For book 3 of my #50bookpledge, I picked Eloisa James’ The Duke is Mine. It’s book 3 (a coincidence!) of Eloisa James’ Fairy Tale series and is based on the tale The Princess and the Pea. I love fairy tales and I love how others are able to interpret fairy tales in their own way. For example, most Disney renditions of fairy tales are romanticized versions of the originals. Of course, it’s not difficult to make them “happier” since most of the originals, especially those from the Grimm brothers, are, well, grim (no pun intended).
When it comes to historical romances, I love reading those that are in a series since I usually find myself drawn to the other characters that appear in apart from their own books. Since I read the first two books in this series (the first based on Cinderella and the second based on Beauty and the Beast), I was excited to read this one. And since I’ve always enjoyed the story of the Princess and the Pea, I wanted to see how Eloisa James would make this story her own.
Here’s the synopsis of the story taken from Eloisa James’ website:
Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess. So why can’t he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong, and altogether unconventional Olivia? Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper, albeit intoxicating, flirtation makes her unsuitability all the more clear.
Determined to make a perfect match, he methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion…Until, in his darkest hour, Tarquin begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love.
To win Olivia’s hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul…
Unless it’s already too late.
What I loved more about this story is that I could relate well with the heroine. What makes the heroine different from those in other stories? The heroine, Olivia, is plump. And because of that, I can relate with her insecurities. Yes, she’s pretty comfortable in her own skin but like me, she thinks that people like the hero couldn’t possibly find her attractive. It makes me happy that Tarquin accepts Olivia for her curves and actually finds her more attractive because of them. I’m glad that Olivia finds a person who loves her for who she is and I hope that I’ll find my “prince” someday too.
Of course, Tarquin isn’t the typical prince in most stories. This hero isn’t a rake which is not usually the case with more historical romances. He’s a bit stiff and he tends to lose himself in working on mathematical equations. Not exactly “heartthrob” material. But once the reason for his gravity is explained in the novel, you could really feel for him. Olivia coming into his life was definitely a good thing because, apart from healing the pain in Tarquin’s heart, she also taught him that love is a good thing. And it is. Despite the pain that love can cause, the happiness it brings will always be able to heal the hurt.
You can read an excerpt of the book from Eloisa James’ website so you can determine whether you’d like to read the book. If you’ve finished reading the book, you can also read a few notes from Eloisa regarding the book. There are a few fun tidbits there that add to the enjoyment of the book.
Anyway, I’m going to continue reading the next book on my list so I’m off for now. Until next time. 🙂