I have just finished a book that was bought second-hand last year when I was reading historical fiction, Duchess by Night by Eloisa James. I didn’t get around to reading it so it has been sitting on the ‘to be read’ shelf. This book falls into the historical fiction genre but it is more what I would call a romantic adventure! I was reminded of Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters while reading this book.
“She had to do something. Change her life! Start thinking about. . . .pleasure”
Harriet, the Duchess of Berrow, is finally seeking some excitement, after a lifetime as a wallflower. And where better to begin than a the house of one of the most disreputable men in the country, Lord Strange?
The high stakes games of lust and chance that rule Strange’s household, mean, however, that even crossing the threshold could entirely ruin her reputation. So Harriet decides to swap her hoops and corsets for a pair of breeches and transforms herself into a young male relative of the Duke of Villiers.
Before she knows it she’s writing bawdy missives on behalf of a young actress, not to mention winning card games played by the most powrful men in England, and having the time of her life.
But when she starts attracting male attention, Harriet must decide whether to stay in her disguise . . .or to reveal that she’s really a duchess by night
This book was pure escapism. I enjoyed it thoroughly as it has been a long time since I read anything similar. I think this book cover, although I prefer the present one, illustrates what lies within. You can find more about Eloisa James here.
Bodice ripper: A couple of definitions from the Urban Dictionary for you
:A book labelled historical romance that is really just written porn for middle aged women.
:A romantic but risque novel aimed at a female audience: refers to the buxom women who decorate the cover, along with a dark handsome and wealthy male.
You will need to read Duchess by Night to decide for yourself.