This Duchess of Mine

Written by Eloisa James
Review by Monica Spence

In London in 1784, Elijah, the Duke of Beaumont, requires an heir. He also requires that his wife return from her travels across the Continent in order to produce said heir. Jemma, the Duchess of Beaumont, left her husband upon discovering he had mistresses—not just a lady, but his unusual attachment to politics. How to get the two together? A chess match, where membership to a male-dominated chess club is the prize. Of course, the Duke and Duchess are the players and love triumphs.

Though I have read and enjoyed Eloisa James’s books, I struggled to read this novel as some spark seemed missing in the story. I did not care about the characters, who seemed cool and removed, and I found the author’s historical notes more interesting than the story. Much of my trouble was due to the references to previous stories in the Desperate Duchesses series. This Duchess of Mine might appeal to those who have enjoyed these aforementioned novels. However, since it does not stand independent of these other works it may lose a great many readers early into the story.