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Say Yes to the Duke: The Wildes of Lindow Castle Paperback – Large Print, May 19, 2020
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About the Author
Eloisa James is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at www.eloisajames.com.
- Publisher : HarperLuxe; Large type / Large print edition (May 19, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0063000563
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063000568
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.12 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,105,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2020
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"A few," she said, shrugging. "I know you're supposed to hate them, but I don't."
Devin discovered that he didn't hate them either.
FINAL DECISION: Beautiful, lyrical, emotional and just so wonderful. I loved how Viola and Devin fell in love with one another without excessive drama. This book was a slow sinking into a loving relationship with humor and plenty of romance.
THE STORY: Miss Viola Astley feels like a fraud amongst the wild Wildes. Painfully shy and prone to vomit when forced to socialize, Viola's life changes when she meets a young, handsome vicar. Unfortunately, the vicar is betrothed to a stern, controlling, humorless woman, but Viola is determined to rescue him for herself. Devin Elstan, Duke of Wynter has decided that it is time to marry and one of the Wilde daughters who are having their debut will do. Unseen, he's decided on the "real" Wilde not the one whose mother married into the family. Upon meeting the "unsuitable" Viola, however, Devin knows that she is the woman for him and is determined to woo her for himself.
OPINION: This has become my favorite series by Eloisa James. There is a boldness and complete willingness to be open to love by the men in the series. Completely undone by Viola, Devin wants her for himself and yet he knows and respects her at every turn. These two truly make one another better and the focus of the book is the relationship they build together rather than outside drama or manufactured misunderstandings.
Viola is the beloved step-daughter of the Duke of Wilde. Despite her loving family, she has always felt inadequate compared to the beautiful, tall and passionate Wildes. When she meets the vicar, she begins to find reasons to believe in herself. When she meets the Duke of Wynter, she is so offended by him that she forgets to be her "mousy" self and instead completely captivates Devin. I loved seeing Viola overcome her shyness and find a place for herself and a purpose.
Devin is controlled and distant after a childhood with a hotheaded and irresponsible father. When he meets Viola, she inspires him to learn to reach out to others and express his feelings. His complete devotion to her was so romantic and incredibly sweet.
I am a big fan of books where the characters actually talk to one another, discuss their issues and feelings and generally act like responsible adults. Discussion and respect can be incredibly sexy as this book demonstrates. These characters always act with respect towards one another and I fell in love with them.
The Wildes as a whole play less of a role here than in prior books, but that lent a great intimacy between Devon and Viola as most of their courtship is comprised of discussions and conversations between the two. That was something that I very much enjoyed.
One of the best parts of this series is that each romance is completely different from the others in the series. Each character, their arc, the issues and tone of the books are different. Plus, I really enjoy the historical tidbits that James includes and which gives a real sense of the real Georgian period where these books are set.
WORTH MENTIONING: The book has a cute secondary romance as well.
CONNECTED BOOKS: SAY YES TO THE DUKE is the fifth book in the Wildes of Lindow Castle series. This book can be read as a standalone. It is not necessary to have read the other books in the series to enjoy this book.
RATING: I give this book 5 stars.
NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.
Devin Lucas Augustus Elstan, the Duke of Wynter is fighting with his cousin Otis, Otis has told Devin that he has changed his mind, he doesn’t want to be a vicar anymore and that he is going to travel abroad and find an heiress to wed. Devin convinces him to stay until they find another vicar, he also mentions that he is playing on marrying – he has already chosen his bride, Lady Joan Wilde. Otis warns that he will have a lot of competition, but Devin isn’t worried, he wants Joan and he gets what he wants.
Viola hatches a plan, she needs to get over her shyness (a task that Joan is helping her with) and show Mr. Marlowe that she is the perfect wife for him. She arranges a meeting in the library on the night of her debut ball. But when she arrives in the library, it is already occupied – she hides and hears Devin and his uncle talking – Sir Reginald tells Devin that Viola would be the perfect bride for him – Devin disagrees, he says that she isn’t really a Wilde and that she is a timid mouse. His uncle tells him he is wrong and that if he wants to get technical – Lady Joan isn’t a Wilde either. Devin doesn’t care, he wants Joan, end of story. When his uncle leaves, Mr. Marlowe arrives and Viola comes out of hiding. She makes comments that let Devin know that she heard him talking about her. Devin sends Mr. Marlowe away and escorts Viola back to the ball, on the way she gives him a proper set down and Devin admits that she is not the mouse he thought she was, intrigued he askes to escort her to supper – NO and she fobs him off on another woman he criticized.
Devin realizes his uncle was right, Lady Joan is not right for him, but Viola is perfect. He sets out to win her away from the vicar by means fair or foul. Even if he has to take advice from his cousin Otis, even if he has to woo her, even if he has to hire Mr. Marlowe away from the duke. But winning her is only part of it, soon he realizes he wants it all, her body, her heart and her love, a task made harder when he learns that he is the man that terrified her all those years ago…
I have enjoyed all the books in this series, but I LOVED this book, it is a well written, delightful, uncomplicated, steamyish read with wonderful characters and plenty of witty banter. Devin is a wonderful hero with a troubled childhood and fears of being unstable like his father and Viola wrestles with feelings of unworthiness and feeling like she doesn’t belong. I just love how together they learn to move on and find happiness. If you are looking for a fun, lighthearted read, look no further, this is that book.
This is the fifth book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone title. I highly recommend this series and this title especially.
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Say Yes to the Duke by Eloisa James
‘“I don’t want just any Wilde. I want the most beautiful Wilde of all,” Devin said, his voice rasping. “The woman with a wide mouth who laughs easily and taught me in the space of one day to love a giggle. Who knows medieval plays and abandoned crows. The woman with a darling pointed chin and exquisite hazel eyes.”’
I was so desperately excited to see that Eloisa James had a brand new historical romance releasing. She is one of my go-to authors for that genre. She writes with accuracy, passion, understanding and exuberance. Her characters are always painted and portrayed so vividly, shining off the page, espousing the many complex ways of the ton, engaging, beguiling and intriguing. However, Say Yes to the Duke fell by the wayside for me. It was missing the usual magic, charm and appeal of Eloisa’s previous work. In fact I loathe to admit this, I found myself skimming pages, and when you’re forking out £6.99 for an ebook - a price range that I only reserve for my absolute favourite authors work - it seemed all the more steep in price.
It was an average read. I wasn’t thoroughly engaged, I wasn’t anticipating the next chapter, or excited to even see where the story took us. It was rather dreary, long winded and mediocre. There was little to no real passion between our hero and heroine. There was something decidedly lacking between the pair. I needed a spark, something brighter and more magnetic than what we got. It did get more steamy and sensual closer to the end of the book but even then it felt like a more profound connection between the pair was absent.
It wasn’t until the last quarter of the book that I really started to enjoy it. Our heroine was more assertive, confident and likable. The same too for our hero. Even though the plot revolves around these two getting together, I never felt like we truly got to know the characters. It all seemed fairly superficial, again so did Viola’s anxiety issues. They were dominant in her life for so many years and then all of a sudden they were gone. No more crippling shyness or nausea.
Say Yes to the Duke was - dare I say it - nice. Such a bland word. Nothing overtly exciting or thrilling occurred. A lot of the story covered a variety of other characters, who were semi-entertaining for the most part but I wanted more Viola and Devin. I wanted them to really know one another. So, I was very disheartened by this new release. However, not every author is going to knock it out of the park every time and I’ll still be a massive fan of Eloisa James. This one just wasn’t for me.