Series: Desperate Duchesses #4
Author: Eloisa James
Format: Audio/Ebook/Paperback, 384 pages
Published: November 25th 2008 by Avon
Narrated by: Susan Duerden
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
The Duchess of Cosway yearns for a man she has never met . . . her husband.
Married by proxy as a child, Lady Isidore has spent years fending off lecherous men in every European court while waiting to meet her husband. She's determined to accept him, no matter how unattractive the duke turns out to be. When she finally lures Simeon Jermyn back to London, his dark handsomeness puts Isidore's worst fears to rest—until disaster strikes.
The duke demands an annulment.
Forsaking his adventuresome past, Simeon has returned to London ready to embrace the life of a proper duke, only to find that his supposed wife is too ravishing, too headstrong, and too sensual to be the docile duchess he has in mind. But Isidore will not give up her claim to the title—or him—without a fight.
She will do whatever it takes to capture Simeon's heart, even if it means sacrificing her virtue. After all, a consummated marriage cannot be annulled.
Yet in forcing Simeon into a delicious surrender, will Isidore risk not only her dignity—but her heart?
WHEN THE DUKE RETURNS by Eloisa James, an historical romance, was an enjoyable listen. The story was a good one and the characters were well-written.
The narrator, Susan Duerden, did a good job. Each time I start an audible, it takes me some time to come-to-terms with the narrator. Sometimes that happens quickly; others take longer. This one took me longer, but, once I got in the groove with Susan, I appreciated her voice and inflection. She did an excellent job voicing the different accents. Some narrators act, others read. There's nothing wrong with either approach; the listener must decide which style they prefer with each book. In my opinion, Susan was a reader, not a performer, but that style worked very well with WHEN THE DUKE RETURNS. I would definitely listen to her again.
Isadore, our heroine, was married by proxy to Simeone, our hero, at a young age and has been keeping herself chaste for him ever since. She's now 23 and so ready to consummate her marriage yesterday. Unfortunately, Simeone expects a prim and proper wife upon his return and that is not what awaits him. However, Simeione is certainly not your normal proper royal either.. he is tanned, runs in shorts and practices new age philosophies.
Please remember that I was listening to this book, not reading it. The first part of the book was cute and I caught myself laughing out loud repeatedly as the author set the stage and dress. Then... talk about a dysfunctional family! I couldn't blame Simeone for hightailing it away from his family as soon as he was old enough. I could also picture the shock of it all to Simeone upon his return when he had to cope not only with his crazy, hateful mother but also his new unconventional bride. I really wanted to shake them both as they both seemed to be set on an annulment. That part seemed to drag on and on and on...
Thank goodness, the book picked up again towards the end and the ending was heartwarming and quite satisfying. I actually couldn't sleep the night I finished it and I laid awake in bed listening to it. Overall, I enjoyed this book and will go back and plan to listen to the others in the series when I have time.