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A Mischievous Charade …

Harriet, Duchess of Berrow, is tired of her title and the responsibilities that come along with it. Enough with proper tea parties and elegant balls; what Harriet really wants is to attend an outrageous soiree where she can unleash her wildest whims and desires. But to attend such an event—especially if the event in question is Lord Justinian Strange's rollicking fete, filled with noble rogues and rotters, risqué ladies and illicit lovers—would be certain scandal. That's why she must disguise herself …

Looking forward to a night of uninhibited pleasure, Lord Strange is shocked to discover that beneath the clothes of a no-good rake is the most beautiful woman in the room. Why is a woman like her risking her reputation at his notorious affair? And can he possibly entice her to stay … forever?

Topics: England, London, Widows, Crossdressing, Disguises, and Social Status

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061793684
List price: $6.99
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Cute read, I am looking forward to the next one in this series.more
It was OK, and has some very funny moments.more
This one is definitely my favorite of the series so far (though I'm still really anxious to get to Jemma and Elijah's story! Am remaining strong, though, and not going to skip poor Isobel). I'm not sure why I didn't realize before reading that Harriet was going to have to dress as a man for an extended period of time--I guess I read "party" in the 21st century sense rather than "Georgian house party" that goes on for days, but oh my goodness am I glad it went on for as long as it did! I'm not sure when the last time I laughed so much while reading was (though I'm sure my daughter could tell you. It annoys her to no end when she's hard at work, playing on the laptop and is constantly interrupted by her mother laughing out loud. She had a rough afternoon today, the poor dear--but it was a library book. I had to get through it before its due date came up), but I just couldn't stop myself! The whole bit is amazingly well done, and of course very reminiscent of Twelfth Night--again, I'm always a sucker for Shakespeare-inspired plots...which of course Eloisa James does so well!more
This time the desperate Duchess is Harriet, widowed when her husband committed suicide after losing a chess match. Tired of feeling inadequate and boring she ends up masquerading as a man at one of Lord Strange's notorious house parties. Despite his best efforts Strange finds himself attracted to Harry. The fun ensues as they try and work this out, a fast and funny read.more
Harriet is seeking some excitement, she has had a boring existence up to this point but feels a need to do something. A widow whose husband killed himself over chess she feels inadequate and wants to prove that she isn't boring. So she decides to go to a house party but to pretend that she is male. Because people want to see her as such she gets away with it. Her host teaches her how to ride a horse properly and how to fence and she's enjoying herself hugely. However she's also falling for her host and she's not sure that he doesn't prefer her as a male.It's pretty light stuff and fairly predictable but I did enjoy it.more
This was interesting - Harriet, a widowed duchess, agrees to go to a notorious lord's house with a friend, but in order to fit in, Harriet disguises herself as a man. Delighted with the freedom she has dressed as such, Harriet gives herself over to riding, fencing, and discussions over port. But when the man of the house, Lord Strange, shows an interest in "Harry," as unsettling as it is for Lord Strange, Harriet soon finds herself in a tricky situation...This was VERY steamy - not for the shy. The characters are intriguing ( both main characters and supporting) and are well-developed. The insight Harriet gains into the differences between rules for women and for men was fascinating both for her and for me as the reader.Recommended.more
Another of James's fun, sexy Georgian romances. Harriet is tired of being a widow. For reasons of friendship, she winds up at one of Lord Strange's disreputable houseparties, disguised as a man. She loves the freedom it gives her. Meanwhile, Lord Strange is trying to figure out why he's so attracted to his new male guest. Hijinks ensue.more
Eloisa James is hit or miss with me, I don't like all her books. This one worked for me, I liked how Jem floundered, wondering how he could be so interested in the very young Harry. I enjoyed Jem and Harry a lot. What I didn't like was the forced fight at the end, I felt like the last 50 or so pages were only there because the book had to be X pages long. I was really disappointed with them and actually didn't need the daughter (Eugenia? something like that) to fall dramatically ill at all. Jem felt wretched enough and had learnt his lesson, it felt like over kill to me. I also hated the epilogue which made no sense either. So bulk of the book worked well, ending, not so much.more
The only reason I'm torturing myself by reading this series is someone gave me the 4th book and there's always a notorious backstory to everyone who keeps showing up in subsequent books. While I'm not against chick-in-pants stories (and we've often discussed them on the Regency list at YahooGroups) this one didn't do it for me. Firrst off: way too wordy. Maybe James was committed to x-number word count but there was a lot of repetitious stuff I skimmed. Secondly, where does she come up with the weird names for some of her characters. Eloisa James and I just don't meld well; thankfully I've been reading library books so have not had to shell out cash for them. Once this series is read I'm washing my hands of her. Too many other books in my TBR to waste time on hers.more
This book was just okay. Nothing really happened, it wasn't particularly funny or exciting or romantic. It's not a bad book, just really nothing that impressed me. We also didn't get to know the characters very well, until she threw their histories at us all at once at the very end. *shrugs* Just kind of not that good.more
I really liked this book! The past couple of James books I have read weren't that great, but I feel that this one is back up to her standards. It has great character development in both of the main characters, which is fantastic. You don't always see that anymore. There were interesting side characters who were definitely involved in the plot but didn't overtake the plot or muddle it up too much. Watching Jem and Harriet fall in love and make mistakes and yet still come together was wonderful. I have to admit that the plot didn't go exactly where I thought it was going to go. In fact, it went in a fairly different direction. But I'm ok with where it went. On a personal level, this book spoke to me because it was about setting aside the shackles that society places on you and becoming free to be yourself. I love seeing that happen and seeing how people change when they can finally let go. All in all, a great romance novel!more
Eloisa James has the best characters and this is no exception. I especially enjoyed the daughter Eugenia. This book is comedic with the heroine dressing as a man to attend a house party without scandal. This book in the series had a better balance of main story plot line versus series plot line. Great tease for book 4 though.more
Eloisa James tends to be hit and miss with me and I'm pretty bummed that "Duchess By Night" was a miss. I thought the premise of a Duchess dressed as a man and privately exposed (definite pun there) was a winner, especially when the Duchess in question was Harriet whose boring husband offed himself after losing a game of chess! But this one seemed very confusing to me. I think maybe it was just too much going on and too many characters. Maybe it was the over-layered plot, but whatever...I really had to push myself to finish it and not just quit.more
Read all 15 reviews

Reviews

Cute read, I am looking forward to the next one in this series.more
It was OK, and has some very funny moments.more
This one is definitely my favorite of the series so far (though I'm still really anxious to get to Jemma and Elijah's story! Am remaining strong, though, and not going to skip poor Isobel). I'm not sure why I didn't realize before reading that Harriet was going to have to dress as a man for an extended period of time--I guess I read "party" in the 21st century sense rather than "Georgian house party" that goes on for days, but oh my goodness am I glad it went on for as long as it did! I'm not sure when the last time I laughed so much while reading was (though I'm sure my daughter could tell you. It annoys her to no end when she's hard at work, playing on the laptop and is constantly interrupted by her mother laughing out loud. She had a rough afternoon today, the poor dear--but it was a library book. I had to get through it before its due date came up), but I just couldn't stop myself! The whole bit is amazingly well done, and of course very reminiscent of Twelfth Night--again, I'm always a sucker for Shakespeare-inspired plots...which of course Eloisa James does so well!more
This time the desperate Duchess is Harriet, widowed when her husband committed suicide after losing a chess match. Tired of feeling inadequate and boring she ends up masquerading as a man at one of Lord Strange's notorious house parties. Despite his best efforts Strange finds himself attracted to Harry. The fun ensues as they try and work this out, a fast and funny read.more
Harriet is seeking some excitement, she has had a boring existence up to this point but feels a need to do something. A widow whose husband killed himself over chess she feels inadequate and wants to prove that she isn't boring. So she decides to go to a house party but to pretend that she is male. Because people want to see her as such she gets away with it. Her host teaches her how to ride a horse properly and how to fence and she's enjoying herself hugely. However she's also falling for her host and she's not sure that he doesn't prefer her as a male.It's pretty light stuff and fairly predictable but I did enjoy it.more
This was interesting - Harriet, a widowed duchess, agrees to go to a notorious lord's house with a friend, but in order to fit in, Harriet disguises herself as a man. Delighted with the freedom she has dressed as such, Harriet gives herself over to riding, fencing, and discussions over port. But when the man of the house, Lord Strange, shows an interest in "Harry," as unsettling as it is for Lord Strange, Harriet soon finds herself in a tricky situation...This was VERY steamy - not for the shy. The characters are intriguing ( both main characters and supporting) and are well-developed. The insight Harriet gains into the differences between rules for women and for men was fascinating both for her and for me as the reader.Recommended.more
Another of James's fun, sexy Georgian romances. Harriet is tired of being a widow. For reasons of friendship, she winds up at one of Lord Strange's disreputable houseparties, disguised as a man. She loves the freedom it gives her. Meanwhile, Lord Strange is trying to figure out why he's so attracted to his new male guest. Hijinks ensue.more
Eloisa James is hit or miss with me, I don't like all her books. This one worked for me, I liked how Jem floundered, wondering how he could be so interested in the very young Harry. I enjoyed Jem and Harry a lot. What I didn't like was the forced fight at the end, I felt like the last 50 or so pages were only there because the book had to be X pages long. I was really disappointed with them and actually didn't need the daughter (Eugenia? something like that) to fall dramatically ill at all. Jem felt wretched enough and had learnt his lesson, it felt like over kill to me. I also hated the epilogue which made no sense either. So bulk of the book worked well, ending, not so much.more
The only reason I'm torturing myself by reading this series is someone gave me the 4th book and there's always a notorious backstory to everyone who keeps showing up in subsequent books. While I'm not against chick-in-pants stories (and we've often discussed them on the Regency list at YahooGroups) this one didn't do it for me. Firrst off: way too wordy. Maybe James was committed to x-number word count but there was a lot of repetitious stuff I skimmed. Secondly, where does she come up with the weird names for some of her characters. Eloisa James and I just don't meld well; thankfully I've been reading library books so have not had to shell out cash for them. Once this series is read I'm washing my hands of her. Too many other books in my TBR to waste time on hers.more
This book was just okay. Nothing really happened, it wasn't particularly funny or exciting or romantic. It's not a bad book, just really nothing that impressed me. We also didn't get to know the characters very well, until she threw their histories at us all at once at the very end. *shrugs* Just kind of not that good.more
I really liked this book! The past couple of James books I have read weren't that great, but I feel that this one is back up to her standards. It has great character development in both of the main characters, which is fantastic. You don't always see that anymore. There were interesting side characters who were definitely involved in the plot but didn't overtake the plot or muddle it up too much. Watching Jem and Harriet fall in love and make mistakes and yet still come together was wonderful. I have to admit that the plot didn't go exactly where I thought it was going to go. In fact, it went in a fairly different direction. But I'm ok with where it went. On a personal level, this book spoke to me because it was about setting aside the shackles that society places on you and becoming free to be yourself. I love seeing that happen and seeing how people change when they can finally let go. All in all, a great romance novel!more
Eloisa James has the best characters and this is no exception. I especially enjoyed the daughter Eugenia. This book is comedic with the heroine dressing as a man to attend a house party without scandal. This book in the series had a better balance of main story plot line versus series plot line. Great tease for book 4 though.more
Eloisa James tends to be hit and miss with me and I'm pretty bummed that "Duchess By Night" was a miss. I thought the premise of a Duchess dressed as a man and privately exposed (definite pun there) was a winner, especially when the Duchess in question was Harriet whose boring husband offed himself after losing a game of chess! But this one seemed very confusing to me. I think maybe it was just too much going on and too many characters. Maybe it was the over-layered plot, but whatever...I really had to push myself to finish it and not just quit.more
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