4 April 2015

Four Nights With The Duke by Eloisa James

Hey everyone,

For the last five days Ive been ill and confined to my bedroom. This has meant a lot of time for reading, which luckily for me coincided with the release of Eloisa James new book Four Nights With The Duke. I'm not faking I swear! Also this may contain slight spoilers.

The book:

As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia's audacious proposal, but there's one thing he won't give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil's bargain...he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can't afford to lose.

My thoughts:

Firstly can I just say I love the cover of Four Nights With The Duke, the lace detailing on the dress, the old-fashioned wallpaper and the soft lighting just tick all the right boxes for me! Anyway enough about the gorgeous cover and on with the actual book. I loved it! As usual in an Eloisa James novel it contain a fair few references to William Shakespeare, which as an English Literature graduate I personally found interesting and enjoyable. The character of Uncle Chuffy (who is probably one of my favourite secondary character EVER) is particularly found of sprouting Shakespeare, and throughout the wedding of Mia and Vander he chooses to quote Twelfth Night to hilarious effect.

I also loved the character of Mia, she was so courageous and brave when it came to defending and protecting others and yet so vulnerable and self-doubting when it came to her own self worth. I particularly loved her career as a Romance writer, and how Eloisa James worked it into the plot, her character and Vander and Mia’s relationship. Mia’s writing and her Lucibella novels were a fundamental part of her character. Her writing and the transformation it underwent throughout the course of Four Nights With The Duke showed her changing opinions on love, self-acceptance and the concept of ‘ideal’ feminine beauty. Whereas at the start of novel Mia idolises her heroines thin, blond, blue-eyed appearance towards the end of novel her feelings are undergoing a transformation.

Flora mortified to find seamstress views her as bony. ‘The Fripperies of Outward Appearance are unimportant,’ she informed the lady...

‘Can you improve the bodice of this gown?’ she implored. The gown was made of white pleated muslim and left no doubt that Flora had very little in the way of feminine endowments.’ 

It is important of course not to take this quote of context. This isn’t Mia, or Eloisa James, criticising women who are thin, but rather it shows Mia is starting to accept and appreciate her own body shape. Whereas before she viewed her sizeable breasts as an embarrassment, ugly and misshapen, this clipping from Mia’s latest novel demonstrates her changing mindset. Of course this change towards body positivity is partly because of Vander’s love and lust of Mia. He makes Mia feel desirable and feminine, and allows her to see herself that way.

This, however, was only one of the reasons I loved Vander. It was also his obvious love and support of Mia, how caring he was towards Charlie, how he indulged and respected his drunk uncle and ultimately how he forgave both his parents. Vander isn’t a perfect hero, he has a temper and often says hurtful things that he doesn’t really mean in the heat of an argument. He won’t coddle those he loves but instead tries to make them stronger and more resilient to face the outside world. Yet Vander has his pride, one that is rooted in the tragic story of his parents relationship. Therefore rather than fighting for Mia he instead lets her go.

‘Reeve had been haunting their marriage from the beginning. Now here he was, back from the dead, having fought his way out of prison to return to the woman he loved... He didn’t want a wife who sobbed over another man’s pain. She was his on paper, but her heart was Reeve’s’

I’ll be honest this scene nearly broke me. He loves her. She loves him. Yet he’s letting her go?! He’s letting her walk out of his life with another man. Clearly Vander needs to take some inspiration from a Lucibella hero! Luckily for us he does, but I’ll let you discover that delightful tale all for yourself.

My rating:
Happy reading everyone and see you next time!