My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/reviews/Nov09/adukeofherown.ej.html
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the Duke of Villiers, a single man in possession of a good fortune (not to mention six illegitimate children), must be desperately in want of a wife. But Leopold Dautry, the duke in question, knows that not just any woman will fit the bill. So that his children may be launched into society when they come of age, Leopold needs to marry the daughter of a duke, for only such a woman would hold enough clout in the eyes of London’s elite to have his children be accepted by the ton. Luckily for Villiers, only two women meet his criteria. Eleanor, the daughter of the Duke of Montague, is sensible, intelligent, and irresistibly sensual. Lisette, the Duke of Gilner’s daughter, is vivacious, creative, stunningly beautiful, and as far as most people are concerned, a bit mad. Torn between his instinct and his heart, Villiers must decide which woman will be the duchess he can call his own.
Eloisa James has ended her fantastic Desperate Duchess series on a high note with this engrossing story. A Duke of Her Own is an enchanting mix of romance and fun and I could not put it down.
The Duke of Villiers has grown into a fascinating character over the course of this series. I’ll admit I wasn’t his biggest fan when the series began, but while he grew on me throughout the books, I feel deeply in love with him in A Duke of Her Own. His transformation has been one of the finest Ms. James has ever written. As to which woman claims the heart of the worldly duke…what fun would it be if I revealed who she is? I will say that Villiers’s heroine is among my favorite of Ms. James’s characters. She’s everything I could wish for in a protagonist and she matches Villiers perfectly; I simply adored her.
A Duke of Her Own is the sixth book in the Desperate Duchess series, but the story stands on its own. I admit that I finished A Duke of Her Own a bit sad that the series has ended and that – barring re-reads – I have to leave the Desperate Duchess heroes and heroines behind. Given the liveliness of these characters, it is my hope that Ms. James writes stories for their children one day, some of whom Ms. James has already revealed to be quite intriguing. Until that wish comes true, I’m content to hop over to the Readers’ Pages on Ms. James’s site and enjoy a bonus chapter for A Duke of Her Own before I curl up and lose myself in Villiers’s story once more.