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Desperate duchesses
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Roberta St. Giles (Female), Sheltered; intent on marrying the duke of Villiers, a chess player and womanizer; daughter of the poetry addicted "Mad Marquess"; finds herself falling for her tutor
Damon Reeve (Male), Tutoring Roberta in the art of pleasure so she can seduce the duke of Villiers; in love with Roberta
Unexpected love
England - Europe
Time Period
-- 18th century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Despairing that she will never make a suitable match as long as she remains in the country with her poet father, the "Mad Marquess," Lady Roberta St. Giles flees to London seeking the aid of a distant cousin, the Duchess of Beaumont, in bringing her into society and to the attention of the man of her dreams. Delighted with the challenge, the free-spirited Jemma takes Roberta in and, with flamboyant style, launches her beautifully-although not with the romantic results that Roberta had intended. Cryptic poetry, brilliant chess games, and scintillating repartee add zing to this complex tale of misplaced affections, sparring spouses, and dissatisfied nobles. Slightly bawdy, totally unconventional, and thoroughly delightful, James's (Pleasure for Pleasure) Georgian romp is the sparkling debut of a new series that promises to be remarkable. Noted for her smart, witty, Shakespeare-laced historicals, James lives in the New York City area. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

If Shakespeare had written an 18th-century romantic comedy, it might look something like this novel. In her latest, veteran James offers a larger-than-life portrait of Georgian England, complete with oversexed aristocrats, posturing courtesans and a feuding duke and duchess. At the heart of it all is Roberta St. Giles, an ingenue who's intent on marrying the duke of Villiers, a chess player and notorious womanizer. Roberta, the daughter of the poetry-addicted "Mad Marquess," wants nothing more than an unsentimental husband like Villiers. But in her quest to become the sort of woman who would attract the duke, she finds herself falling for Damon Reeve, her tutor in the art of pleasure. James embellishes her tale with a number of characters, each with their own desires, vices and schemes. At times, the profusion of people and plot threads overwhelms the primary romance. Roberta, in particular, pales next to the vivacious but unhappily married duchess of Beaumont, who begs for her own story. Despite this lack of focus, James pulls everything together in the final third, making for a colorful, spirited romance that will leave readers desperate for a sequel. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
<p>Welcome to a world of reckless sensuality and glittering sophistication . . . of dangerously handsome gentlemen and young ladies longing to gain a title . . . of games played for high stakes, including--on occasion--a lady's virtue.</p> <p>A marquess's sheltered only daughter, Lady Roberta St. Giles falls in love with a man she glimpses across a crowded ballroom: a duke, a game player of consummate skill, a notorious rakehell who shows no interest in marriage--until he lays eyes on Roberta.</p> <p>Yet the Earl of Gryffyn knows too well that the price required to gain a coronet is often too high. Damon Reeve, the earl, is determined to protect the exquisite Roberta from chasing after the wrong destiny.</p> <p>Can Damon entice her into a high-stakes game of his own, even if his heart is likely to be lost in the venture?</p>
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