The Ugly Duchess, by Eloisa James.

You know I was hoping for a non-conventionally attractive woman to be sexed on. I’m here to report that I have not found that yet.

In the promisingly-named The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James, we get Society Thinks She’s Ugly But We Know That’s Not True Don’t We Readers. She’s got long, slim legs. Pert little breasts. A face that is not I guess spherical, or something. Basically she’s a modern day supermodel. WHAT A HOSEBEAST. Boo-hoo.

Okay you know what? I didn’t think I cared enough to write a whole post on any of the books I’ve read lately, but I’m getting all worked up thinking back to this one, so I guess I lied.

In Zee Fugly Duchess, Theo Whoever grows up with James Ryburn, the heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook (thanks goodreads for those details). But his father’s a big douche and gets them in monetary distress (because why use anything else?) and “makes” James marry Theo. Who he calls “Daisy” because also none of these guys ever respect what these women want to call themselves.

Go fuck yourselves, fictional characters.

Anyhoo. James is like I’M NOT GONNA DO THAT! then he does because ??? He does love her, and why he doesn’t just TELL HER I don’t know. Like seriously, just saying “Hey, look, my dad wants me to marry you because he’s pissed away all our money, which isn’t cool and I couldn’t do that. But it made me realize that I genuinely love you, and hope you will marry me because you love me too. And you can control everything so he doesn’t fuck up and ruin you too which he’s already been working on because apparently he’s been embezzling your money.”

Well that’s just not sexy, clearly. SO INSTEAD he marries her, they have two glorious days of glorious sexy glory, culminating in Theo giving James a blowjob from the sheer pleasure of enjoying her newfound sexuality in the library or somesuch, which Scumdad walks in on. After running away in horror, she overhears Scumdad congratulating James on his prostitute-y rich wife that he married for her riches. GOOD JOB SON ON YOUR WHORISH WIFE WHO IS RICH AND WHO I TOLD YOU TO MARRY!

For some unknown reason, Theo is upset by all this. Bitches be crazy! She orders James to leave, which he does because he is also a fair amount of asshole. He hops a boat, and then turns to piracy. I mean privateeracy. For seven years.

Meanwhile Theo becomes Early 19th Century Businesswoman Extraordinaire, and also Elegant Female Setting Trends. Because France. She gets all frigid and weird and at heart still thinks she’s an ugmo.

Eventually James heads back to England just as he’s about to be pronounced legally dead (he changed his name to something pirate-y so no one could find him). Theo keels over at this, and he totally ignores her. But now he’s rugged and uh, swarthy? And muscled and somesuch. WITH A TATTOO U GUISE.

Basically he’s been on the HSS Alpha Male and now acts like is more of a jerk. Clearly there’s no problem with him waltzing back to his wife because definitely it’s illogical that she feels differently after learning he sux and has been gone for seven years. U MAD?

[There’s also a weird little subplot with a dude that Theo wanted to marry right from the start, who is a snarkmonster which she finds amusing. There’s an implication that he’s…a gay crossdresser, too? Because snarky gay crossdresser is totally great characterization, for definite. And then at the end he’s all like “HAHA SHE’S TOTES LADY BUSTED, AMIRITE?” behind her back and James punches him in the face.]

Anyway back to Sir Pickup Artist.

He’s had ~only three mistresses~ since he left (what a stand-up fella!), while she has not felt anything south o’ the border in seven years. Yeah that’s cool, totally cool. I couldn’t possibly see any reason to have a problem with that at all. Nope definitely that’s great.

But he overcomes her frigidity with his manly powerful fingers and mad pussy lickin’ skillz so I guess everything’s okay now? Because….sex…? And he tells her she’s actually super hot, so that’s all good. Definitely that’s great.

He also still loves his (been dead for a while) father, because father. Who cares that he was a really horrible person? FATHER.

Yeah that’s more or less the end. Yay.

Grade: F for Frigid Bitches Need Alpha Males


About Maggie
The gourmand metamorphoses into the voluptuary!

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