the Alcott subplot.

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  65. The Ugly Duchess is one of my favorites, but I adore the fairy tale series so it's tough to pick one. They are great new takes on classic tales, I love seeing what she'll do next!

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  66. I absolutely love her Fairy tale series, especially When Beauty Tamed the Beast. I will always buy an Eloisa James book. I love reading her stories and love her characters.

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  67. I have read all of Eloisa's books and loved every one her characters! I can't wait to read Three weeks with Lady X

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  68. I've read all of Eloisa James books. My favorite is WHEN BEAUTY TAMED HER BEAST and A DUKE OF HER OWN.

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  69. I don't know if I've read any of Eloisa's books in the past -- I used to not pay too much attention to the author of some of the books I read. I've become much more aware of the author of a book I'm reading -- and, in general, more aware of authors. I also didn't used to think I paid much attention to covers, but again, I'm more aware & interested in covers. I do have a couple of Eloisa's books on my shelf to be read - just haven't gotten to them.
    Lord Dibbleshire is an a**, or an idiot. He certainly is insulting. But I would now like to see what & how Lady Xenobis does to move on from this encounter.

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  70. Cannot wait to read Three weeks with Lady X

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  71. It was my 15th birthday and we were lucky enough to afford a cruise that year to celebrate the hispanic tradition of becoming a woman. On the last day of the cruise i wandered into a gift shop and saw Duchess by Night. I was never really into reading but i was in love with the 1800's time period with Duchess's and Baron's. I didnt have time to read the description but the cover was lovely and i never imagined it as a romance. I ripped through that novel and really did emerge as a new woman who loved the reading part of literature just as much as the writing. I was always a hopeless romantic and that novel hit just the right spot. I fell in love with James' style in writing. For my 16th my best friend bought me the pleasure trilogy and at one point i was so upset with Alex and Patrick i had to stop reading for a month just to forgive these very life-like characters. But my all time favorite book that James' has written (yes, i have read all of them to date) is: The Taming of the Duke. I was 16 when i read this and i must admit (this is extremely embarrassing) that i literally fell in love with the character Villers. I had dreams that i found someone who embodied him and married him. Luckily, i grew out of it but till this day, part of me still loves that character as if her were a past love of mine. So imagine how absolutely ecstatic i was when i found out the main male in Three Weeks with Lady X is Villers bastard son. I think i died that day and i have been splitting hairs waiting for the release date since. Please, i am 20 years old, 5year Eloisa fan, and Tobias Villers lover. I cannot wait to read this book. <3 -heidi sivitos

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  72. It sounds delightful. I have 10 of her books sitting on my main TBR shelf and really need to make time to get to them. I know once I get started, I am going to want to read through them all. The first will be WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST, which is one of my favorite story lines. I look forward to reading this one.

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  73. I have read all of Eloisa James books since I received her first title at an American Library Association meeting in New Orleans. Can't wait to read this one!

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  74. I know its to late to enter the contest, but I just wanted to pop in and say I LOVE LOVE LOVE Eloisa James!! As for picking a favorite now that is tough! hmmmm I guess A duke of Her Own the Duke of Villiers has always been a favorite of mine!!
    I can't wait for Three Weeks with Lady X

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