Malin’s #CBR5 Review #59: Once Upon A Tower by Eloisa James

Gowan is 22-year-old Duke of Kinross, who works desperately to set aright the chaos left on his estate by his drunken mother (who abandoned the family and left him to care for an illegitimate half-sister) and his debauched and irresponsible father. Every waking moment of his day is rigorously scheduled, so that he can give the proper attention to castle, his finances and his estates. He wants a dependable and hard-working wife, and while he generally believes English ladies to be soft, spoiled and frivolous, he can’t afford to limit himself if he wants to find a good lady to be his duchess.

When he meets the young Lady Edith during her debut ball, he’s instantly smitten. Angelic and serene, she barely speaks during the dances they share, and Gowan decides to propose marriage to her before someone else can sweep his dream woman off her feet. Of course, Edie was so feverish during her social debut that she was barely able to stand up, let alone remember who she danced with and what impression she may have made. Hence, she finds herself betrothed to a man she’s not even sure she would recognize in a crowd. Still, after some correspondence, and time spent together when neither is feverish, the two hit it off, and the marriage date is actually brought forward. More on my blog.

2 thoughts on “Malin’s #CBR5 Review #59: Once Upon A Tower by Eloisa James

  1. You know it’s not easy to sweep a duke off his feet while in the throws of a fever. I think the most I’ve ever managed to pull off with a fever is feeding my children, and even they were unimpressed with my fevered performance. So kudos to Edith.

    There was another review (yours?) about the issue standing between the happy couple and their HEA was bad sex/communication. Ironically I like my historical romance to be somewhat real (for example the dress being worn on the cover bothers me) – I like characters to have to maintain some semblance of cultural norms, am irked by modern slang showing up in dialogue, love historical details/phrases/events being drawn in to the plot, etc. But I don’t like realism in the “romance” aspect of the story. Soldiers with PPD, sexual misunderstanding, anything close to rape, etc. Give me a good pirate adventure, a pennyless beauty trying to catch a duke, or the owner of a notorious hell who just happens to (semi-secretly) be a duke and I’m in! But issues that honestly require therapy and possibly medication don’t work for me.

    Is it just me? Am I the only died in the wool escapist here?

    • Sometimes I want fluffy, frivolous light escapism in my romance, and sometimes I like a bit of angst and drama with my stories. It depends a lot on the writer, actually.

      Based on your descriptions of what you’re looking for in romance, you should absolutely check out the most recent Tessa Dare – Any Duchess Will Do, and the upcoming No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah Maclean (out in November). The first features a barmaid and one of the richest Dukes in England, and the latter will be all about a Duke who runs a gambling hell with three other disgraced noblemen.

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