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"My Last Duchess" is a perfectly pleasant, unobjectionable read. I like Ophelia. I like the Duke. I LOVE Lady Knowles. Their courtship is short on incident, and since we know from an entire suite of Wildes of Lindow Castle books that they end up together and happy, there's no gut-wrenching suspense to keep you awake at night. Like I said...pleasant.
Not so pleasant? The book is marketed as a novel, priced as a novel, presented as a novel...but it is NOT a full-length novel. It's just over half story, with the rest of the book composed of promo material and chapters of books that I've already paid for and read. It's a shame, because there's so much story left to be told -- the Last Duchess, to say nothing of wee Viola, surely had quite an adjustment period getting accustomed to life in a castle with eight rambunctious children. Surely she and the Duke -- or Lady Louisa -- butted heads a few times, even given their obvious affection for one another, and the fact that they're all kind and well-meaning people. Surely at least ONE of the children acted out. So it's pretty disappointing, in that respect.
I'm choosing to assume that the somewhat misleading presentation was the publisher's idea and not Ms. James'. Publisher...do better next time.
The story takes up only 62% of the book, and is allowed by an extract from the first episode in the series, which most people who buy this will already own, and one of the fairy tales, which is also likely to have been read already. For this to be sold as full-length novel is unfair. The story itself is a bit thin. It would obviously be predictable in that it is a prequel, but the author could perhaps have made the route to the happy ending a bit more convoluted. The initial choice for a bride made by a grown and experienced man - an obvious plot-device is ridiculous and out of character.
The description is misleading--it says 435 pages; it isn't. It's only novella length; the rest is excerpts from other books. Secondly, there is no plot: middle aged duke goes looking for a mother for his 8 children, falls in love instantly, fails to convince her, courts another woman, sees the first woman a month later, throws over the 2nd woman, and--mysteriously-- convinces the first woman to reconsider. The first woman (his "true love" !?!) has no personality. She has convictions, but abandons them easily. This "book" had the potential to be a novel but never made it past the outline. James can write, but apparently is too lazy to do so.
I love me some Eloisa James and I have particularly enjoyed this series but I must confess I was a bit disappointed in this latest installment. I think I just felt cheated. The book is over at 60% in your Kindle! The other half is a short story that’s a decade old that I own and had already read... now the 60% part of the new story was charming but to short and should have been a novella... not a full price book. Seemed like an unfortunate bait and switch! After the marriage it’s happily ever after.. no time with the new duchess in the castle, around all the kids.... tons of entertaining material to be had. Missed opportunity.
I gave this a 3 as a lot of The book is filled out with other stories. Call this a novella and charge less? Good story, could be filled with how relationships altered until epilogue. I was left really disappointed. OR say it contains other stories and refund others who had already purchased Storming the Castle.
This prequel to the Wildes series was disappointedly short and had a disappointingly simplistic plot. It was not what I expected out of an Eloisa James novel. The book includes a novella that was previously published and comprises almost 40% of the total page length.
The story was great—and woefully brief. I was incredibly disappointed when the story ended at 60% on my Kindle, especially when I paid for a story that was said to be 435 pages long. I overpaid for what was given. I knew it was bumping along fairly quickly, but assumed there would be some unseen conflict, or at least more to Maddie’s story. Plenty of room to continue the plot. Very disappointed in the end. At least SAY it’s essentially a novella.
I pre-ordered this book because I have read all of her book and the series. It was ultimately a nice enough story, but very short and not very satisfying. I was shocked to reach the epilogue when my kindle showed me at 60% through the story. The rest was excerpts from other books. I didn't feel like we learned anything important about the couple. If this had been presented as a novella it would have made more sense.
Eloisa James is an excellent writer, certainly much better than the vast majority of writers in this genre. If that's your yardstick, this is probably a 5-star book. But this is nowhere near her best work. It's very short, its characters are underdeveloped, and there's virtually no plot. Add in insta-love, and you have a very mediocre offering. If I had to guess, I'd say the author is written out.
I was eagerly awaiting this book. Thought it sounded like so many of EJ’s earlier book. Disappointing. It was ok and filled a few hours of a cold, rainy, dreary day. But not really very interesting. They meet, fall in love, part for a few days, see each other realize they’re in love and bam story basically over. Ho hum