"Four Nights With The Duke" Is One Romance That Is Second To None

Four Nights With the Duke (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, #2; Desperate Duchesses, #8)Title:  Four Nights With The Duke
(Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #2)
Author:  Eloisa James
Format:  ERC
Length:  336 pages
Date of Publication:  March 31st, 2015
Publisher:  Avon
Rating: 5 Stars 

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.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
One cannot help but to love what one loves."

In the cases of one Miss Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington and Evander Septimus Brody, Duke of Pindar. The above sentiment has never held more true.  For their's is a tale of youthful infatuation, turned to loathing. Of desperation turned criminal.  Of necessity becoming love.
Mia Carrington never dreamed that she would someday be forced to eat her words; when as an infuriated teen, she told Evander Brody that she wouldn't marry him "if he were the last man on earth."
But it appears that in the case of poor, put upon, Mia, that time and desperation do strange bedfellows make.  It seems that Mia must find a husband, and quickly. Now in her twenties, unmarried, and the guardian to her young disabled nephew, Charlie.  She must find a husband in order to insure young Charlie, and his inheritance, doesn't fall into the hands of his unscrupulous uncle.

Enter the "last man on earth".
Evander Septimus Brody, Duke of Pindar has a few issues of his own.
He feels that love is a complication that his life is best without.
So when Mia appears before him, scheme for blackmail in tow.  He feels more than justified in his belief that love is all for naught.
But no one ever said anything about attraction.

Four Nights With the Duke is a complex novel brimming with emotion, wit, charm, and hard won romance.  The juxtaposition of the necessity of their union,  and the obvious hurdle that their wounded prides present, makes this a story that readers must see to its conclusion.
The characters found here are in a word...fantastic!
Mia is strong, cunning, loyal, loving, and a writer!  YUM!
She may be terrified out of her stockings, but she never lets them see her sweat.  She faces every challenge set before her with a conqueror's spirit and a unquenchable humor.
As mentioned before, on top of everything else...Mia has made quite a name for herself as an author.  Seeing her added trials with said career, only serves to further endear her to those champions of her cause.

Evander is a man haunted by the mistakes of his past. The strange thing about that is, most of the mistakes are not his. They have however, managed to create in him a very closed and fearful person.  Said fears and insecurities often make him seem cold and unfeeling.
The list of supporting characters adding flair, spark, and color to this tale is quite lengthy, but honorable mentions include:
Chuffy: Evander's sweet and ever-inebriated uncle.
Charlie:  Mia's strong, smart, and very lovable disabled nephew.
Eloisa James spins yet another tale of love and life that once begun, is impossible to end.
Reviewer Note
Though this novel is the 2nd offering in the Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers series, it can be read as a standalone.

About Eloisa
 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 repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is an associate professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her "double life" is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she's written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women's magazines such as More to writers' journals such as the Romance Writers' Report.

Eloisa...on her double life:

When I'm not writing novels, I'm a Shakespeare professor. It's rather like having two lives. The other day I bought a delicious pink suit to tape a television segment on romance; I'll never wear that suit to teach in, nor even to give a paper at the Shakespeare Association of America conference. It's like being Superman, with power suits for both lives. Yet the literature professor in me certainly plays into my romances. The Taming of the Duke (April 2006) has obvious Shakespearean resonances, as do many of my novels. I often weave early modern poetry into my work; the same novel might contain bits of Catullus, Shakespeare and anonymous bawdy ballads from the 16th century.

When I rip off my power suit, whether it's academic or romantic, underneath is the rather tired, chocolate-stained sweatshirt of a mom. Just as I use Shakespeare in my romances, I almost always employ my experiences as a mother. When I wrote about a miscarriage in Midnight Pleasures, I used my own fears of premature birth; when the little girl in Fool For Love threw up and threw up, I described my own daughter, who had that unsavory habit for well over her first year of life.

So I'm a writer, a professor, a mother - and a wife. My husband Alessandro is Italian, born in Florence. We spend the lazy summer months with his mother and sister in Italy. It always strikes me as a huge irony that as a romance writer I find myself married to a knight, a cavaliere, as you say in Italian.

One more thing...I'm a friend. I have girlfriends who are writers and girlfriends who are Shakespeare professors. And I have girlfriends who are romance readers. In fact, we have something of a community going on my website. Please stop by and join the conversation on my readers' pages.

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