Your Wicked Ways (Duchess Quartet Series #4)

Your Wicked Ways (Duchess Quartet Series #4)

by Eloisa James

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, May 23


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060560782
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/30/2004
Series: Duchess Quartet Series , #4
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 292,757
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.77(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

Read an Excerpt

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,

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


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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Your Wicked Ways 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
doxiemomx2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fairly good conclusion to the series. I liked Helene and Rees's relationship. A little too complicated with too many characters and plots.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sexy and fun. James has a fondness, it seems, for established couples, married for years, to fall in love, for real, the second time.Helene and Rees are one of these couples. Married very young and recklessly (they eloped after only a month of knowing each other, I think), after ten years, Helene desperately wants to have a child, but since she and Rees live in separate houses, and he refuses to give her a divorce, she decides to find a lover who can give her a child. She undergoes a makeover, finds new confidence, and then is stopped in her tracks by a furious Rees, who demands that he be the father of her child.Helene, despite her misgivings and willing to do whatever it takes, moves back into the Earl's home (with his mistress!) and slowly gets to know her husband again.It was interesting to watch a couple come back together, after having been separated by pride and misunderstandings. I also liked the musical aspect of the book - the couple came together through a love of music, and Rees convinces Helene to help him improve an opera he's been struggling with. They both come to realize the mistakes they've made and work to make amends, with sexy results... : )Romantic - recommended.
thebookfaery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eloisa James brings us another sultry read about an estranged married couple who've been apart the past 10 years who end up reuniting and creating a spark when brought back together to produce an heir and a musical score. Helene, the countess of Godwin changes from the prudish woman to a more daring and beautiful woman who entices many men after her change including her rake of a husband, Reese, the Earl of Godwin. When she approaches him yet again for a child of her own. He agrees only if she'll come back to their house to help him with his music and all while his mistress of the past 3 years lives in her old room next to his. What a scandal...The only thing lacking for me was that I wanted a bit more "macho" action between the two men rivaling for her attentions. It's always a bit more fun when 2 men fight over a woman.
Anniik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my very favorite of Eloisa James's books. And that description leaves out one of the most salient points of the plot - Helene isn't a loose woman who just wants some man to bed her, she's a woman who desperately wants a baby, and knows her childbearing years are running out. That's why she does everything she does. That discription makes her sound a bit...wanton. But anyway, the Helene/Rees plot in this book is brilliant. Rees is a perfect anti-hero - he's clueless when it comes to women, a bit of a jerk, poorly dressed - and absolutely loveable at the same time. And it's obvious from the moment they sit down at the piano together that they're a perfect match - if only they could get over their less than perfect past together. The problem with this book, as with many of James's other books - is that she has to ruin a perfectly good and entertaining story by interspersing it with a secondary plot between Lina and Tom that is boring and pointless. I found myself desperately wanting to skip the chapters with them in order to see what was happening with Rees and Helene! The habit she has of doing this is getting more and more annoying!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
afaye More than 1 year ago
A fun read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Witty fun sexy romantic. My fav ej book. Read other Duchess books first. Save this for last.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jacobi More than 1 year ago
although rees was a major ass sometimes he really loved helen. this book is original.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago