Olivia Lytton is betrothed to the Marquess of Montsurrey, Rupert. He is next in line, and some day in the near future will become the Duke of Canterwick. Unfortunately for Olivia and Rupert, both their fathers made a pact while attending Eton in that their kids would marry; Olivia and Rupert never really have a say.
Olivia has a twin sister, Georgiana, and both girls learn the ins and out of being a duchess. Their parents spare no expense to train them as such, of the two, Georgiana is the best pupil; Olivia is as apt as her sister, but doesn't care much about it. Again, unfortunately for Olivia, the only reason why she's betrothed to the Marquess is because she was the first one out of her mom's womb, by a mere seven minutes. Where Georgiana is full of grace and rather slim, Olivia is luscious and attributes it to her weakness for meat pies.
Although Olivia is not in love with the Marquess, Rupert; she genuinely cares for him as a friend. The poor guy is not that smart (he's a little slow or an odd thinker as some call him), and as if that weren't enough, he doesn't have the looks either. Come on, his nose looks like a potato-- imagine that! Another little detail, which both their parents seem to ignore is that she's five years Rupert's eldest. As for Rupert, the odd thinker he is, decides he must go to war first, and bring that glory to the Canterwick's title. Since he's the only son, if he dies, the title passes to someone else, and his dad doesn't want any of it. Their parents concoct a plan, not a very nice one, that is sure to take care of any casualties. Little do they know their plan puts other things in motion.
That is when Quin, the dashing Duke of Sconce, comes in. He's letting his mom choose his next bride. He's a widow now, who's had a hard time getting over the tragic loss of his first wife and son. His mom invites to their estate a couple of eligible women; she wants to put them to the test. The lucky lady to pass the test is the next Duchess. That is all great and good until Olivia shows up. The Dowager Duchess is too busy putting the two women through her tests, while Quin is in charge of keeping Olivia out of his mom's hair.
Olivia and Quin go through a set of emotions before they can admit they're in love with each other; Quin especially has a hard time accepting what he feels for Olivia is pure love. Olivia on the other hand doesn't want to betray her sister, Gergiana, as she is sure if it weren't for her, Georgiana would be the Duchess of Sconce; plus she's got Rupert to worry about. Georgiana is way too smart, and a Georgiana no one knows comes out-- she urges Olivia to follow her heart and not to worry about her.
Tragedy strikes-- this was a nice turn of events actually. Even though what happens is kinda sad, it solves the remainder of Quin and Olivia's problem.
Sometime later... the Dowager Duchess admits to herself Olivia is but the best choice for her son.
What I liked most about the story:
1.The foreplay between Olivia and Quinn-- his possessiveness/protection of her.
2.Justin (the cousin) with his timeless goddess love poems (don't forget about his little game with Olivia about insults).
3.Olivia and Georgiana's game of words with a second meaning.
What didn't work for me:
1.It took me a little bit of time to get into the story in the first couple of chapters. Once I reached chapter three, the story grabbed me.
Elisa James has a very unique style of writing. All writers do, but I can always find similarities in style amongst my favorite authors. When it comes to Eloisa James, it's just a different kind of fun.
Back cover overview:
Destiny will be decided between the sheets in this all-new tale of “The Princess and the Pea.”
For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick—hardly a Prince Charming—feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, a perfect match for her in every way . . . every way but one. Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia.
Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him— a desire they are both powerless to resist. When a scandalous affair begins, they risk losing everything—Olivia’s engagement, her sister’s friendship, and their own fragile love. Only one thing can save them—and it awaits in the bedroom, where a magnificent mattress holds life-changing answers to the greatest romantic riddle of all.