10 March 2015

Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James

Hey everyone,

Am I the last person to read Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James? Possibly. Is that going to stop me from reviewing it? No way! As soon I finished reading this book I wanted to talk and obsess about it and due to a lack of IRL friends who read romance I have instead turned to the online community.

The book:

Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized fa├žade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.

Exquisite, headstrong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.

But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.

Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option.

But there is only one thing that will make India his—the one thing Thorn can't afford to lose...

His fierce and lawless heart.

My thoughts:

I had high, and I mean HIGH, expectations for this book. Eloisa James is one of my favourite authors and her Desperate Duchesses series in my opinion is her best. Also I had heard a lot of people say that Three Weeks With Lady X was Eloisa James back at her finest (not that I ever noticed a drop).

Luckily this book lived up to all my expectations. It had the classic James combination of wit, steamy romance, complex characters and social intrigue. I loved Lady Xenobia India St. Clair, for me she was a perfect heroine because of her intelligence, her bravery, and her ability to go against society and her protectiveness over those she loved. Was she perfect? No, contrary to what some reviewers have claimed.

She has a temper and isn’t afraid to use it in order to keep Thorn on his toes. I found this particularly came out in the letters exchanged between Thorn and Xenobia, in fact the letters where probably my favourite aspect of this book. To me it felt like they could be honest and open with each other in writing, it allowed Thorn in particular to push the boundaries of social convention.

‘You have thrown down the gauntlet in terms of my vegetables, and my supposed shortfall. I could have proved it to you the other night’

Thorn will be a familiar character to readers who have read Villier’s and Eleanor’s story in the Desperate Duchesses series. I loved how Eloisa James embraced his backstory, especially the ending where he appeared to finally have closure over his childhood. Although his days as a mudlark didn’t completely define his character, those early years obviously had a significant affect on his personality. He has insecurities about his place in society, particularly where his future wife is concerned.

Yet Thorn is not the only one with unusual childhood and although Xenobia was the daughter of Marquess she didn’t have the typical aristocrat experience. Instead her parents worshipped the moon goddesses and where more concerned with dancing naked at midnight than providing their daughter with an education or food. Personally I feel that their childhood was actually the cause of their connection. They could understand growing on the outskirts of polite society, or at least joining it late.

‘I’ve been told that I’m not very good at kissing, and I will need to marry an expert.’
‘India,’ Thorn warned. This game they were playing was dangerous.

So apart from the brilliant hero and heroine, who were complex, realistic and add tons of chemistry, there are a couple of others issues I wish to discuss about this book. Firstly I loved the secondary characters of Lala and Dr Hatfield. Although their story plays a minor part in the novel as a whole I thought it was wonderful to watch Lala gain in confidence through John’s gentle support and encouragement. He opened up a whole new world to Lala that had been denied to her because of her upbringing.

The second topic is this book will not be for everyone and the simple reason is that arguably it does contain cheating. Although no formal arrangements are in place Thorn, India, Lala and Dr Hatfield all push the boundaries and I know in some reader’s eyes this could be an issue. I, however, thought it worked because from the beginning the reader is introduced to India and Thorn as a couple, we know they are meant to be together. We also know how Lala feels about both Thorn and India through her POV.

Overall I loved this book and am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series Four Nights with a Duke, which I’ve already pre-ordered so no yearlong wait this time!

My rating:

Happy reading everyone and see you next time!