When Eloisa James is not writing novels, she is a Shakespeare professor, a Harvard University graduate. This profession is conveyed in Eloisa’s writing, her books are intelligent and obviously well-researched, her storylines skillful and tightly woven. A top historical romance author!
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The Four Sisters Quartet (three so far)
Much Ado About You (2005)
Teresa Essex has a unique lot in life. Actually…she’d rather prefer that lots were not mentioned. She knows far too much about playing the odds: her widowed father gambled away any spare penny owned by their family. Shillings that should have been spent on gowns and governesses for Tess and her three younger sisters were spent keeping her father’s horses in proper condition for the race track. When their father dies, the sisters become the wards of the Duke of Holbrook who knows far more about brandy snifters than children. But Tess’s challenges have just begun. With nothing more than a horse each for a dowry, and a drunken duke as a chaperone, she and her sisters must achieve respectable marriages. In the manner of romantic heroines from the time of Jane Austen, Tess must make a decision whether to marry for financial, prudent reasons, or to follow her heart. But unlike those tales in which heroines prudently make the correct decision, whatever that might be, here fate steps in and Tess must learn a hard lesson: not how to play at love, but how to play at that most serious of pursuits… Marriage.
Kiss Me, Annabel (2005)
What cruel twist of fate put Miss Annabel Essex in a carriage on her way to Scotland (the place she abhors) with a penniless earl (and she longs to be rich), and all the world thinking they're man and wife? Sleeping in the same bed? Not to mention the game of words started by the earl – in which the prize is a kiss. And the forfeit…
Well. They are almost married, after all...
The Taming of the Duke (2006)
Imogen, Lady Maitland, has decided to dance on the wild side. After all, she's in the delicious position of being able to take a lover. A discreet male who knows just when to leave in the morning. But Lady Maitland is still under the watchful eye of her former guardian, the wildly untamed Rafe, the Duke of Holbrook. He believes she is still in need of a "watchdog." She laughs at the idea that someone so insufferably lazy and devoted to drink can demand that she behave with propriety. It's Rafe's long-lost brother, a man who looks precisely like the duke but with none of his degenerate edge, who interests Imogen. To Imogen, he's the shadow duke...the man who really should hold the title. But when Imogen agrees to accompany Gabe to a masquerade...whose masked eyes watch her with that intense look of desire? Who exactly is she dancing with? The duke or the shadow duke? Rafe...or Gabe?
The Duchess Quartet
Duchess in Love (2002)
A Duke in Retreat - Gina was forced into marriage with the Duke of Girton at an age when she'd have been better off in a schoolroom than a ballroom. Directly after the ceremony her handsome spouse promptly fled to the continent, leaving the marriage unconsummated and Gina quite indignant. A Lady In the Middle - Now, she is one of the most well-known ladies in London ... living on the edge of scandal -- desired by many men, but resisting giving herself to any one. A Duchess in Love - Finally, Camden, the Duke of Girton, has returned home, to discover that his naïve bride has blossomed into the toast of the ton. Which leaves Cam in the most uncomfortable position of discovering that he has the bad manners to be falling in love -- with his own wife!
Fool for Love (2003)
The Woman - Lady Henrietta Maclellan longs for the romantic swirl of a London season. But as a rusticating country maiden, she has always kept her sensuous nature firmly under wraps -- until she meets Simon Darby. Simon makes her want to whisper promises late at night, exchange kisses on a balcony, receive illicit love notes. So Henrietta lets her imagination soar and writes... The Letter - A very steamy love letter that becomes shockingly public. Everyone supposes that he has written it to her, but the truth hardly matters in the face of the scandal to come if they don't marry at once. But nothing has quite prepared Henrietta for the pure sensuality of... The Man - Simon has vowed he will never turn himself into a fool over a woman. So, while debutantes swoon as he disdainfully strides past the lovely ladies of the ton, he ignores them all... until Henrietta. Could it be possible that he has been the foolish one all along?
A Wild Pursuit (2004)
It is whispered behind the fans of London's dowagers and in the corners of fashionable ballrooms that scandal follows willfully wild Lady Beatrix Lennox wherever she goes. Three years before, the debutante created a sensation by being found in a distinctly compromising position. Now, the ton has branded her as unmarriageable, her family has called her a vixen, and Beatrix sees no reason not to go after what--and who--she wishes. And she wants Stephen Fairfax-Lacy, the handsome Earl of Spade. Beatrix, with her brazen suggestions and irresistibly sensuous allure, couldn't be more different from the earl's ideal future bride. Yet Beatrix brings out a wildness in the earl he has tried to deny far too long. Still, he's not about to play love's game by Lady Beatrix's rules. She may be used to being on top in affairs of the heart, but that will soon change.
Your Wicked Ways (2004)
Helene, the Countess Godwin, knows there is nothing more unbearably tedious than a virtuous woman. After all, she's been one for ten long years while her scoundrel of a husband lives with strumpets and causes scandal after scandal. So she decides it's time for a change--she styles her hair in the newest, daring mode, puts on a shockingly transparent gown, and goes to a ball like Cinderella, hoping to find a prince charming to sweep her off her feet... and into his bed. But instead of a prince, she finds only her only volatile, infuriatingly handsome... husband, Rees, the Earl Godwin. They'd eloped to Gretna Green in a fiery passion, but passion can sometimes burn too hot to last. But now, Rees makes her a brazen offer, and Helene decides to become his wife again... but not in name only. No, this time she decides to be very, very wicked indeed.
The Pleasures Trilogy
Potent Pleasures (2000)
Nothing is more seductive than temptation. Reckless desire sends Charlotte Daicheston into the garden with a dashing masked stranger. He's powerful, unforgettable, a devastatingly handsome footman who lures her--not against her will--into a grand indiscretion at a masquerade ball. Then he vanishes. Several years later, after Charlotte has made her dazzling debut in London society, they meet again. But the rogue is no footman. He's rich, titled, and he doesn't remember Charlotte. Worse, he's the subject of some scandalous gossip: rumor has it, the earl's virility is in question. Charlotte, who knows all too intimately the power of his passion, is stunned by the gossip that has set society ablaze. At last, there can be a storybook ending...unless, of course, Charlotte's one mad indiscretion had not been with him at all....
Midnight Pleasures (2001)
To her legions of adoring suitors, it comes as quite a shock when Lady Sophie York rejects an offer of marriage from the dashing, rakish Patrick Foakes in favor of amiable but dull Bradden Chatwin. He may be an earl, but it is Patrick's stolen kisses that sear her lips. When Patrick, in disguise, scales a ladder to retrieve his friend's fiancée, he never expects the elopement to be his own. Neither does Sophie, Braddon, or the rest of the tattling ton. One hasty wedding later, the passionate innocent and the sophisticated rogue play out their own intricate dance as Sophie masters what it takes to keep a man where he belongs. And Patrick learns the ultimate lesson in love.
Enchanting Pleasures (2002)
Gabrielle Jerningham cherishes the portrait of her betrothed, the perfect Peter Dewland...until she meets his commanding older brother Quill. But it is Peter to whom she has been promised. And how can she possibly transform her voluptuous, outspoken self into the poised gentlewoman Peter requires? When Gabby's shocking décolletage plunges to her waist at her first ball, Peter is humiliated. But Quill comes to the rescue, to the peril of his heart. An accident years before has left Quill plagued by headaches--the kind that grows more excruciating with strenuous exercise. Needless to say, this hardly bodes well for siring progeny. But the very sight of Gabby leaves Quill breathless. One forbidden kiss and Quill vows to have her, headaches--and Peter--be damned! But it will take a clever man--and a cleverer woman--to turn the tables on propriety and find their way to true love....
The One That Got Away featuring "A Fool Again" (2004)
With Victoria Alexander, Liz Carlyle, Cathy Maxwell.
Talk of the Ton featuring “A Proper Englishwoman” (2005)
With Julia London, Rebecca Hagan Lee, Jacqueline Navin.