Monday, April 7, 2014

Title:       Three Weeks with Lady X [Desperate Duchesses, book 7]
Author:   Eloisa James
Rating:   ★★★

As Amir, of The Not-So-Literary-Heiresses, pointed out the other day, I've been reading and reviewing a lot of historical romance books lately. Hormones, yeah. That.

I was super excited about Three Weeks with Lady X. I'm a fan of Eloisa James' books, and I have read several (fifteen to be exact) of her work. Three Weeks with Lady X is the seventh book in the series, and the sixth I've read (I didn't read book 2) in the series, and I was looking forward to this installment.

Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized fa├žade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.

Exquisite, head-strong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.

But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.

Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option.

But there is only one thing that will make India his—the one thing Thorn can't afford to lose...

His fierce and lawless heart.

From the start, I was hooked on Lady X. I love that she was independent, capable, and confident. I also love that she didn't have false humility, but she never played with men's affections either.

And I liked Thorn Dautry at the start, too. He made a name for himself, he was self-assured, and he was just the right amount of cocky.

And I liked the supporting characters as well. They were funny, supporting, entertaining, and interesting.

The story progression? So hot. The passion and their attraction was undeniable and I was totally rooting for them even past the middle of the story. Their banter was charming, and their letters to each other was funny. I liked the way the author wrote the story, and showed their increase in confidence and affection.

But in the second half, I didn't like that they kept missing each other's cues. The story became too dramatic, and it could have been cut by a lot of pages for me. I didn't like Thorn's treatment of Lady X in the second half, and I didn't like that Lady X ended up with Thorn.

I had been falling in love with the story, but by the end I was just so pissed. Okay, she was happy with Thorn and she loved him. The story was prolonged for a few more chapters and added a huge, risky sacrifice just for Thorn to be able to prove his love for India. Sigh. I would have been happier if she ended up alone instead, if she couldn't love someone else at that time.

The ending made me think of Gone with the Wind, and I think the ending was fantastic. It was exactly right. For me, that was still a happy ending, and a good romance story. What about you, do you think all romance stories should end with the protagonists getting together, or is it still a happy ending for you if one of them chooses to walk away (for a good, valid reason)?