Saturday, August 18, 2012

ARC Review: The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales #4) by Eloisa James

The Ugly Duchess turns out to be a boring Swan.

Title: The Ugly Duchess
Author: Eloisa James
Series: Fairy Tales
Publisher: Avon (US), Piatkus (UK)
Releases : 28st August, 2012
My ratings: 3 out of 5 stars.

James Ryburn is great friends with Theodora Saxby. Their parents were friends and now they are each other's closets friends. But why does suddenly James seems less and less like a friend and more like a man? She is confused but she finds herself more and more attracted towards the young and handsome James. But surely James interest towards her can't be true as she is far from beautiful and he can have his pick from so many women.Despite herself when James proposes she says yes wondering what she is doing is right for her. What she doesn't know is that her suspicions are right and that James has some other plans. He has been blackmailed by his father to marry Daisy(Theodora)so as to gain the Daisy's inheritance. James has no choice but to get played by his father. He is unhappy and sad that he has to cheat his best friend but he has no choice but get manipulated by his father.

So just merely days after Daisy finds the truth she is left heart broken and banishes James out of the country. The ton have nicked names Daisy as The Ugly Duchess for her looks but Daisy manages to turn the whole world on it's feet. Daisy was a unconventional character for a historical romance heroine. She has spunk but she was clever as well. What other people said bout her matter a great deal to her and that is what shaped her. I'm not sure if I liked her or not.When James comes back her reason for not getting back together with him was not that she was afraid of her heart breaking again instead it was some silly reason which was felt very out of place.

The beginning showed a lot of promise but as the story progressed it all went pear shaped. James, when introduced was only a 19 year old boy seemed to hold potential. I only wish he had held that on for the rest of the books.

I am disappointed to say the least. The last book in the series, The Duke is Mine, was a fun read and had me anxiously waiting for The Ugly Duchess.The story was loosely based on 'The Ugly Duckling' but I'm not happy with the way it was executed. In a way it was nice that the author chose to keep the heroine looking the same and only brought about a changing people's opinion but I found it boring. For some reason the transformation failed to wow me. It was there but it was not dramatic enough to bedazzle me.
I will not complain about the writing as the story continued without any breaks in it and the first half was sexy and full of innocent love. Daisy and James were discovering things about each other and were learning to to love each other and then when the secret is revealed and James is sent away the story felt slow and dragged till the end. I had expected that when James came back there would be heaps of sexual tension and romantic gestures but I was disappointed as there was none of that. I mean he comes back a pirate so I would assume there would be a lot of 'Rawr you're my wife' but James just played suave and sophisticated while wooing Daisy. I did not enjoy the seduction or the fact that they were discussing James old mistress while they were in bed after they got together after 7 years. Eeeks! It is difficult to write this review without giving out spoilers but a few things Daisy said towards the end were annoying and her reason for not reconciling with James was ridiculous too.

Regardless of all that I enjoyed the first half of the book which was very well written and I could feel the innocence of the 17 year old Daisy and the fool hardiness of 19 year old James. It was evident in the way they interacted and it was heart warming to to see how they started to get attracted to each other. The delight and hope they felt while being married was wonderful and filled me with high expectations which proved too much as to be full filled by the story.

Overall, regardless of a great start The Ugly Duchess was an average Historical romance book which had so much to give but ended up being mediocre.

Realeases 28th August, 2012

ARC provided by the Publisher, Avon

Read my review for The duke is Mine by Eloisa James here


Braine TS on August 18, 2012 at 5:24 AM said...

My experience with fairy tale reboots has been on the wan side. I think I'll skip this. Thanks for your honesty

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