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My Last Duchess

by Eloisa James

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856258,713 (3.95)None
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I am not sure why this says it has so many pages --I listened to it, and it is 5 1/2 hours long so I would guess that its fewer than 200 pages in print. The insta-love was absurd, even for someone like me who likes love at first sight, but the characters are lovely. ( )
  Narshkite | May 8, 2021 |
Delightful, light heart-ed historical romance. ( )
  SharleneMartinMoore | Apr 24, 2021 |
If you've read the rest of the Wildes series, I think you'll love this novella about the Duke and his third wife. Hugo has a lot of children and needs a wife (another one as his first one died and the second one absconded to Europe with a lover). Ophelia is a widow with a daughter of her own and has no intention of any involvement with Hugo and his eight children. But Hugo is a man in love and won't be denied.
This is a lovely story about two older people finding love again. It's so much fun as a reader of the other books to see how the Duke and Ophelia met and married. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Jan 23, 2021 |
Mad about those Wildes!

Of course I was going to love Ophelia (Lady Astley) and Hugo's (the Duke of Lindow) romance. James has not disappointed.
Having adored the Wilde children's travails, this prequel provides a lively background to Hugo and Ophelia's meeting and eventual marriage. Mind you it was a close run thing as the widowed Ophelia had decided not to marry again. Why should she? She has a lovely home, running smoothly with supportive staff. Hugo decided he needed a Duchess to help organize his eight wonderfully high spirited children (well except for his rather priggish heir, Horatius).
After running away, well hastening her departure from a Ball where she was being pursued by Hugo, his jumping into her carriage takes Ophelia down a different track. All very Cinderella, especially the description of the carriage which doesn't quite turn into a pumpkin but it's fate becomes a pivotal point in the story.
Although Hugo was entertaining the thought of someone else, the encounter at the Ball has him setting his sights on Ophelia. Well, that and their rather spectacular one night of dalliance. Alas, Ophelia decides that the last thing she needs is a Duke who doesn't understand the idea of friendship.
Turning his attention to someone completely different after Ophelia's refusal of his suit, Hugo almost lands the children with the equivalent of what might have been a wicked stepmother. Thank goodness for the intervention of Hugo's twin sister Lady Louisa Knowe. With her subtle assistance Ophelia finally comes to realize that Hugo really is her Prince Charming.
I adored the three questions the children put to Ophelia, and her answers which so completely contrasted to those of Hugo's fiancé, a state declared by the lady herself, despite Hugo not having asked her. Need I say more?
Poor Hugo did indeed have to be rescued and fortunately Ophelia was on hand to do so.
A heartwarming story with more than a hint of a fairytale ending.

A HarperCollins ARC via NetGalley ( )
  eyes.2c | Oct 23, 2020 |
This book is the prequel of the Wildes of Lidow Castle. Can it be read as a standalone? Most definitely, as this is how I read it. I have read some of Ms. James' books but haven't read any in this particular series. I loved this prequel so much that I will be buying and reading all the others in this series.

This was a fresh and delightful look at how widows and widowers of a particular station interact, deal with their sexuality, and fall in love. This book has a wonderful, emotional, and comedic storyline and is perfectly steamy without going overboard.

I can't wait to get my hands on the other books in The Wildes of Lindow Castle!

*ARC supplied by publisher and author. ( )
  Cats57 | Sep 19, 2020 |
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