Release Date: 11/25/2008


When the Duke Returns by Eloisa James

Desperate Duchesses, Book 4



ISBN: 9780061245602

Reviewed by Talia Ricci



Married since she was a young girl, Isidore, the Duchess of Cosway, is tired of her husband being gone from her.  She and Simeon were married by proxy more than eleven years ago. Since their wedding day, Isidore has not laid so much as one eye on her husband.  She remains a virgin despite the various attempts of nefarious rakes wanting her maidenhead. Yet, what good is her being pure when her husband is not in the same country and has not been for years.  Isidore has a plan to bring her wayward husband to her side.  The plan? To cause as much scandal as possible so that he has no choice but to come and claim her.  Her playground for this scheme? Europe.

 Simeon Jermyn, the Duke of Cosway, finds himself in a dilemma.  Not wanting to upset the inner balance and fortitude he learned at the hands of Asian masters while on his travels, Simeon knows he has to retrieve his wife.  Reclaim her he does but consummate his marriage he does not.  Simeon wants to remarry Isidore because he feels the vows they exchanged by proxy so long ago don’t count. Plus he wants to give her the opportunity to have their unfulfilled marriage annulled if that is what she wishes.

What Isidore wishes is for her husband to want her.  She sets about trying to entice and seduce.  All the while Simeon fights his own inner battles.  Wanting to live his life the “Middle Way”, he is in for a challenge with his duchess.  I am betting I know the winner of this battle!

Isidore was way more patient than I.  More than once I found myself wanting to take Simeon’s clothes off myself just so he would get on with the marriage consummation.  His wanting to resume his obligations to his family was note worthy and while he thought Isidore was not the proper sort of duchess I loved watching her change his mind. Her tenacity at getting what she wanted made me smile more than once. 

The side plot of When the Duke Returns was just as enticing as Isidore and Simeon’s story.   Rooting for Jemma to find happiness, I am now on pins and needles waiting to see if she gets her happy ever after. 

Eloisa James is a household name for me in the genre of historical romance.  Knowing without a doubt that I am in for a great storyline and beautiful setting with each novel I read, I welcome each addition to my keeper shelf.  When the Duke Returns has me smitten and I can’t wait to see the next Desperate Duchess installment.  Cross your fingers it is Jemma’s story!


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