Lady Roberta St. Giles is fed up with the social stigma of her fathers eccentricities that keep her in the country and away from all the eligible men. In an attempt to keep her happy, Roberta, her father, and his mistress attended a ball. While escaping the gossip about her and her father Roberta runs into the the Duke of Villiers (tall, dark, broody and stand offish). Roberta then decides she is in love with the Duke. Packing her bags Roberta heads to London and to put her plan of seduction into action, Roberta enlists the help and an introduction to high society from a woman who knows how to get what she wants, her cousin Jemma, Dutchess of Beaumont.
While helping her cousin on her mission, and a girlhood friend with revenge, the Dutchess of Beaumont causes a scandal as she challenges the Duke of Villiers to a chess game, while conducting a similar game with her husband – the London set are all thinking there is more at stake than checkmate.
Needless to say the plans don’t quite go as planned (do they ever) and the web of him, her and that person over there, builds so does the sexual tension… until a release that sees the right people together and a grand celebration with the Prince of Wales.
Desperate Duchesses from Eloisa James is a very easy to read and enjoyable romance, great accompaniment for an evening on the couch with a glass of wine.