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Monday, March 17, 2014

ARC Review: Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James

India St. Clair, aka Lady Xenobia, has a knack for placing quality servants into deserving homes. She also has a flair for interior design. In 1799, she decides to share these rare gifts and carve out a profession for herself. Her reputation suffers, but her dowry account grows. She plans to retire and marry soon. At 26, her prospects are dimming. She is encouraged to take on one more extreme makeover. Thorn Dautry needs to woo a respectable woman to be his wife. As the illegitimate son of a duke and a former mudlark, his home and wealth must persuade the lady’s nervous parents of his future redemption. Thorn buys a rundown country estate known for its former’ owner’s debauchery and wild parties. Some of the risqué statutes remain as silent reminders of the sordid past. India is tasked to redo the house top to bottom, hire servants, and help host a party for Thorn’s future in-laws. She is handed carte blanche and goes to work. Thorn acquires a young girl as his ward. Her father lived on the streets with Thorn when they were children. Rose becomes part of the landscape India must incorporate into the comfortable life of the recast gentleman Thorn. The close proximity to Thorn ignites a passion in India she didn’t know existed. Plus she finds a how to sex book amongst the former owner’s belongings. Thorn offers to be her personal guide to all carnal pleasure. No promises of love and marriage, just live in the now. India accepts his terms and believes the other lady will suit him as a wife. Thorn decides to invite his friend to meet India. He is very interested and so is she. Will the imperfect couple split up and join better halves?

India is a modern business woman trapped in a backwards time. All of her talents are used against her because she is unmarried. Do we still judge a woman’s worth by her lack of a spouse? She rises to every occasion, even with young Rose. She knows the way to the girl’s heart is to be interested in all of her plans. Thorn also shows his best qualities with Rose. He includes her, spoils her, and will be her father, not keeper. Thorn is scarred inside and out. His father reclaimed him, but not after he suffered many cruelties. His is a heart to be healed. India never coddles or praises him. She matches his intellect and prowess. No shy wallflower or holding back insults for her. They make a true couple, pointing out each other’s flaws and loving in spite of them.

My only qualm is one final act Thorn performs for India. He enlists old friends to find her family’s jewels. Literally a pouch of gems lost years ago in an accident. India’s parents’ carriage fell into the Thames, killing them. Her father had the jewels in his pocket. He risks his life and others for an impossible feat. Unrealistic in practice and unbelievable in outcome.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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  1. I read the whole Desperate Duchess series & it was excellent. I am looking forward to this new one! Thanks for the review!