Monday, March 23, 2015

Review - - Four Nights with the Duke

Four Nights with the Duke
By Eloisa James
Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, Book 2
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: March 31, 2015

I have been a big fan of Eloisa James ever since I first heard of her and started reading her books.  In fact, I joined the Bulletin Board she started with Julia Quinn, and had a wonderful time there chatting and interacting with Eloisa, JQ, and all of the other wonderful ladies who posted there. In fact, I owe Eloisa a big thank you for all of the friendships I established as part of being on the BB-including Andrea and PJ here at The Romance Dish!  My favorite Eloisa books would no doubt be her Desperate Duchesses series. I was so happy that she revisited that world with Three Weeks with Lady X last year. With her latest book, Four Nights with the Duke, Eloisa deftly shows once again why she’s considered one of the biggest stars in the romance genre.

Four Nights with the Duke  is the story of Evander “Vander” Septimus Brody, the Duke of Pindar, and Miss Emilia “Mia” Carrington.  Right off the bat, we see that Vander and Mia have a complicated and tumultuous history. Mia’s father and Vander’s mother had been carrying on a long sordid affaire for years that made them scandalous in the eyes of the ton, a fact which Vander bitterly resents. Making matters worse, at the start of the book, Mia essentially blackmails Vander into marrying her.  One can only wonder how Mia and Vander could possibly overcome all of these obstacles and end up happily together.

Mia has been in love with Vander since she was fifteen years old. However a horrible incident left Mia completely humiliated and determined to never have anything to do with him ever again. But desperate circumstances force Mia to confront Vander and compel him to marry her, by whatever means necessary.  While the idea of blackmailing someone into marriage is no doubt distasteful, Mia has a good reason. According to her brother’s will, she must be married in order to keep guardianship of her beloved nephew, Charles Wallace.  I really loved Mia as a heroine, despite the inauspicious start to her and Vander’s marriage. I loved how devoted she was to Charles Wallace, her strength and determination, her willingness to accept her share of blame and responsibility for the state of her marriage, and her refusal to settle for a marriage between the sheets, no matter how irresistible she and Vander find each other. I cheered for her when she demands Vander not just lust after her, but respect and trust her too.

We first met Vander in Three Weeks with Lady X. Even then, it was obvious that Vander had some deep inner demons he was wrestling with.  At first, I totally sympathized with Vander’s anger and resentment at being manipulated and blackmailed by Mia, but in true Eloisa fashion, we see how she chips away at that wall and has Vander come to see and embrace that Mia is his once in a lifetime love. His gesture to Mia at the end was heartwarming and endearing.  I absolutely fell in love with him for many reasons, but especially because of how great he was with Charles Wallace.

One of my favorite aspects of the book is how Eloisa expertly weaves in elements of their history, their parents’ history , and how that affected how Mia and Vander think and act today.  What I loved most about this book is that Eloisa deals with real obstacles that all couples confront, and not so over the top contrived scenarios that push a reader’s suspension of disbelief. Mia and Vander struggle with communication, trust, respect, and understanding each other.   These are issues that are at the core of every relationship, and things everyone can relate to. Vander and Mia often misinterpret the other’s meanings and motives.

There are so many great secondary characters in this book. Charles Wallace definitely stole my heart, and as always, it was great to see cameos from the hero and heroines from previous novels. I loved seeing Villiers in particular, though naturally he dominated and stole every scene he was in.

I  definitely recommend Four Nights with the Duke for anyone who enjoys a wonderfully written romance with complex realistic characters who will win your heart. I am looking forward to seeing what comes next from Eloisa. I have a feeling that Edward Reeves may be the hero of her next book!



  1. I am looking forward to reading this!

  2. OHHHHHH , this makes the wait even harder. Great review and I am excited to hear of the plot being so twisted and well, wonderfully conflicted. I am excited to see how these two wind up happy... Seems daunting. I have a feeling I am going to like the strength of Mia. I pre ordered, now I wait, and no, not patiently. I also agree that Julia Quinn and Eloisa James got me started in romance and I too went on the boards to talk about all these delicious books and characters. Thanks again, great review

  3. I enjoy her books so this sounds like another great read - thanks!

  4. I always enjoy Eloisa's stories!

  5. Thanks so much, Lisa! You make me even more excited for March 31st!

  6. I loved the Desperate Duchess series. Unfortunately, I haven' t gotten to Lady X yet. I need to get right on that before this one comes out. Great review!

  7. I have several of her books in my TBR Mountain and haven't yet managed to get to them. They always sound like books I will enjoy. I prefer to read books in order to get the most from all of them. I will make sure I have the Desperate Duchesses series and Three Weeks with Lady X to read before reading this one.

    Thank you for the review.

  8. I totally agree with Lisa. It is a fabulous book and such a fun one to read.

  9. I'm really looking forward to reading this one!
    Mary D.

  10. I have enjoyed many of Eloisa's books. She leads such an interesting life with her travels and teaching experiences. I look forward to reading FOUR NIGHTS WITH THE DUKE! Excellent review Lisa. It makes me want to read the book right now.