'Nothing gets me to a bookstore faster than Eloisa James' - Julia Quinn
Once upon a time, not so very long ago...
Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess. So why can't he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong, and altogether unconventional Olivia? Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper - albeit intoxicating - flirtation makes her unsuitability all the more clear.
Determined to make a perfect match, he methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion . . . until, in his darkest hour, Tarquin begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love. To win Olivia's hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul - but it may already be too late.
'Eloisa James is extraordinary' - Lisa Kleypas
'Romance writing does not get much better than this' - People
James's Regency-era rendition of "The Princess and the Pea" hits the trifecta of sizzling romance, engaging characters, and an enthralling, quick-moving story. Curvy, brash Olivia and slim, proper Georgiana are twins, raised by their social-climbing parents to be suitable brides for dukes. All seems assured until Olivia's future husband, the dim-witted Rupert Blakemore, marquess of Montsurrey, turns 18 and declares that "he will not marry until he achieves military glory." While he heads to war, Olivia accompanies Georgiana to meet Tarquin Brook-Chatfield, the widowed duke of Sconce and Georgiana's possible suitor. But Tarquin becomes immediately enamored of Olivia, who must then decide whether to risk Georgiana and Rupert's disappointment by returning Quin's affections. Olivia is a notably affable female protagonist whose intellect and good humor make her stand apart from many of the meek women of her era. Only James's weakness for modern colloquialisms (e.g. "wardrobe malfunction") mars this endearing tale.