A Duke of Her Own (Desperate Duchesses Series #6)

A Duke of Her Own (Desperate Duchesses Series #6)

by Eloisa James

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A duke must choose wisely . . .

Leopold Dautry, the notorious Duke of Villiers, must wed quickly and nobly—and his choices, alas, are few. The Duke of Montague's daughter, Eleanor, is exquisitely beautiful and fiercely intelligent. Villiers betroths himself to her without further ado.

After all, no other woman really qualifies. Lisette, the outspoken daughter of the Duke of Gilner, cares nothing for clothing or decorum. She's engaged to another man, and doesn't give a fig for status or title. Half the ton believes Lisette mad—and Villiers is inclined to agree.

Torn between logic and passion, between intelligence and imagination, Villiers finds himself drawn to the very edge of impropriety. But it is not until he's in a duel to the death, fighting for the reputation of the woman he loves, that Villiers finally realizes that the greatest risk may not be in the dueling field . . .

But in the bedroom. And the heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061626838
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/28/2009
Series: Desperate Duchesses Series , #6
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 226,040
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.84(h) x 1.14(d)

About the Author

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. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at www.eloisajames.com.

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Duke of Her Own (Desperate Duchesses Series #6) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 124 reviews.
srbSH More than 1 year ago
Leopold Dautry, the Duke of Villiers (he of the extravagantly gorgeous attire) who has appeared in each book, has always known about his six bastard children, and in his detached way has arranged monies for their care and fostering. But he has recently learned of his lawyer's making off with the funds and carelessly disposing of the children who are scattered all over. At the end of This Duchess of Mine, Villiers has found his eldest son and spitting image, Tobias, working as a mudlark (i.e., one who roots about with other children in the mud of the Thames to find teeth and silverware for a man who controls them), and brings him home with him. This book not only is of Villiers' determined search for all his children whom he will acknowledge and raise, but also his seeking to marry a duchess to smooth the children's way into society. Eleanor, dowdy eldest daughter of the Duke of Montague has been grieving over the loss of Gideon, her "true love" to another and is finally ready to marry, but only a duke. Jemma introduces them. They enter into a trial betrothal and travel with Tobias and Eleanor's dog Oyster to Kent where Villiers' twin daughters may be in the local orphanage. They are houseguests of another "engaged" duchess, Lisette, an old friend of Eleanor's who is on the board of said local orphanage. Lisette is fairy-like and beautiful, Eleanor's beauty is hidden no longer, and Villiers is drawn to both of them. He treats Lisette with delicacy, thinking she might be better with children and Eleanor with enthusiastic lust, and his preference seesaws between them. The twins are found, thanks to Tobias' ingenuity and are doted upon by Lisette. Gideon's wife has died and now a second duke is determined to marry Eleanor. It takes Tobias and the dog, Oyster, to reveal Lisette's unstable character, Eleanor's love for the children and Villiers, and Villiers to come to grips with his past and reveal his hidden self. A Duke of Her Own, led by another of Eloisa James' strong women, is a fine finish to a host of memorable romantic tales and characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. must read whole series with this as finale. As usual for e james books. charming witty sensual fun. Only a grinch wouldnt love.
AnneMOliver More than 1 year ago
Of all the 'Desperate Duchesses' stories, this is the best. It may be because the hero (if he could be called that) in this story was a familiar character to those of us who had read the other four first. The Duke of Villiers was a flawed character, which only made him more likeable. Eleanor seemed a bit shallow at first, but then we came to realize that she was only guarding her heart, which had been broken once before. Everything about this book shows Eloisa James at her finest. Even though I have this book as a paperback, I knew I wanted to put it on my Nook too. If I ever lose this book, I'll buy another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this whole series. I loved the characters in every book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first i have read of this author and I will definitely read some more.
Shermaria Major More than 1 year ago
The herione is a bit annoying to me. She slept with both dukes and then wondered why none of them want to marry her. This book is so dragged out. It was almost as if she was trying fill the pages with endless words.
Daphsmomma More than 1 year ago
From the very first book of this series Desperate Duchesses, I was looking forward to reading Jemma's and Villiers books. This one is absolutely without a doubt amazing. You really understand his character finally. He is one of those you either love or you hate. Course I love him. From the beginning these characters are being written with amazing clarity. I let my sister borrow these and she said this one is her fav. I will be reading these again in the future. They are in my library! Thanks Eloisa James for a remarkable series!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful characters / character progression and the angst of unrequited love / lust / like ... and a heroine who makes  no apologies. This is now one of my favorite books; read it twice in two days. Awesome.
Anonymous 2 days ago
This one may be the favorite in the series. Eleanor is a wonderful strong character who is easily able to keep Villiars in his place. Great to see this Duke finally find his own love after helping everyone else in other books. Some backstory explains much of his behavior and attitudes. His children are all delightful, as evidenced by their deplorable behavior and sharp wits. Seems like Leopold finally wakes up to life, and Eleanor is perfect match.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of twist a turns
Aula on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There was only one thing that bothered me a bit about this book. SPOILER ALERT!!The premise that the Duke initially chose Lissette over Eleanor was the the former really didn't care about his childrens' parentage and would thus be a good mother to them. At no stage did Eleanor comment that she had an issue with the children - she clearly didn't. Lisette's character was much too immature to deal with society as the mother of six illegitimate children, whereas Eleanor clearly was not. This irked me a bit since James' novels (from the two I've read, which isn't many, I grant you) seem to have strong, sensible characters, both men and women. Still, a really enjoyable read!
RockStarNinja on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The only reason I give this book 4 stars and not 5 is because the beginning was just so horribly boring. I picked it up and as I started reading, but I just couldn't get into it after 10 or so pages, so I started more or less just skimming pages to see if I even wanted to keep going. Then, somewhere around page 50 a passage caught my eye and from that moment I literally could not put the book down. The only problem was that I had started reading it at just after midnight and by was 4am by the time I was done. That being said, it was one of the best romances I've ever read.Neither the hero or heroine were over the top, but they had a real quality about them that you could easily identify with. With all the characters actually, even the more minor ones. I also found the plot to be refreshing and different than what I've read before. This is one of those books where everybody had their own issues and they all happened to be in the same place at the same time, but nothing that happened seemed out of place either. There were no easy conveniences for the sake of getting to the end, it all played out and felt like you were really there watching everything unfold.This is my first book by Eloisa James, and I am not disappointed, I will definitely read some more of her work.
January_F on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in this series that I've read, and I've enjoyed them all. This would be my favourite, as it's always good to see the rogue of another story (or two) finally fall in love. Very satisfying.
TXBookjunkie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had not read any of Eloisa James' books prior to reading her newest Duchess book, "A Duke of Her Own", this past week. If this book is an indication of James' other books - particularly her Duchess series - then I deserve a kick for not picking up her books before this. In "A Duke of Her Own", Leopold Dautry, the Duke of Villiers, needs to marry - and marry nobly. Since his options only include daughters of dukes, he's limited in his choices - Eleanor, the beautiful and intelligent daughter of the Duke of Montague, or Lisette, the beautiful and free spirited daughter of the Duke of Gilner? From what I gather reading this book and excerpts from previous Duchess books, Villiers is a notorious scoundrel who appears in each of the previous Duchess books. I hope all of the heroes in the other Duchess books are as delicious as Villiers. I can't wait to scoop up the rest of this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved theme of competitive love interests for both Heroine & hero Villains are defective people but not all bad makes it interesting Villiers my favorite character in 'desperate duchesses', wanted him to get the girl Glad he finally gets the girl in this one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always this story is well written and researched. It is like candy for the imagination.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my favorite book so far in this series! Between the children and dog, it was comical as well as a love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I look forward to reading more of her books!
ilovetoreadBY More than 1 year ago
I love her books. this is a very good book. I love all the excitement in her books. I think you will love the Romantic book..
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
Empowerment is a heady and potent thing and, once realized, you won’t settle for anything less. To be desired, loved, and cherished above all others for being one’s self is wonderful and blissful, and perhaps only those who have been hurt in the past can truly understand its power. The very talented and eloquent Eloisa James explores this theme in her sixth charming and very entertaining Desperate Duchesses novel, and the charismatic and sexy Duke of Villiers learns a hard lesson on the road to his happy ending with his heroine, the courageous and sensual Eleanor. Eleanor is a duke’s daughter and a beautiful woman. She was hurt terribly in a previous relationship where she gave her whole heart (and virtue) to Gideon, a handsome duke who married another. She has decided to marry a duke and figures the Duke of Villiers is a safe prospect for her heart. “’Mysterious?’ Eleanor snorted. ‘No one with my name could possibly be mysterious.’” Until she gets to know Villiers, with all his flaws and foibles that eventually endear him to her and charm her despite her best intentions. He admits to having six illegitimate children that he wishes to care for and bring into his home. He is not handsome in the traditional sense and has long dark hair with striking grey streaks. He is used to having his own way and not bothering with anyone or anything. “It wasn’t a poet’s jaw. It was a harsh, male jaw, the kind belonging to a man likely to issue decrees. And feel that a woman should pay attention to his proclamations.” When Villiers meets Eleanor, he also feels she might make a good match for him as she’s sensible; his heart won’t be encumbered. His primary goal is to find a mother for his children. Not love. Not friendship. A good mother who won’t mind the stigma his children will definitely bring. But Eleanor is also a woman of grace and strength. She is considerate of her old lover’s wife, Ada, a sickly woman and doesn’t gossip about her. She is kind to her old friend, Lisette, a woman of questionable mind and also her rival for the Duke of Villiers. Villiers is strongly attracted to Eleanor as a lover, but he’s not so sure as a potential mother for his children, even though she displays sense and discipline, two traits a good mother definitely needs: “She didn’t look like the kind of woman who stood around, moping after her former lover. She looked like the kind of woman whose former lover pined for her.” and “A ducal doxy, that’s what she was. A dissipated duchess.” But after enduring her first heartbreak and with Villiers threatening to become another, Eleanor will not settle. She is drawn to Villiers and succumbs to his seduction. And when she falls in love with him and it seems he doesn’t want her for his wife but only a bed partner, she is hurt once again. “She had a precedent; she understood the undertow of anguish that would follow, the sense of regret and loss, the bewilderment of loving someone more than he loved her.” The best moment in the story is when Eleanor realizes that she deserves more than what either Gideon or Villiers have offered her. The way that Villiers works his way back into Eleanor’s good graces is lovely and humbling to read and one of the most charming and romantic things in their relationship. “’I want to be everything that you wish me to be. If you don’t want a duke, then I don’t want to be a duke.’” As she has in the entire series, the Georgian period is brought to life in James’ hand with its many detailed descriptions of elaborate fashions: “She was wearing a wildly fashionable chip hat lined with sarcenet, with a cluster of white feathers on one side.” and “Squire Thestle was a tall, thin man who had powdered his hair so heavily that little snowfalls kept drifting to his shoulders and then sliding, as if down a mountain slope, to the floor.” There’s sparkling humor throughout the story, too, especially in the character of Eleanor’s saucy sister, Anne and Villiers’ eldest son, Tobias. “’Men really are quite interchangeable. A woman merely needs to find the one who promises to adore her without being too irritating.” “She was a fierce, sharp-tongued little thing who would probably turn into her mother. And if that wasn’t enough to frighten a man into flaccidity, nothing would.” Villiers’ children are cute and sweet but they do not in any way steal scenes or the story, thank goodness. As Villiers slowly gathers his children from their far-flung questionable pasts, he is awakened to the dangerous lives they have lived while away from him. “He did not look like a man who was prey to unaccustomed and unwelcome emotions. Shame, for one. And fear.” Villiers himself has been a fascinating and enigmatic character throughout this entire series, with tantalizing bits of his past slowly being revealed in each book. In this book, he matures and grows even more, and realizes true love.  Lisette is a flighty, angelic, and very unstable young woman. She is childlike and, indeed, at the end of the story, much is revealed about her own sad past.  “He would marry a woman without love, to nurture the children he had created without love.” I really like how James, a Shakespeare professor, describes and breaks down passages in his Sonnets, something Eleanor muses upon when she discovers unpleasant truths about her current and former relationships with men. The love story between Eleanor and Villiers is real and poignant. They get to know one another slowly while at Lisette’s country estate and, when they realize their attraction and passion, they act upon it. But then both realize it is more than merely an affair. I love Eleanor’s forbearance and elegance. She refuses to let Villiers know he how much he has hurt her until a pivotal and emotional scene forces the issue. Then she transforms into the goddess she is and I admired her greatly for her bravery in telling both Gideon and Villiers the truth. The affect on both men is humiliating and effective. A wonderful romance in a fascinating and fun series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was excited for this ine and it did not dissapoint.