Your Wicked Ways (Duchess Quartet Series #4) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Helene, the Countess Godwin, knows there is nothing more unbearably tedious than a virtuous woman. After all, she's been one for ten long years while her scoundrel of a husband lives with strumpets and causes scandal after scandal. So she decides it's time for a change -- she styles her hair in the newest, daring mode, puts on a shockingly transparent gown, and goes to a ball like Cinderella, hoping to find a prince charming to sweep her off her feet...and into his bed.

But ...

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Your Wicked Ways (Duchess Quartet Series #4)

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Overview

Helene, the Countess Godwin, knows there is nothing more unbearably tedious than a virtuous woman. After all, she's been one for ten long years while her scoundrel of a husband lives with strumpets and causes scandal after scandal. So she decides it's time for a change -- she styles her hair in the newest, daring mode, puts on a shockingly transparent gown, and goes to a ball like Cinderella, hoping to find a prince charming to sweep her off her feet...and into his bed.

But instead of a prince, she finds only her own volatile, infuriatingly handsome...husband, Rees, the Earl Godwin. They'd eloped to Gretna Green in a fiery passion, but passion can sometimes burn too hot to last.

But now, Rees makes her a brazen offer, and Helene decides to become his wife again...but not in name only. No, this time she decides to be very, very wicked indeed.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Regency favorite Eloisa James adds a delicious wrinkle to the theme of unlikely attraction in this irresistible romance. Her heroine, Helene, the Countess Goodwin, scandalized her family ten years ago by eloping with Rees Holland, but the marriage quickly soured on their disastrous wedding night. Now, after ten years of Rees behaving badly with other women, Helene can't risk a divorce, but she desperately wants a child. She sets off to the ball, determined to step out of the shadows, take a lover, and earn her own scandal. But just when a new suitor seems up to the task, Rees surprisingly steps in, determined that if anyone is to be the father of his wife's child, it will be him. A month's trial is set, and from then on, in a perfect Regency twist, it is up to Rees to persuade Helene to forego her intended wicked ways. Ginger Curwen
Publishers Weekly
Rounding out her quartet of Regency-era romances (A Wild Pursuit, etc.), James delivers the story of Helene, long estranged from her husband, Rees, who pens comic operas and thrives on scandal. The very proper Helene enjoys the solicitude of the rest of Society until she decides that she wants a child and will have one even if she has to go outside her marriage. Shaken out of his self-involvement by Helene's determination, Rees offers a bargain: he'll father Helene's child, making it legitimate, if she agrees to move into his house for a month and help him with his opera. The catch his current mistress will remain in the house. Rees has a secret, however; he's keeping his mistress there only for her skilled voice, not out of love or even interest in the woman. Bit by bit, Helene and Rees come to terms with the disastrous first year of their marriage, including Rees's lack of skill in the marital bed (which is refreshing for a romance hero), and they begin to wonder if their love can be rekindled. James's zingers aren't as plentiful here as in past novels, but she still fires off a quiver full and solidifies her reputation as a top talent in the crowded field of humorous romances. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061796760
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: Duchess Quartet Series , #4
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 29,869
  • File size: 815 KB

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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First Chapter

Your Wicked Ways

Chapter One

In Strictest Confidence

18 March 1816

The Countess Pandross to Lady Patricia Hamilton

... my dearest, as to what you tell me of the exploits of Earl Godwin, I can only say that nothing will ever surprise me. The former Countess Godwin (who was, as you know, one of my very dearest friends) would turn in her grave if she knew that her son was entertaining opera singers in her house! And I shudder to think that one of these infamous women may actually be living with him. How his poor wife is able to hold her head high, I shall never know. Helene has always showed edifying composure, although I did hear a whisper -- just a whisper -- suggesting that she may request a divorce. I can't imagine how much that would cost, but Godwin must have at least fifteen thousand pounds a year and can probably afford it. At any rate, my dear, what I am truly longing to hear about are your plans for sweet Patricia's debut. Didn't you tell me that you were planning a ball for the weekend of the fifth? Mrs. Elizabeth Fremable tells me ...

21 April 1816

Helene Godwin, Countess Godwin, to her mother, currently residing in Bath

Dear Mother,

I am most sympathetic to your distress over the continuing debacle of my marriage. I fully recognize that my decision to elope with Rees brought scandal into the family, but I would remind you that the elopement was years ago. I am equally aware that a divorce would be far more grievous. But I beg of you, please accept my decision. I simply cannot continue in this fashion. I am heartsick when I think of my life.

Your loving daughter,
Helene, Countess Godwin

22 April 1816

Rees Holland, Earl Godwin, to his brother, a vicar in the North Country

Dear Tom,

Things are all right here. Yes, I know that you are fretting over my infamous reputation, but you will simply have to overlook my slurs on the family name. I assure you that my sins are even more plenteous than your pious correspondents have told you. Women dance on top of the table in the dining room daily.

Yours with all proper sentiment,
Rees

22 April 1816

Miss Patricia Hamilton to Miss Prunella Forbes- Shacklett

Dear Prunes,

It is too bad of your mama to bury you in the country! When is she planning to bring you to town? I assure you that it is already very crowded here, and if one does not make an appointment, it is impossible to find a mantua maker who will even discuss a court gown. But Prunes, I met the most absolutely fascinating man yesterday. He is apparently quite, quite notorious—a veritable rake! I am not going to put his name here, in case my abominable little brother obtains this letter before I mail it, but he is an earl and his initials are RH. You can look him up in Debrett's. Apparently he threw his wife out of the house some years ago, and now lives with an opera singer! My mother (as you can imagine) was in a flurry of anxiety and told me later not to even think of dancing with him, as there is talk of a divorce. Imagine: me dancing with a divorced man! Naturally I shall do it if the opportunity ever presents itself ...

23 May 1816

Rees Holland, Earl Godwin, to Helene Holland, Countess Godwin

Helene,

If you'd like to see me, you'll have to come to the house, as I'm trying to finish a score that's needed in rehearsal directly. To what do I owe this charming, if unexpected, pleasure? I trust you are not going to request a divorce again, as my answer will be the same as the last. I'll tell Sims to wait for a reply as I think it doubtful that you will find the backbone to enter this den of iniquity.

Rees (should I say,Your Darling Husband?)

23 May 1816

Mr. Ned Suffle, Manager of the Royal Italian Opera House, to Rees Holland, Earl Godwin

Without putting undue pressure on you, my lord, I must have the score of The Quaker Girl by the end of this month latest.

23 May 1816

Helene Holland, Countess Godwin to Rees Holland, Earl Godwin

I shall visit you this afternoon at two of the clock. I trust you will be alone.

Your Wicked Ways. 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
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2005

    IcK!!

    The main characters lacked principles and I couldn't get to like or even respect them. Helene (the heroine) should have self-respect and not tolerate all the rubbish Rees commits, even to get a baby. I was not convinced Rees redemmed himself to Helene considering that kept many mistrisses and forced Helene to live with his current one. I doubt this book conveys any love since the foundation of love is trust and respect, none of which I could find in this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2004

    Ouch! This novel was painful to read..

    Although my initial desire to read the book came from reading online reviews, such a the ones found on this website, I have to say that I was quite upset after having read this novel. The description on the back of the book (which I assume is its synopsis)is quite misleading. This book may IDEALLY center around Helene Godwin and her mischievous husband, Rees, but in truth, their relationship is given a superficial presentation. This book contains so many different characters and their own stories, that these subplots take the focus away from Helene and Rees. Additionally, Eloise's description of Helene and Rees is...well...lacking. Helene's main goal seems to be to have a child, but I as a reader really didn't get a firm understanding of who Helene actually was. This is doubly true for Rees. The author seems to spend more time discussing the pair's musical talents rather than individual characteristics. All in all, I did not like this novel. I applaud Ms. James for her attempt to present Helene and Rees's relationship as authentic. But I just didn't buy it. Their relationship seems fraudulous and unrealistic, from start to finish. I was very disappointed. If you would like to read very excellently written romance novels, please read any book by Lisa Kleypas.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Anonymous

    Though normally I love stories by James this story fell completely flat for me. Helene was a likeable character in the previous novels and I felt she deserved so much more than what James gave her. Not for one second did I enjoy the interractions between Reese and Helene, and their "love" felt forced and awkward because they "had" to stay together because they were all ready married and Helene desperetely wanted a child. Overall this was an extremely disappointing story in which a woman changes everything for a man and he disrespects her at every turn. Don't waste your money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Wind warriors den

    Where warriors stay

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    Recommend

    A fun read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    Loved it!

    It more than made up for the horrible third book in the series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Reader

    Witty fun sexy romantic. My fav ej book. Read other Duchess books first. Save this for last.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    soooo ggooooooooooodd

    although rees was a major ass sometimes he really loved helen. this book is original.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    Your Wicked Way

    I loved this book, great historical romance, great characters, witty, romance, sensual.......a good read!

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Genuine

    I liked this story because it seemed very probable. The two main characters reacted and behaved as real people might. I thought Helene was sassy and Rees was endearing. Plus I loved Tom the Vicar too.

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

    Posted February 22, 2007

    Loved It

    Well, I just got done reading this book and I absolutely loved it. I disagree with alot of the negative remarks by other reviewers and felt like the main characters were awesome and well developed. If you've ever read another Eloisa James novel, you'll realize that she ALWAYS has two or three storylines going on at the same time throughout the book, which I find helps break up the monotony of reading a 400 page book about two people. I love her secondary characters and how all her books are threaded together by these people. Rees and Helene are certainly unconventional but that is what I loved about them. Through her 3 previous books, Rees is well described as a degenerate rake-hell and that's exactly how he first appears in this book and Helene is always made out to be a rigid, rather cold person but as the story escalates they realize that they only act that way because all they really want is eachother. They were extremely young when they eloped and didn't really know one another. Based on some pretty childish reasons, (which is understandable because they WERE children) they seperate and live different lives. Under unusual circumstances, they enter into an agreement to live together again and the things that ensue have just enough comedy and passion to keep you wanting more. I feel that James' way of writing leaves you panting for the next book. I found myself smiling and laughing through the book. She has created an alternate world with her characters and all their connections that makes you feel like you're transported. Five star!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2007

    My favourite Eloisa james....

    This was one of the most heartwarming books I read, and certainly the best one by this author. Helene and Rees appear in earlier novels and I never expected to like the characters in their own romance- but I did !!! I suppose it is the hope that happily ever after can come the second time around.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2004

    good writing, problem premise

    This writer show great promise, is able to bring the Regency period of England to live, BUT.... I get the feel she grew up reading Catherine Coulter, who did a lot of book in the same period, many were solid writing but I ended up disliking for similar reasons I did not like this book. Coutler is a great writer, but often I really HATED the males in her book (recall one that took a whip to the heroine, his wife, because she caught him with his mistress and tossed a shoes at him!). James is a savvy writer, but I just could not warm to these characters. They had a bad wedding night, so Helene and Rees go their separate ways, with him having mistresses...after 10 years Helene wants a divorce, but Rees refuses because it would besmirch his reputation. Helene then decides to go looking for a stud to father the child she wants, and THEN Rees decides he wants his wife after all. I did not care for the romance of secondary characters either - Rees' brother and his mistress! That was not a match to warm to, and she spent too much time on that detracting from her lead characters. She is a solid writer, but the premise and choice of characters really sinks this effort for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2004

    HEARTWARMING

    Set in England, in the early 1800's. I liked the story, but it was definitely quite different from other historical romances. You'll have to read this book to know what I'm talking about.I wonder if Ms. James' next book will include Garret Langham, Earl of Mayne. Or maybe a story on Wolfgang Amadeus Holland. We only hope.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2004

    loved it - read it twice already

    I've read all the Eloisa James books I could find (seven so far) and I liked this one so much that I just had to read it again after a couple of weeks. The last three books (Duchess in Love, Fool for Love, and A Wild Pursuit) all mentioned Helene and Rees so their story has been gradually building. I'm hoping Ms. James will continue to follow this plot-building exercise and give us the story of the Earl of Mayne in her next book - soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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