Sunday, July 29

Your Wicked Ways by Eloisa James

Helene, the Countess Godwin, knows there is nothing more unbearably tedious than a virtuous woman. After all, she's been one for ten long years while her scoundrel of a husband lives with strumpets and causes scandal after scandal. So she decides it's time for a change--she styles her hair in the newest, daring mode, puts on a shockingly transparent gown, and goes to a ball like Cinderella, hoping to find a prince charming to sweep her off her feet...and into his bed.

But instead of a prince, she finds only her own volatile, infuriatingly handsome...husband, Rees, the Earl Godwin. They'd eloped to Gretna Green in a fiery passion, but passion can sometimes burn too hot to last.

But now, Rees makes her a brazen offer, and Helene decides to become his wife again...but not in name only. No, this time she decides to be very, very wicked indeed.

I cannot believe that I actually finished this book. Prolly because I was desperate to like Eloisa James' works. Remember that July was becoming a very bad reading month save for a few old fave rereads and, of course, THE book of the century (check previous post for details). Nevertheless, I plowed on page after page because I was hoping there might be a surprise somewhere that would save my opinion of the book. Unfortunately for me, there wasn't any.

Infidelity will always leave a sour taste in my mouth so I dunno how I lasted through this book. I can't stomach the thought of a husband throwing out his wife from their home and have the gall to put his mistress in her room. It was made clear that he was only after her for her voice so that she could help him with the operas he was making--but it was a pointless argument since they did sleep together. And worst of all, he didn't want to give his wife the divorce she had repeatedly asked for because it would be too costly--even if he could bloody well afford it. Deffo not a hero material.

And the heroine wasn't much of anything either. She wanted to have a child and since her husband wouldn't divorce her, she sought to make this happen with another man. Ugh! (As my friends would say: Cannot be, borrow one!) And even if her husband already treated her shabbily, she just went along with his plan to live with him again so long as he was willing to father her child. And let's not forget: the mistress was still in the house, too.

I dunno. The story only got from bad to worse. I know it worked for other readers because how else was I to know about EJ and be desperate enough to read her stuff. I don't think I'll be getting some of hers soon though.

Final verdict: 5/10. Meh.


Holly said...

It's funny, but this is the only EJ I've ever read and for some reason, I really liked it. I SHOULD have hated it for all the reasons you mentioned (and some you didn't) but..well, I liked it.

I got all warm and fuzzy inside when they had sex at the park and he thought, "Ok, I can do this" lol

Sorry you didn't like it. But, OTOH, I'm not sure how much I really liked it because I've never been tempted to buy another.

Kat O+ said...

I didn't like her Duchess Quartet quite as much as her other books. I love EJ, though, so I still have them in my bookshelf. As for this particular book, I don't think Rees grovelled enough. Not even close.

Midnight Pleasures and Enchanting Pleasures are my favourite EJs. The Essex sisters series is also good, but don't start with The Taming of the Duke, because most readers think that's the worst of the lot.

Rowena said...

Hmmm, this doesn't sound like anything I'd want to read...husband, wife and mistress all under one roof? Yeah...PASS!

Kookie said...

I know. I don't think I can be pursuaded to buy another one. I only bought this at the UBS since the bookstore had new stocks of her stuff. I wanted to try one out first before I buy anything brand new of hers. Good thing I did, huh?

Kat o+--
Hmm, I'll take your advise but as I've said, I don't think I'll be reading her stuff again anytime soon. :o)

I'm such a ninny sometimes I should have stopped reading this by page 20. LOL!

Chantal said...

Good review.
I read this as well, and even though I hated what happened in the book, I still thought it was a good read.
Few authors can do that. Write in everything I hate about hero/heroines, but write it so well, that I can't put the book down.

That is why Eloisa James is one of my autobuy authors.

Kookie said...

Hmm. I never thought about that. You've got a point there...I guess it just takes getting used to about this plot style.

Kate Diamond said...

I actually rather liked it, because it was an honest look at what arranged Regency marriages must have been like.

If you're ever tempted to give EJ another try, I'd suggest reading her new one, "Desperate Duchesses." The main love story is between two more traditional characters, and the secondary characters (bad Regency marriage) are in the background, but enthralling.

Kat O+ said...

OK, I'd have to disagree with Kate because of all the EJs I own, Desperate Duchesses is the first one that I'm tagging as DNF. (Bear in mind, this is just my opinion. I'm sure many other people loved it.) I might blog about this soon if I can put into words what happened. Basically, I'm going to wait until I have all the books in the series before I read them. If you didn't like her Duchess Quartet, I doubt you'd like this new series of hers either. Like I said, if you ever want to try her again, the Pleasures series (the first 3 she wrote) is lighter and they're all stand alone. If you liked the Bridgerton series, you should at least try EJ's Midnight Pleasures. I sound like a bit of an EJ fangirl (which I WAS until Taming of the Duke; now I'm still a fan but with more reservations) but I really do think she writes beautifully--it's just that some of her books skirt the edge of what I would consider a satisfying read for a Romance genre novel.

Kookie said...

Will definitely keep your suggestions in mind, ladies. I think I'll give her stuff another try when I see one of her books around...but am definitely not gonna force it. :o)


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