Fool for Love (Duchess Quartet Series #2)

( 59 )

Overview

The Woman

Lady Henrietta Maclellan longs for the romantic swirl of a London season. But as a rusticating country maiden, she has always kept her sensuous nature firmly under wraps — until she meets Simon Darby. Simon makes her want to whisper promises late at night, exchange kisses on a balcony, receive illicit love notes. So Henrietta lets her imagination soar and writes...

The Letter

A very steamy love ...

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Fool for Love (Duchess Quartet Series #2)

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Overview

The Woman

Lady Henrietta Maclellan longs for the romantic swirl of a London season. But as a rusticating country maiden, she has always kept her sensuous nature firmly under wraps — until she meets Simon Darby. Simon makes her want to whisper promises late at night, exchange kisses on a balcony, receive illicit love notes. So Henrietta lets her imagination soar and writes...

The Letter

A very steamy love letter that becomes shockingly public. Everyone supposes that he has written it to her, but the truth hardly matters in the face of the scandal to come if they don't marry at once. But nothing has quite prepared Henrietta for the pure sensuality of...

The Man

Simon has vowed he will never turn himself into a fool over a woman. So, while debutantes swoon as he disdainfully strides past the lovely ladies of the ton, he ignores them all...until Henrietta. Could it be possible that he has been the foolish one all along?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Eschewing the formulas and character types found in many romances, this pert Regency pairs a dandified urbanite and a disabled heiress, which makes for some frank, funny exchanges. No one could accuse the lace-loving Simon Darby of being an alpha male cliche. His penchant for modish clothing and fine filigree has led Londoners to label him an "exquisite," but his dashing good looks don't impress Lady Henrietta Maclellan... much. A beauty with a slight limp and a refreshingly forthright manner, Henrietta longs for marriage and children, but believes her weak hip precludes her from both. When she meets Simon and the two youngsters under his care, however, Henrietta vows to seize what she wants even if it means stirring up a scandal. Her partner in crime is the lovably flawed Esme Rawlings, who appears in James's previous book, Duchess in Love. Together, the two trap Simon into marrying Henrietta, but once they're wed, they must deal with the tricky problem of consummating their union without conceiving a child-no easy feat considering the times. Meanwhile, Esme deals with guilt over her husband's death and the arrival of an old flame. At times, Esme's plight threatens to eclipse Henrietta's, but both story lines are intriguing in their own right. Though Simon is less compelling than the heroes from James's previous books, this spry story will seduce readers with its wily wit and distinctive characters. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060508111
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/29/2003
  • Series: Duchess Quartet Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 258,405
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Eloisa James

Eloisa James is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. (Her husband is an honest-to-goodness Italian knight!) Eloisa's website offers short stories, extra chapters, and even a guide to shopping in Florence.

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Read an Excerpt

Fool for Love


By Eloisa James

Harper Collins Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Eloisa James All right reserved. ISBN: 0060508116

Chapter One

In Which Simon Darby Receives Undesirable News

28 Park Lane London

Some men turn into walruses when they're angry: all bushy and blowing air. Others resemble pigs, with pillowy cheeks and small eyes. Simon Darby turned into a Cossack. His eyes took on a slanted look. High cheekbones that spoke of generations of Darbys turned formidable, angular, and altogether foreign. To Gerard Bunge's mind, the man looked positively savage.

The last time the Honorable Gerard Bunge himself could remember being so enraged was when his doctor informed him that he had caught the pox. Even remembering the moment made him queasy. There was that uneasy sense of heavenly retribution, not to mention the unpleasant treatment lying ahead.

But even less would he like to be told that his inheritance had disappeared. After all, diseases come and go, but life is so expensive. Even handkerchiefs are prohibitive.

Darby was probably in shock. So Bunge repeated himself. "There's no question about it. Your aunt is increasing."

When Darby still didn't answer, Bunge strolled over to the litter of china dogs lining the mantelpiece and thought about poverty versus the pox again. Definitely syphilis was preferable.

"I said, Lady Rawlings is enceinte. I mean tosay, the Countess of Trent paid her a visit in the country, and described the lady as waddling. Did you hear me, Darby?"

"They likely heard you in Norfolk."

Silence.

Bunge couldn't stand silence himself, but it wasn't every day that a man had his inheritance snatched out from under his nose by an unborn babe. Tossing back his deep cuffs, he pushed the china dogs into a neat row. There had to be fourteen or fifteen of the lolling, garishly painted little things.

"I suppose these belong to one of your sisters," he said over his shoulder. The thought of Darby's sisters made Bunge feel a bit uncomfortable. After all, if Esme Rawlings's child was male, they had just lost their dowries.

"Actually, the dogs belonged to my stepmother," Darby remarked.

Quite the mortality rate in Darby's family, Bunge reflected: father, stepmother, uncle, gone in under one year. "I wish your aunt weren't increasing, damned if I don't," he said, displaying a rare flash of generosity.

He swallowed a curse as the sharp edge of his starched linen collar nipped him in the neck. He had to remember not to turn his head so quickly. The new high collars were the devil to wear.

"It could hardly be construed as your fault. I gather my uncle and aunt had an unexpected rapprochement before his death."

"Startled me to the gills when I heard he died in his wife's chamber," Bunge agreed. "Not that Lady Rawlings isn't a beautiful woman. But your uncle hadn't lived with his wife for years. He was snug in Lady Childe's pocket when I saw him last. I thought Rawlings and his wife weren't even on speaking terms."

"As far as I know, they rarely spoke. Presumably they engaged in heir-making without speech."

"Some are saying the child isn't Rawlings's, you know."

"Given that my uncle died in his wife's bedchamber, he and his wife likely engaged in activities that led to this child. You will please me by squashing any such rumors." Darby's eyes now wore their customary expression of detached amusement.

"You're going to have to get married," Bunge pointed out. "Course that won't be too difficult for you, catching a rich one. Heard that there's a wool merchant putting his daughter on the market this season - everyone's saying she's a woolly breeder." He erupted in a cascade of high-pitched laughter.

But Darby's eyes hardened into distaste. "An unappetizing possibility." He gave a little half bow. "Much though I adore your company, Bunge, I have an appointment this afternoon."

Cool bastard, Bunge thought to himself, but he let himself be propelled toward the door. "Are you going to tell your stepsisters?"

"Naturally. Their esteemed aunt is going to have a baby. Josephine will be delighted."

"Does she know that the babe will do her out of a fortune?"

"I fail to see why inheritance issues should disturb a child still in the nursery."

"And you never know. Lady Rawlings might have a girl."

"A pleasing thought, under the circumstances."

"You're a cool one. Don't know what I'd do, if I had two girls to get off on the market, and - "

"You would do admirably." Darby rang the bell, and his butler, Fanning, appeared with Bunge's coat, hat, and cane.

As he walked back into his study, the mask of detached amusement fell from Darby's face. He had choked back his rage in front of the painted popinjay who had so delighted in telling him of his aunt's pregnancy. But anger swelled in his throat.

"God-damned bitch." The words burned like poison in his mouth.

Whatever his uncle was doing in his wife's bedchamber, it didn't involve fornication. Rawlings had told him last July, just before he died, that the doctor had ruled out connubial acts - and since he'd been a little in his cups, he'd added that Lady Childe was agreeable. No need to mention his wife, and he hadn't. His mistress, Lady Childe, was the only person remotely interested in Miles's ability to shake the bedsheets.

And yet he died in Esme Rawlings's bedchamber a week or so later. Suffered a heart attack in his wife's bedchamber. And now the woman was increasing - waddling, even? Doubtless the child would be born on the early side. The house party took place last July. If the child were Miles's, his wife was six months along at the most. And why would the elegantly slim Lady Rawlings be waddling at only six months, with three long months to go?

(Continues...)


Excerpted from Fool for Love by Eloisa James
Copyright © 2003 by Eloisa James
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Chapter One

In Which Simon Darby Receives Undesirable News

28 Park Lane
London

Some men turn into walruses when they're angry: all bushy and blowing air. Others resemble pigs, with pillowy cheeks and small eyes. Simon Darby turned into a Cossack. His eyes took on a slanted look. High cheekbones that spoke of generations of Darbys turned formidable, angular, and altogether foreign. To Gerard Bunge's mind, the man looked positively savage.

The last time the Honorable Gerard Bunge himself could remember being so enraged was when his doctor informed him that he had caught the pox. Even remembering the moment made him queasy. There was that uneasy sense of heavenly retribution, not to mention the unpleasant treatment lying ahead.

But even less would he like to be told that his inheritance had disappeared. After all, diseases come and go, but life is so expensive. Even handkerchiefs are prohibitive.

Darby was probably in shock. So Bunge repeated himself. "There's no question about it. Your aunt is increasing."

When Darby still didn't answer, Bunge strolled over to the litter of china dogs lining the mantelpiece and thought about poverty versus the pox again. Definitely syphilis was preferable.

"I said, Lady Rawlings is enceinte. I mean to say, the Countess of Trent paid her a visit in the country, and described the lady as waddling. Did you hear me, Darby?"

"They likely heard you in Norfolk."

Silence.

Bunge couldn't stand silence himself, but it wasn't every day that a man had his inheritance snatched out from under his nose by an unborn babe. Tossing back his deep cuffs, he pushed the china dogs into a neat row. There had to be fourteen or fifteen of the lolling, garishly painted little things.

"I suppose these belong to one of your sisters," he said over his shoulder. The thought of Darby's sisters made Bunge feel a bit uncomfortable. After all, if Esme Rawlings's child was male, they had just lost their dowries.

"Actually, the dogs belonged to my stepmother," Darby remarked.

Quite the mortality rate in Darby's family, Bunge reflected: father, stepmother, uncle, gone in under one year. "I wish your aunt weren't increasing, damned if I don't," he said, displaying a rare flash of generosity.

He swallowed a curse as the sharp edge of his starched linen collar nipped him in the neck. He had to remember not to turn his head so quickly. The new high collars were the devil to wear.

"It could hardly be construed as your fault. I gather my uncle and aunt had an unexpected rapprochement before his death."

"Startled me to the gills when I heard he died in his wife's chamber," Bunge agreed. "Not that Lady Rawlings isn't a beautiful woman. But your uncle hadn't lived with his wife for years. He was snug in Lady Childe's pocket when I saw him last. I thought Rawlings and his wife weren't even on speaking terms."

"As far as I know, they rarely spoke. Presumably they engaged in heir-making without speech."

"Some are saying the child isn't Rawlings's, you know."

"Given that my uncle died in his wife's bedchamber, he and his wife likely engaged in activities that led to this child. You will please me by squashing any such rumors." Darby's eyes now wore their customary expression of detached amusement.

"You're going to have to get married," Bunge pointed out. "Course that won't be too difficult for you, catching a rich one. Heard that there's a wool merchant putting his daughter on the market this season -- everyone's saying she's a woolly breeder." He erupted in a cascade of high-pitched laughter.

But Darby's eyes hardened into distaste. "An unappetizing possibility." He gave a little half bow. "Much though I adore your company, Bunge, I have an appointment this afternoon."

Cool bastard, Bunge thought to himself, but he let himself be propelled toward the door. "Are you going to tell your stepsisters?"

"Naturally. Their esteemed aunt is going to have a baby. Josephine will be delighted."

"Does she know that the babe will do her out of a fortune?"

"I fail to see why inheritance issues should disturb a child still in the nursery."

"And you never know. Lady Rawlings might have a girl."

"A pleasing thought, under the circumstances."

"You're a cool one. Don't know what I'd do, if I had two girls to get off on the market, and -- "

"You would do admirably." Darby rang the bell, and his butler, Fanning, appeared with Bunge's coat, hat, and cane.

As he walked back into his study, the mask of detached amusement fell from Darby's face. He had choked back his rage in front of the painted popinjay who had so delighted in telling him of his aunt's pregnancy. But anger swelled in his throat.

"God-damned bitch." The words burned like poison in his mouth.

Whatever his uncle was doing in his wife's bedchamber, it didn't involve fornication. Rawlings had told him last July, just before he died, that the doctor had ruled out connubial acts -- and since he'd been a little in his cups, he'd added that Lady Childe was agreeable. No need to mention his wife, and he hadn't. His mistress, Lady Childe, was the only person remotely interested in Miles's ability to shake the bedsheets.

And yet he died in Esme Rawlings's bedchamber a week or so later. Suffered a heart attack in his wife's bedchamber. And now the woman was increasing -- waddling, even? Doubtless the child would be born on the early side. The house party took place last July. If the child were Miles's, his wife was six months along at the most. And why would the elegantly slim Lady Rawlings be waddling at only six months, with three long months to go?

Fool for Love. Copyright © by Eloisa James. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 16, 2012

    What Fun! Definately recommend this series!

    Really enjoying the Duchess Quartet series. Fun, clever and unexpected. Love the characters and the quips. More please!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Loved this book

    From start to finish....a fun and romantuc read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Loved it!

    Cant wait to see what happens in the next book....what happens with Esme? Hmmmmm

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Fool for Love

    I loved this historical romance book. Great character, funny, wit, sensual, romance, first of a series.......

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2004

    DIM, DULL AND DISMAL

    I thought this book was extremely boring. There was no real flow, a new chapter started after every three pages. The 'heroine' shared the story with Darby's aunt. I also didn't like the fact that we saw how Henrietta looked but not how Simon looked and the discription of him was not all that great. Halfway into the book I decided to stop torturing myself so I dumped it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2014

    The laugh is on me..............................................

    The laugh is on me..............................................................
    Halfway through I found the romance of Darby and Harriet a little dull.  Not bad just a little slow.  But I kept on reading because I was curious to find out how secondary characters Sebastian  and  Esme  love story turned out.  Well hopefully it's in the next book because it's not in this one.  Bummer.  Now I'll have to read  another of EJ book which are hit or miss to me.   This was a miss.  But not by much.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    good reading

    great book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Liked it

    This was a good book, liked the heroine a lot, liked the hero well enough, storyline was pretty forgettable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Wonderful Book ~

    This book, # 2 in the series of Duchess Quartet books, was throughly entertaing. It was a wonderful "pick me up" and "escape" for me during a difficult time of my life. I would recommend the entire series. All are fantastic. The characters were so endearing...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Overall a great read. You really need to read Duchess in Love f

    Overall a great read. You really need to read Duchess in Love first to understand all that's going on. My only gripe is that much was made about the paternity of Esme's unborn child, then at the end the book cuts to 7 months later, months past the time she is due to give birth, and no mention of it is ever made. I hate it when author's don't tie up loose ends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Little Odd

    Simon was a cutie but the hip thing was a little weird but overall I like it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book is actually very interesting. There are no boring parts in this novel whatsoever. Each new chapter is as good as the last. I would absolutely recomend this to anyone!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2003

    A wonderful sequel to Duchess In Love

    While I have to say that I liked Duchess In Love more than this title, this was also thoroughly enjoyable and unique. The characters are well written and likable, and while I enjoyed Henrietta and Simon's story, I loved reading more about Esme and Sebastion. Be sure to read Duchess In Love, and stay tuned for the next part of this story, coming out in the spring of 2004. This is a wonderful series and Eloisa James has a very distinctive writing style. I love the element of humor and light-heartedness that she adds to her writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2003

    A Smart and Sexy Read

    I have yet to be disappointed by a book by Eloisa James. I could not put it down. You get two romances for the price of one, hard to tell which one the book focuses on, they are both fully written. All to the good. I enjoy the smartness of her writing, no pandering to the genre. And very sensual, I rate it a hot PG-13.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2003

    One of the best historical romances of the year

    FOOL FOR LOVE was a fabulous book! It's been a long time since I've met characters I liked as well as Henrietta, Darby, Josie, and Anabel. And Eloisa James's writing is absolutely exquisite. When you couple that with her deft touch for characterization, her tender empathy for the human condition and all of its lovable absurdities, her astonishing historical accuracy, and her musical ear for dialogue, well, you have a true gem of a book. I laughed out loud, I cried, and when I turned the last page, I sighed with absolute and utter satisfaction. Eloisa James is truly one of the brightest lights of the historical romance genre and I look forward to watching her shine for years to come!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2003

    great read but wheres esme?

    I loved the book. It was my first time reading Ms. James. I'm going to guess Duchess in Love also has Esme in it. My only problem is the fact that being a first time reader it annoyed me that she just dropped Esme at the end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2003

    A Rosy Soap Opera

    Like a soap opera, Fools for love keeps the reader's interest by switching between multiple stories. Thankfully, unlike in soaps, the stories are more humourous than melodramatic. As so many romance novels are full of murderous,dire subplots, this one was refreshing w/o it. It is also pleasant to see James create a viriety of charater-types in her books: not all the heros are dark, brooding, sophisticated corithians and all the heroines 'sweet', perky, tom-boys. Fools for Love is a very enjoyable before-bed read, but if you crave melodrama, check out Jane Berry's Grand Illusions/the Cavendish Face, it is full of it and wonderful(it's out of print) Recomendations If you like a perky heroine and a light tone: Joan Wolf's The GAMBLE, the PRETENDERS; Sara Hely's the SIGN OF THE GREEN SERPENT (it's o.of p.), Goergette Heyer's POWDER AND PATCH If your sick of heros who are hulking blobs of muscle, and who behave 'abdominably' while stiking to a secret core of honor that all their clone-like friends know about: the RAKEHELL'S REFORM, Elizabeth Fairchild; MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT, Jaqueline Navin; ILLUSIONS, Jean Ross Ewing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2003

    du

    i love this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews

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