Review: Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

Posted January 15th 2018 by The GingerSnap in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Wilde in Love

Review: Wilde in Love by Eloisa JamesAuthor: Eloisa James
Publisher: Avon
Release date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Add to TBR: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | The Book Depository | iBooks | Kobo

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Star rating:
Heat rating: two-flames

Lord Alaric Wilde, son of the Duke of Lindow, is the most celebrated man in England, revered for his dangerous adventures and rakish good looks. Arriving home from years abroad, he has no idea of his own celebrity until his boat is met by mobs of screaming ladies. Alaric escapes to his father’s castle, but just as he grasps that he’s not only famous but notorious, he encounters the very private, very witty, Miss Willa Ffynche.

Willa presents the façade of a serene young lady to the world. Her love of books and bawdy jokes is purely for the delight of her intimate friends. She wants nothing to do with a man whose private life is splashed over every newspaper.

Alaric has never met a woman he wanted for his own . . . until he meets Willa. He’s never lost a battle.

But a spirited woman like Willa isn’t going to make it easy. . . .

The first book in Eloisa James’s dazzling new series set in the Georgian period glows with her trademark wit and sexy charm—and introduces a large, eccentric family. Readers will love the Wildes of Lindow Castle!

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The GingerSnap’s review

I think of Eloisa James as one of the queens of the regency romance genre, which also happens to be my all-time favourite romance sub-genre, so you can bet I was excited to pick up her latest book.

The story follows the romance between Willa, a society darling just finishing her first very successful season, and Alaric, an adventurous aristocrat just back from travelling around the world. Alaric is a famous author whose travels have been made into a bawdy play that has made much of his intrepid and supposedly rather rakish nature, which leads Willa to be cautious in her interactions with him. One thing I loved about this book was the role reversal; Alaric is the emotive, passionate character, while Willa is cautious, reserved, and cerebral, completely dismantling the idea that women have to be the emotional partner in a relationship. I also loved that Willa was very forthright in what she wanted from Alaric sexually.

It took me a long time to understand the personalities of Willa and Alaric; for much of the story, they both seem a bit aloof, with Alaric rather suddenly becoming emotive and feeling and Willa remaining unreadable for most of the book. It was also only halfway through the book that I really became gripped by the story, mostly owing to the fact that not much happens until the end of the book when the drama suddenly gets packed in a bit too tightly, with two major events happening almost right after the other that threaten to derail the happily ever after right at the point where I generally expect to be reading about banns, wedding bells, and honeymoon plans.

This book also suffered from choppy dialogue, especially in the first half of the story, with characters often referencing subjects outside the theme of the conversation, confusing me to the point that multiple times throughout my reading of this book, I flipped back to see if maybe I’d missed something, but no, that was just how befuddling some of the interactions were. I also never truly came to understand Willa’s friends Lavinia and Diana. Lavinia seemed alternately too silly and too serious, and Diana was a complete enigma for the entirety of the story, disappearing suddenly without a well-thought-out explanation.

All in all, I found this book disappointing, especially in comparison to many of Eloisa James’ other novels, many of which hold pride of place on my Keeper Shelf. For those who want their romance mostly sweet with only a small helping of drama, this is an okay choice, but, if like me, you like for your heroes and heroines to jump through multiple hoops on their way to happily ever after, this book isn’t satisfying enough.

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I would recommend this book to…

Those who like sweet romances with unreadable heroines and heroes on the beta end of the spectrum

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About Eloisa James

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa's very first book that she "found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"; later People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is an associate professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her "double life" is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she's written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women's magazines such as More to writers' journals such as the Romance Writers' Report.

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