Imogen, Lady Maitland, has decided to dance on the wild side. After all, she's in the delicious position of being able to take a lover. A discreet male who knows just when to leave in the morning.
But Lady Maitland is still under the watchful eye of her former guardian, the wildly untamed Rafe, the Duke of Holbrook. He believes she is still in need of a "watchdog." She laughs at the idea that someone so insufferably lazy and devoted to drink can demand that she behave with propriety.
It's Rafe's long-lost brother, a man who looks precisely like the duke but with none of his degenerate edge, who interests Imogen. To Imogen, he's the shadow duke . . . the man who really should hold the title. But when Imogen agrees to accompany Gabe to a masquerade...whose masked eyes watch her with that intense look of desire? Who exactly is she dancing with? The duke or the shadow duke? Rafe . . . or Gabe?
James's delightful third installment in her successful Four Sisters Regency series (Much Ado About You; Kiss Me, Annabel) revolves around Imogen Maitland, the mischievous sister of Kiss Me, Annabel's titular heroine. Now a widow residing at Holbrook Court in Suffolk, England, Imogen lives under the care of her guardian, Rafe Jourdain, the stubborn, drunken duke of Holbrook charged with the parentless Essex sisters' care. As she clashes with the controlling, brutish Rafe, Imogen believes she is uninterested, but helping Rafe through painful alcohol detox helps spark the attraction between them. When Imogen meets Rafe's illegitimate half-brother, Gabe Spenser, however, she becomes determined to pursue an illicit affair with Gabe; soon, Rafe is impersonating Gabe complete with a fake mustache in a scandalous nighttime outing with Imogen that pushes them to the edge of temptation and forces Rafe to seriously consider the delicate proposition of seducing his own ward. Before long, Rafe becomes determined to pursue Imogen for his wife. James's intelligent, believable dialogue rises above the often trite language found in historical romances, giving the characters depth and substance. James's considerable talents for clever prose and tight, breezy plotting are on full display, promising a perennial delight in each coming adventure of the Essex sisters.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I just finished reading The Taming of the duke and for the life of me I don't know why I passed this book up all those years ago. It must have been the mature subject matter of widowhood and alcoholism that I thought wouldn't appeal. I was wrong. I very much enjoyed this book.
Delightful. I loved every bit of it. All the characters are so endearing and it was a joy to see them find happiness.
Eloisa James has written these Essex sisters in a way that makes me wish I were part of the family.
I am especially happy for this story of Imogen and Rafe. They both have so much to overcome personally. I love that Rafe is not the "perfect" hero and that Imogen had a lot of growing up to do, but they are both lovable and indeed loved by their extended families.
This is my favorite Essex story so far and I'm that excited that you should love it too! Although my heart aches for Josie to find someone soon. So I'm off to purchase the next book and see who Josie finds to make her feel beautiful.
Thank You, Ms. James for writing characters who are human AND lovable.