How can she dare to imagine he loves her . . . when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess? Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke's passion.
Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months. Theo would have given it a lifetime . . . until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry.
Society was shocked by their wedding . . . and is scandalized by their separation. Now James faces the battle of his life, convincing Theo that he loves the duckling who blossomed into the swan. And Theo will quickly find that, for a man with the soul of a pirate, All's Fair in Love—and War.
Book reviewed by Lori Carroll
The Ugly Duchess was an interesting story. James and Daisy were very young when the story began, and had already built the foundation for love. Despite not knowing the characters tremendously well when they got married, I believed that they were in love but, they needed to spend some time apart and mature. Thank goodness they did, for I was not interested in the couple as they were when the book began.
To society, Daisy was "ugly," but to James she was always gorgeous. Even though the story is modeled after The Ugly Duckling fairy tale, the point was not that she became beautiful, or that James could see past her faults, it was simply that, to James, Daisy didn't have any. And that made it perfect.
While there are several plot devices that usually make me not like a book, here they were all done in a way that I enjoyed them. The two characters were way too young to deal with the issues that they had to face. So while they were deeply in love with each other, I could understand the lack of communication that caused the separation. After James decided not to return home, he slept with other women. This would usually anger me, but Ms. James was able to write it in a way that made it acceptable.
Once again, Ms. James gave me a delightful read. I absolutely say: pick this one up!