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Editor’s Note

“A Winning Romance...”

Shakespearean influence abounds in this Regency-period romance. As the duckling-turned-swan heroine wins her prince’s heart, she’ll win yours too.
Niree N.
Scribd Editor

How can she dare to imagine he loves her . . . when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess?

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke's passion.

Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months.

Theo would have given it a lifetime . . . until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry.

Society was shocked by their wedding . . . and is scandalized by their separation.

Now James faces the battle of his life, convincing Theo that he loves the duckling who blossomed into the swan.

And Theo will quickly find that, for a man with the soul of a pirate, All's Fair in Love—and War.

Topics: London, Folk and Fairy Tales, Pirates, Second Chances, Friends to Lovers, Betrayal, Retellings, and Marriage of Convenience

Published: HarperCollins on Aug 28, 2012
ISBN: 9780062197962
List price: $7.99
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horrible story. awful H. read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Relatively okay.

Another case for excusing men who are stupid, cheat on their wives, enjoy themselves to perdition and then expect all those things they aren't and never gave from their wives.

Of course, the woman forgives, forgets and is never bothered, finding an excuse for unfaithful and untrustworthy behaviour.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loved this book. It is written in two parts, with the first being up through the beginning of their marriage and the second after their separation and reuniting. Theo and James had grown up together as James's father is Theo's guardian. They were friends first and foremost. James has always cared for Theo but when he is ordered to marry her by his father, who has embezzled her dowry, he fears that it will destroy their friendship. Theo doesn't realize that what she feels for him is love until he kisses her for the first time, and then is so happy that they will marry. Everything goes along great until she finds out why James married her. At that point she throws him out of the house and tells him she never wants to see him again. Theo has always had some self esteem problems because she is not pretty. This gets worse when she is called "The Ugly Duchess" by the tabloids. James was in love with Theo from the time he was a teenager but didn't expect to do anything about it quite yet. He was furious with his father who had nearly bankrupted them with his idiotic investments and then his theft of Theo's inheritance. At only twenty years old, he doesn't have the ability to stand up to his father and goes through with the marriage. When it all blows up he is devastated, does as Theo asks and leaves England completely. I loved the way that they were so obviously in love with each other. James never agreed with the opinion that Theo was ugly, he always saw her as beautiful, though he could not convince her of that fact. They also made a perfect pair to plan how to make the estate profitable again. Theo is incredibly intelligent and frightfully organized. James has trouble concentrating on indoor things like accounts and so on (ADD?), but has an incredible ability to relate to people and see what needs to be done on the land.The second half of the book deals with their separation and reuniting. I won't say too much, so I don't give things away. Theo copes with her heartbreak by becoming even more organized and rather rigid. I wanted to shake her at times to wake her up. She has had to grow up rather quickly to deal with the fallout. James's departure also caused some real maturing on his part. He has had to learn to control his own temper and also to be able to do things he avoided before. He finally realizes that he still loves Theo and wants to win her back. The second half deals with his efforts, some of which are funny and some of which are romantic. I loved the man he became and how he won his duchess back.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

horrible story. awful H.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Relatively okay.

Another case for excusing men who are stupid, cheat on their wives, enjoy themselves to perdition and then expect all those things they aren't and never gave from their wives.

Of course, the woman forgives, forgets and is never bothered, finding an excuse for unfaithful and untrustworthy behaviour.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loved this book. It is written in two parts, with the first being up through the beginning of their marriage and the second after their separation and reuniting. Theo and James had grown up together as James's father is Theo's guardian. They were friends first and foremost. James has always cared for Theo but when he is ordered to marry her by his father, who has embezzled her dowry, he fears that it will destroy their friendship. Theo doesn't realize that what she feels for him is love until he kisses her for the first time, and then is so happy that they will marry. Everything goes along great until she finds out why James married her. At that point she throws him out of the house and tells him she never wants to see him again. Theo has always had some self esteem problems because she is not pretty. This gets worse when she is called "The Ugly Duchess" by the tabloids. James was in love with Theo from the time he was a teenager but didn't expect to do anything about it quite yet. He was furious with his father who had nearly bankrupted them with his idiotic investments and then his theft of Theo's inheritance. At only twenty years old, he doesn't have the ability to stand up to his father and goes through with the marriage. When it all blows up he is devastated, does as Theo asks and leaves England completely. I loved the way that they were so obviously in love with each other. James never agreed with the opinion that Theo was ugly, he always saw her as beautiful, though he could not convince her of that fact. They also made a perfect pair to plan how to make the estate profitable again. Theo is incredibly intelligent and frightfully organized. James has trouble concentrating on indoor things like accounts and so on (ADD?), but has an incredible ability to relate to people and see what needs to be done on the land.The second half of the book deals with their separation and reuniting. I won't say too much, so I don't give things away. Theo copes with her heartbreak by becoming even more organized and rather rigid. I wanted to shake her at times to wake her up. She has had to grow up rather quickly to deal with the fallout. James's departure also caused some real maturing on his part. He has had to learn to control his own temper and also to be able to do things he avoided before. He finally realizes that he still loves Theo and wants to win her back. The second half deals with his efforts, some of which are funny and some of which are romantic. I loved the man he became and how he won his duchess back.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Loved this book. Great combination of strong heroine, but with her own insecurities, and a crazy, mixed-up hero. Fun, romantic story with lots of drama and misunderstandings. Very fun beach read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The middle got a little far-fetched with the pirate stuff (and I think we know how much I love pirates) but on the whole it was enjoyable. The structure was a little unusual but it worked for the story.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Marriage matches for money are commonplace among the upper class. Except that Theodora Saxby thought she was being married for love and friendship... she grew up with James Ryburn, after all. But only hours after their speedy marriage she learns the truth: James only wanted her dowry. James flees, and suddenly she's the laughingstock of society.Years pass, the duckling turns into a swan, and James returns.... but can he convince his left-behind bride that he really does love her?I like James, but I resisted reading this for quite a while. The plot sounded tired and trite and didn't really appeal. Good thing I changed my mind. Theo's a kick, rigid as she is, and James turns out to be a bright boy after all.
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