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Showing posts with label Three Weeks With Lady X. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Three Weeks With Lady X. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review - - Three Weeks With Lady X

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


Some books, I like.  Others, I love. Then there are those – the rare few – that touch something deep in my soul, causing the characters and their story to linger in my heart and my mind for weeks, sometimes months…or even longer.  What causes a certain book to speak to me in such a manner?  A character who overcomes seemingly insurmountable challenges?  A couple finding deep, abiding love, despite the odds, at times when one or both aren’t even aware of the fact that love is something for which they yearn?  Could it be the author’s command of language, the ability to ‘draw a picture’ with her words that pulls the reader into the story, offering them the opportunity to travel the story’s path at the side of the characters?  Perhaps it’s all of the above – that rare confluence of attributes that come together to create one very special book.  Three Weeks with Lady X is one such book.

The bastard son of the Duke of Villiers, Tobias “Thorn” Dautry is one of the richest and most powerful businessmen in England and part of a loving and supportive family.  But that wasn’t always the case and the young boy forced into a horrible life as a mudlark, risking his life diving for bits of treasure in the Thames, still lives deep within the man.  When Thorn decides to marry – he loves children and wants some of his own – he approaches it as he would any business deal, selecting a sweet and lovely young woman from a socially prominent family who will give him children that will be accepted by London society.  It matters not that the young woman is considered simple by the ton or that she rarely speaks in his presence.  His only interest is bedding her and leaving her in the country to care for his children.  He seeks a serene life and has no interest in a woman who will challenge him.  His best friend warns he will be bored to tears but Thorn is set on his course and nothing will change his mind.  Before he can ask for the young woman’s hand however, he must win the approval of her harridan of a mother and to do that he needs his newly purchased country estate restored to ton standards.  His stepmother encourages him to engage the services of the incomparable Lady Xenobia India St. Clair, a woman who is decidedly not simple, makes far too many demands and ruffles his brawny feathers at every opportunity.

India St. Clair may be the daughter of a marquess but she has not known a life of luxury and leisure.  Her parents were what could be kindly called “free spirits,” absorbed in one another and frequently leaving their young daughter to fend for herself.  Orphaned at age fifteen and left with nothing, India swore she would never be penniless, hungry or dependent upon another person again.  Now, at age twenty six, she’s the most sought after decorator in England, independently wealthy and, after declining numerous marriage proposals, ready to finally set her career aside and choose a husband.  It is only for her friend, Eleanor, the Duchess of Villiers, that she agrees to help Eleanor’s step-son, Thorn - an agreement she regrets from the moment they meet.  This is no easily managed man.  The too big, too muscular, much too intelligent Thorn has her every nerve ending bristling. 

From the first moment these two meet, you know it’s going to be a wild ride.  It doesn’t take long for the reader to realize that these two characters are perfect for one another.  It takes them – especially Thorn - much longer to reach this realization and the hills and valleys of the road they must travel bring tears, laughter, soul-shattering heartbreak and, finally, the joy and heart-melting satisfaction of a love that is meant to be.  These are not simple characters.  They are both complex, layered individuals who have been shaped by the circumstances of their lives.  They are intelligent, hard-working, honorable and loyal to those they trust but that trust is not given easily.  There are tender, vulnerable parts of their souls that are well guarded and it is only when those walls are lowered that they will know true happiness.  The question is whether they will lower those walls before it’s too late.

Thorn and India’s story cannot be told without the richly drawn secondary characters that surround them.  There’s Rose, Thorn’s young ward who is wise beyond her years and whose presence allows us to see her guardian’s softer side.  Let me go on record right now saying I hope we will one day be able to read her story.  I appreciate the fact that Ms. James did not make Laeticia, Thorn’s prospective bride, either a throwaway character or the “evil” other woman.  She’s a sweet woman in an untenable situation, misunderstood by society and deserving of both the evolution we witness and a happy ending.  The Duke and Duchess of Villiers (hero and heroine of A DUKE OF HER OWN) make cameo appearances and while their roles aren’t large, they are pivotal.  Of course, any appearance by Villiers is a good one in my opinion!  Finally, there’s Vander – Evander Septimus Brody, future Duke of Pindar – Thorn’s best friend since their days at Eton.  A man with secrets in his past (and hints of a tormented childhood), Vander plays a critical role in this story.  I can’t say more than that without giving away spoilers but I will say that I want more of this character.  Much, much, more.  (Thankfully, I have learned that Ms. James is currently writing a book for Vander.  Color me a very happy reader!)

There is so much more I love about this book - such as the written notes that filled me with delight - but I'll stop now and let the readers who haven't read this book yet discover each delicious tidbit on their own.

I have a corner of my keeper bookcase filled with books that have touched me in an extraordinary way.  These are the books that I return to time and time again; stories of characters I can’t get enough of.  Books with writing that wrings my heart, tickles my funny bone and floods my soul with pleasure.  This is where THREE WEEKS WITH LADY X will reside…until I can’t resist its lure and once again immerse myself in the world of India and Thorn. 


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Eloisa James ARC Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who dropped by and left comments yesterday.  I think it's safe to say there are a lot of excited Eloisa James fans out there!  Andrea and I appreciate you stopping by and hope you'll visit again. We have a lot of fun here at The Romance Dish and give away a lot of books.  Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter or by email (sign up in sidebar) 
to keep up to date with what's going on here at TRD.  
And now, without further delay...

The randomly chosen winner of an Advanced Reader Copy of Three Weeks With Lady X is:

Carol L
(February 15, 2014 @ 3:51am)

Congratulations, Carol!  
To claim your book, please send your full name and mailing address no later than 
Friday, February 21st to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

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:


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.