Inspired by Georgette Heyer’s mischievious heroine in drag plot, Duchess By Night is the newest release from author Eloisa James.
And its a barn burner.
Although it starts off a little slow, the action heats up as our hero finds himself oddly attracted to the young Mr. Cope….and you guessed it, Mr. Cope is really our mischievious heroine in drag.
Eloisa James always likes to interject some historical evidence driven conjecture, which is included in this tale of the wild Lord Strange. And while subplots involving children usually drive me ape-y, I really liked the young daughter character and found her forming relationship with “Harry” (Harriet) to be endearing.
The love scenes were great, the action unpredictable, and the emotional conflict real. James is not above giving her characters some real emotional stumbling blocks and letting us feel the pain and pleasure of figuring out how to negotiate those hurdles.
I really love her descriptions of Harriet finding her feminity, oddly enough, through masculine dress.
I also like the groundwork that gets laid for another Desperate Duchess, who is the impetus behind attendance at the infamous Lord Strange’s house party.
There are delightful and amusing episodes involving mistaken identity. There are also some really touching portraits of tertiary characters that bring life to every page.
With every book, Eloisa James steps further up the ladder of my top ten. Move over, Julia Quinn, you might just be de-throned.