Sunday, October 21, 2007

An Affair Before Christmas-Eloisa James

An Affair Before Christmas
Eloisa James
Avon, Nov 2007, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061245541

1778 in Paris, Lady Perdita “Poppy” Selby and the Duke of Fletcher “Fletch” meet and fall in love. They marry and both expect their desire and attraction to last forever. Four years later, Poppy decides to live a separate life from her spouse; Fletch plans otherwise as he wants to woo back the woman he still loves into his arms and bed. His goal is to start anew with AN AFFAIR BEFORE CHRISTMAS that this time he intends as a “second once in a lifetime” (mindful of Peabo Bryson’s song If Ever You're In My Arms Again).

Meanwhile the Duchess of Beaumont Jemma and her husband live for the most part apart except for the stimulating chess games; they may still love one another, but that's not enough apparently as each tries to checkmate the other. On top of that is the scandal and fear as Jemma's brother and the Duke of Villiers duel. However, Jemma and Poppy find some solace from their spousal relationship problems in the re-energizing of their friendship even as Villiers heals from the duel with Lady Caroline attending to his needs.

The latest DESPERATE DUCHESSES saga is a powerful character driven Georgian romance that grips the audience who will feel as if friends are facing marital and other woes. The three subplots are well written and intermingle cleverly like a DNA double (make that triple) helix. Fans will appreciate Eloisa James wonderfully complex historical as the cast provides the audience with a tremendous tale.

Harriet Klausner

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