5 Breeches or Bust StarsI want to ravish you, he said, his voice rasping like that of a boy of fifteen For God s sake Say No to the duke Exactly Lady Boadicea Betsy Wilde s debut season has been a raging success Despite her worries that her mother s abandoning the family to run off with her Prussian lover all those years ago would besmirch Betsy s reputation, the bachelors of the Ton can t seem to get enough of the prim and proper beauty The problem with that Ms Betsy s far from the proper lady her would be suitors think she is and though the male attention is nice, Betsy longs for something More excitement, freedom, EVERYTHING if she s being honest And explain to her again why she can t wear breeches instead of ballgowns Lord Jeremy Roden came back from his time fighting in America a changed man War turned the once affable young soldier into a dark and troubled man Now a guest at Castle Wilde for the foreseeable future, Jeremy finds the only light in his day comes from watching the beautiful Betsy string along suitor after suitor like it s her job Teasing Betsy about the line of men waiting to fill her dance card is Jeremy s favorite pastime because he knows none of them stand a chance That is, until a Duke makes her an offer she may not be able to refuse.I absolutely adored Say No to the Duke Betsy and Jeremy were wonderful together, whether the mood was teasing and playful or deeper and serious As the story moves along, it s obvious to everyone these two are made for each other, but Eloisa James allowed both Betsy and Jeremy to come to those realizations in their own time When the eventual I love you comes, it felt like the natural next progression instead of something forced to move the story along I also appreciate the way Betsy handled her Duke.My five star rating comes down to the fact I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading this book and I honestly can t remember the last time that happened Even through Jeremy s bouts of PTSD and Betsy s mommy issues, I loved it because these two characters gave me a little bit of everything and the story never felt like it was dragging Though not my first Eloisa James book, Say No to the Duke turned out to be my favorite Even though it s part of a series, Betsy and Jeremy s story has no problem standing alone ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Pre Read Mood I m unnaturally excited for this ARC ARC provided by Edelweiss and Avon in exchange for an honest review RTCI m wrestling with what to rate this Still taking in what I just finished reading Will come to definitive rating here soon after digesting it all.Rating between 3 4 A witty, yet emotional 4.5 stars.This series has been consistently good for me, and that is not always the case with Eloisa James some of her Fairytales novels were horrible, some wonderful and I am loving the whole crazy Wilde family They are totally random and probably way too modern for their time, but who cares when there is so much joy to be had in the writing It is also fun to immerse myself in the Georgian period, after having read a surfeit of Regency HR The mad wigs, the makeup and heels and I m talking about the blokes here is really amusing How a man in pink hose and breeches, wearing heels, a powdered white wig and lipstick, rouge and patch, is still supposed to be manly, is just mind boggling And funny I love it The characterisation in this novel is terrific We have a heroine, Betsy, christened Boadicea in the great Wilde tradition of Roman names striving to be society s perfect debutante so that she can exorcise the ghost that is her promiscuous, flighty mother And we have a hero, Lord Jeremy Roden, suffering the guilt and PTSD that inevitably accompanies catastrophic losses on the battlefield The battlefield in this case, the War of Independence Their snarky banter had me smiling and chuckling The sexual tension was strong Then there was the no holds barred sex talk yep, it s out there Again, not sure if that would have occurred amongst the upper classes where young virgins were concerned, although I do believe Georgian times were a whole lot raunchier than Regency times How our virgin was able to understand all the double entendres and innuendo was also problematic, but I just ascribed it to crazy Wilde family openness and went with it As an aside, I was a bit surprised to read Jeremy talking about something changing in the flip of a dime Even if he fought in the Americas, the war ended in 1783, and dimes were not minted in the US until 1792 Jeremy had only been back from the war a few months Hmmm EJ does throw in the odd Americanism, but on the whole, she s pretty good in this regard I let it go no, I did Truly But I did look it up..Suspending my disbelief, I revelled in the witty dialogues and emotional depth of the characters Truly a pleasure to read, and a worthy addition to this series. Every time I start a historical romance review, I mention how I don t read this genre enough Because every time I read one, I m like, WHY AM I NOT READING MORE OF THESE That reaction was no different the entire time I was reading this newest release from Eloisa James Lady Betsy Wilde is determined to never be like her mother, which means being the perfect lady that all of the gentlemen want to wed Well into her first season, Betsy has had plenty of proposals and finds delight in declining each one Until a future Duke asks for her hand Betsy knows he would make the perfect husband, but when Lord Jeremy is constantly teasing and testing her, Betsy isn t so sure she d be happy with the DukeWhen I started this book, I absolutely loved Betsy s character She is really aware of what people in public think of her, so she puts on this good girl facade that makes all of the gentlemen want to marry her That s why I loved how Jeremy totally saw through her persona and brought out the rebel that Betsy really was Their relationship was soooo cute and kind of slow burn, which I loved It was fun watching Betsy not wanting to notice Jeremy in that way but not being able to ignore it While I really wish this was a five star read, the pacing of this book dropped it a star for me The whole premise was that Betsy and Jeremy made a bet and Betsy would be able to dress as a man or Jeremy would get one night with her Well, one of them wins the bet and it takes almost the entire novel for the bet to actually come to fruition It seemed to drag and I wish it happened earlier and the rest of the book was them continuing to dance around each other and interact in society Eloisa James is one of the queens of the historical romance genre and I will read everything she has to read This was my first of the series I know, it s book number 4, but I m a rebel and now I am dying to pick up the first three of this series There is so much familial love and such an expansive group of characters that I m dying to get even of them It s been a hot minute since I read a historical romance, but fortunately Eloisa James never disappoints I randomly decided to preorder this months ago, then promptly forgot about it So when it popped up on my kindle app yesterday I was baffled for a moment Then I opened it up, and a few hours later, had finished the entire thing Say No to the Duke is so much fun I honestly had a blast following Betsy and Jeremy s story They are complex and compelling characters Betsy is a perfect vanilla ice cream cone on the outside She has crafted a facade, the image of a polite, poised, perfectly restrained lady Anything to combat the scandal following her after her mother ran away with another man when she was little But underneath, she s a hellion, obsessed with archery, riding astride, and doing anything else her brothers are allowed to do.Jeremy is the only survivor from an otherwise entirely massacred platoon fighting in America during the colonies revolution He suffers from PTSD, which of course no one yet knows exists, instead insisting he s mad On paper they don t sound like an obvious match, but Eloisa knows her stuff, and every scene they share is explosive Towards the end we skew toward the unbelievable and fantastical, with a plot line including Betsy, her Aunt Knowe, and an elderly Duchess dressing as men to attend an auction It s a scene straight out of a BBC Daytime comedy Some of the plot may be unbelievable, but the relationships are anything but I believed every moment of them Every moment of our central romance, but also the diverse familial relationships If you want to read a wildly compelling, deeply romantic historical, I highly recommend Say No to the Duke Maybe I should go back and read the rest of the Wilde series Or maybe I ll just preorder another random historical romance months before it s released and be pleasantly surprised when it pops up on my phone 4 stars Lady Boadicea Betsy Wilde wanted a best friend than anything, she wished for a chance to find another girl to talk to and finally her wish was granted when she was allowed to attend boarding school she soon learns, be careful what you wish for Her first day she is confronted with a nasty girl who tells her that her mother was a whore and that Betsy has surely inherited her mother s wanton ways and that no decent man will want to marry her Betsy swears that she will have proposals than any other girl in the school3 years and 18 proposals later at her brother North s wedding ball, Betsy is expecting a proposal from Thaddaeus Erskine Shaw, Viscount Greywick and heir to the Duke of Eversley At her Aunt Knowes urging, she shows him the billiards room and graciously turns down his proposal, when he asks why, her brother s best friend Lord Jeremy Rodan speaks up and tells her she really should marry him Betsy is annoyed, Jeremy has been at the castle for months, she knows something happened to him, but not exactly what She leaves the room with Thaddaeus, thinking maybe she should marry him But deep down, Betsy worries that she will be like her mother, who ran off with her lover and left the Duke and her children She has worked hard to portray herself as a perfect lady and isn t sure she should marry at all.Later she returns to the billiards room and finds the room empty, but Jeremy arrives not long after she does They talk and she finally taunts him into playing a game with her, he will but only if they have a wager if he wins, she will spend the night with him, if she wins, he will find her men s clothes and take her on an adventure maybe to a men s club to play billiards He agrees She wins He won t take her to London, but if she can provide a chaperone, he will take her to an auction house dressed as a man Deal Jeremy has spent the last two years under a blanket of guilt and shame, but now he feels alive for the first time in a really long time and Betsy is the reason, so he decides to spend time with her What could possibly go wrong This was a delightful story with a lot of witty banter, wonderful secondary characters, a hero and heroine with insecurities, healing, steamy love scenes, sneaky relatives, a few twists and turns to keep you guessing and finally a very sweet HEA, complete with an epilogue Overall, this was a great story and I am happy to recommend it I am voluntarily leaving a review of an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher. I have not loved every book in this series equally, but I can say this is one of my favorite installments It centers on Betsy, the eldest Wilde sister, and she is nothing like the lady she pretends to be in public Betsy grew up under a cloud of scandal because her mother ran away with her lover and Betsy has been trying to prove herself above reproach her entire adult life That, paired with her beauty, has made her sought after by almost every gentleman who encounters her.Every man but Jeremy.Jeremy has been convalescing in the Wilde home since Betsy s brother Perth rescued him from Bedlam a few books back He suffers from PTSD from fighting in war and fears he ll never be normal again His verbal sparring with Betsy brings him back from the brink.Betsy s latest suitor is Thaddeus, a duke, and by all rights, the perfect man for her But he doesn t know the real Betsy, not like Jeremy does And while this seems a little like a love triangle on the surface, there is never any doubt Jeremy is the right man for Betsy.I loved Betsy s spirit and how she has risen above the girls who gossiped about her in her youth She is powerful and has such great control over herself, but even better, she has such a great spirit She just wants to wear pants and bid in an auction and enjoy the perks in life men take for granted every day I adored how Jeremy not only accepted these things about her, they were part of what made him love her I could ve done without the side plot involving his cousin and it felt like there was a whole chapter we didn t need close to the end But overall, I liked the romance and how their love helped them both accept who they were meant to be Looking forward to the next book in the seriesARC provided by Avon Ok It was simply ok I don t know what I had expected Something Definitely This is just a cute story. One Little Wager Will Determine Their Fate A Daring Escape Or Falling Into Temptation With A Rakish Lord Lady Betsy Wilde S First Season Was Triumphant By Any Measure, And A Duke Has Proposed But Before Marriage, She Longs For One Last AdventureNo Gentleman Would Agree To Her Scandalous Plan But Lord Jeremy Roden Is No Gentleman He Offers A Wager If She Wins A Billiards Game, He Ll Provide The BreechesIf He Wins She Is His, For One Wild NightBut What Happens When Jeremy Realizes That One Night Will Never Be Enough In The Most Important Battle Of His Life, He Ll Have To Convince Betsy To Say No To The Duke For me this series is the perfect combination of flawed quirky characters and steam I have thoroughly enjoyed each book and look forward to the next one We met Betsy and Jeremy in a previous book And of course there is so much to them behind they veneers they ve presented Two scenes were odd verging on silly But I didn t think this took away from the story simply lightened the mood I was delightedly surprised by the emotion and tenderness that came through this book There s a reason Eloisa James is a favorite.
New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers Her novels have been published to great acclaim A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa s very first book that she found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar later People Magazine raved that romance writing does not get much better than this Her novels have repeat
- 384 pages
- Say No to the Duke (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #4)
- Eloisa James
- 26 March 2019 Eloisa James