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The Taming of the Duke (Essex Sisters, book…
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The Taming of the Duke (Essex Sisters, book 3) (original 2006; edição 2006)

por Eloisa James (Autor)

Séries: Essex Sisters (3)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
5781931,117 (3.66)12
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?… (mais)
Membro:annagracek13
Título:The Taming of the Duke (Essex Sisters, book 3)
Autores:Eloisa James (Autor)
Informação:Avon (2006), Edition: First Edition, 400 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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The Taming of the Duke por Eloisa James (2006)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 19 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I was incredibly eager to read this book. I think I fell in love with Rafe in the first scene of the first book in the series when he was having a nursery filled with toys and furnishings in sets of four, for the four little girls he thought would be arriving. It was adorable and spoke of a deeply lonely man, eager for a family. And the premise of this story reminded me a bit of a favorite romance novel of mine, in which the hero disguises himself to marry the woman he loves because, at the time, she professed hatred for him. It's an unbelievable storyline, but I can suspend disbelief to find enjoyment and I was looking forward to it.

If I rate this story based on my enjoyment, particularly the amount of anxious anticipation I felt for what would happen next, then it was a 5-star book. Unfortunately, there were also some detractors that damaged my overall opinion.

Loved: Rafe's sweet, boyish character and his insecurity. The bath scene. The fact that our hero was a pudgy, depressed alcoholic and had genuine flaws. Loved that Imogen was also a flawed character, although her flaws were at times hard to take.

Disliked: Imogen's cruel comments in the beginning--lord, but I think the author went a bit too far. Imogen "believed" the mustache disguise for too long (a minute was probably too long).

Too much was devoted to convincing readers that Imogen had fallen for the disguise to cause readers angst. From Imogen's perspective, the readers were given comparisons of Gabe and Rafe kisses, their voices, and their bodies, all meant to perpetuate the readers' belief that Imogen had been fooled by Rafe's disguise. I'm perfectly willing to suspend disbelief and be convinced that a mustache is an adequate disguise; however, the story would have been altogether improved by letting the readers in on Imogen's secret realization. Imogen loves adventure--she would have loved having her own secret and letting Rafe carry on his act, thinking she had no idea.

(Light spoilers below--plot points mentioned, but not in detail.)

If I had written it: Imogen would have redeemed herself by slowly, and a bit reluctantly, caring for Rafe when he was overcoming the alcohol. We got the bath scene, but in my version, we would have gotten more than that. Instead of the awful, dramatic scene in which Imogen throws all of the alcohol and decanters out the window (in front of not only the whole family, but houseguests!), Imogen would have seen his struggle and in some much kinder way, handled the situation to protect Rafe from himself. It was too late in the book for her cruelty; she was supposed to be redeeming her character.

I would have had Rafe go to meet Imogen at the orchard, as did happen, but he would have admitted who he was and offered to take her to Silchester anyway. And she would have agreed. She could still confess her fears about marriage and love to Rafe and the kissing could have occurred naturally. They would have carried on an illicit affair, intended to be short-lived, only to both realize they wanted more. Imogen would have ended it, just as she did because she had planned it that way and Imogen is a bit ruthless. Then, Rafe would have courted and wooed her, which was what she wanted.

Alternately, Imogen could have seen Gabriel and Gillian kissing in the hallway as she made her way to the theater for rehearsal. Since, even by Eloisa James' word Imogen had already started to suspect that the Gabe-in-a-mustache was really Rafe, Imogen would have been shocked and confused, but continues on, muddling it over in her mind . . . and then, just as she reaches the theater, she is pulled into the priest hole by Rafe (disguised) and having just seen Gabriel upstairs, she knows for certain that her masked lover is not him. But she says nothing, enjoys the moment, and then after that resolves to end the "affair" in the hope that Rafe will pursue her in truth.

( )
  hlkate | Oct 12, 2020 |
Very good ending but not my favorite of hers ( )
  cupcakeclark | Feb 20, 2019 |
Ok, so I am seven chapters in and haven't come up with anything to really discuss about this book. It is not grabbing me at all yet. The storyline of Rafe trying to stop drinking and why he is doing it is probably the aspect of the book I like the most so far. I guess I can be happy about the fact that this seems to be all Imogen's story as her other sisters aren't honing in on her time so far. The author does seem to be bringing back the character Gillian ( Draven Maitland's fiancée before Imogen stole him away) but so far Gillian hasn't intruding enough to be annoying.
 
Gabe's (Rafe's illegitimate brother) attitude of not being good enough for Gillian was heartbreaking at times, as was his devotion to his daughter.
 
The story got slightly more interesting for me during the scene when Imogen dumps out all of Rafe's alcohol and they go for a night time horse ride. Their thoughts and feelings portrayed during these scenes were wonderful and breathed a passion into their story which was missing for me between these two characters.
 
Ms. James takes on to many characters, they are wonderfully written characters, but darn it they steal time from the who are suppose to be the leading couple which in turn leaves me unsatisfied. I really feel like every book so far in this series could be keepers if there was more focus on the leads. I finish each book wishing there was just a little more to what I read. On the other hand this series is turning out to be one the strongest I have read in a long time.
 
Towards end of the book, Imogen and Rafe had some feisty conversations which were enjoyable to read and helped push the book slightly above average.
 
This book had a wonderful cast of characters but it started off so slowly for me that I felt like it was a rest stop in the journey through this series. It was good but nothing which inspired me. This could be due to an overdose of Imogen from the earlier books or a lack of the Earl of Mayne ( who I am positively becoming obsessed with).
 
Was anyone else sort of confused by the epilogue in this book? It is set quite a ways in the future and talks about how everyone is married. It was weird and seemed to be an epilogue which would be better placed in the last book of the series; it just seemed unnecessary. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
I was pleasantly surprised about how enjoyable I found this particular book. I was very reticent to try it as I find the character Imogen to be thoroughly dislikable. ( )
  sweetfe | Jun 6, 2018 |
What a great story! I laughed and cried many times! Such wonderful writing and really engaging characters!! I love this authors work!!

I am currently on a Regency kick and this one was terrific!! ( )
  grapeapril75 | Oct 18, 2014 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
James, Eloisaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Duerden, SusanNarradorautor principalalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Luc, ElisabethTraductionautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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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?

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