Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
Gina, Duchess of Girton, hasn’t seen her husband since their wedding day twelve years ago. Gina and Cam were forced to marry while very young and the duke ran away to Greece before the marriage could be consummated. Now Cam has returned to England to annul the marriage, so that Gina is free to marry again. Cam plans to spend as little time as possible in England before returning home to Greece, but finds himself drawn to Gina and begins to fall in love with his wife.
I was looking forward to reading Duchess In Love as I’d enjoyed one of Eloisa James’s previous books, As You Wish, last year. So, I was both surprised and disappointed to find this book had an almost replica plot to As You Wish: man marries woman but flees the country – via the bedroom window – before the marriage is consummated. Man returns to England and falls in love with wife. This is the same premise for both books but, thankfully, it didn’t seem like I was reading the same story over again.
There is quite a lot going on within the book, from Gina and Cam’s annulment and ignited passion and her engagement to marquess Sebastian, to the complicated marriages of Gina’s friends, Esme and Carola, and a touch of blackmail thrown in. Despite all the threads happening at once, I found the book quite slow, particularly in the beginning. I enjoyed the storyline and the characters and it could be humorous at times, but I was never itching to pick the book up again once I’d put it down. I thought Gina was a great main character for the book, being strong and feisty and able to match Cam, so it was frustrating to see her paired with the uptight and dull Sebastian, who had no redeeming features as far as I could see.
Duchess In Love is a well-written historical romance that is full of character, but the pace needed to pick up a little more for my liking.