Review: Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa JamesOnce Upon a Tower Published by Avon on May 28, 2013
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Advance Reader Copy, edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

Once upon a time…

A duke fell in love

Gowan Stoughton of Craigievar, Duke of Kinross, values order and self-control above all else. So when he meets a lady as serene as she is beautiful, he promptly asks for her hand in marriage.

With a lady

Edie—whose passionate temperament is the opposite of serene—had such a high fever at her own debut ball that she didn’t notice anyone, not even the notoriously elusive Duke of Kinross. When her father accepts his offer… she panics.

And when their marriage night isn’t all it could be, she pretends.

In a tower.

But Edie’s inability to hide her feelings makes pretending impossible, and when their marriage implodes, she retreats to a tower—locking Gowan out.

Now Gowan faces his greatest challenge. Neither commands nor reason work with his spirited young bride. How can he convince her to give him the keys to the tower…

When she already has the keys to his heart

This book just wasn’t for me, but at the same time, I really couldn’t tell you why. Most of my friends gave it 5 stars, and yet for me, I had no problem putting it down. This makes it kind of hard to review.

I like the plot of this book, and I really like how the majority of their problems stem from such realistic events. Like marrying someone you don’t know, and then learning to live with them. Seriously, where was this book when I first got married?  But at the same time, parts of it felt tedious to me.

Edie is a cellist, however as the daughter of an earl, she can’t do anything with her music but play for her own enjoyment. This is a shame as she’s pretty much the best cellist in England, possibly the Continent.

Gowan is a Scottish duke, and a very wealthy man. He’s also a very pragmatic man. In his quest to avoid being like his horrible father, he has become not only a stick-in-the-mud, but a very driven, very tedious man. And possibly more like his father than he cares to imagine.

However, the first time he sees Edie, all of this changes.

Edie has an incredibly high fever at her coming out ball. She’s so feverish, she just smiles and nods to everyone. Gowan sees this beautiful angel floating around the ball and as she’s not chatty, and not throwing herself at him, he asks her father for her hand.

One thing I liked was that this was rectified fairly early on so the Big Misunderstanding never reared its ugly head. Instead, he’s so excited and so overly-amorous, that he doesn’t realize that while their nights are amazing for him, for her. . .they aren’t.

This is the biggest conflict in the story. Edie is faking and feels absolutely dreadful about it, and Gowan is clueless. Until he finds out. Then he’s furious. And boy does he make Edie feel like crap. So Edie locks herself in a tower with her cello, and Gowan leaves her to cool his temper. I really think this was the best part of the story. Gowan realizing what a jerk he’d been, then hearing an earful from Edie’s stepmother really drove home how horrible he’d been.

So he climbed the tower, with cracked ribs, during a horrible flooding rainstorm, and tried to win back the woman he realized that not only does he love, but she loves him too! You know when you read a book and you really wanted a groveling scene? This book has a fabulous groveling scene that made even this reader forgive Gowan.

***ARC courtesy of Avon Books and edelweiss

highland hussy