adult novels · book reviews

An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James

896595Title: An Affair Before Christmas (Desperate Duchess #2)
Author: Eloisa James
Source: Secondhand
Edition:  Paperback
Publication:  November 13th 2007 by Avon
Pages: 400 pages
Category: Romance, Historical, Fiction, Chick-Lit


Magic under the mistletoe…

One spectacular Christmas, Lady Perdita Selby, known to her friends and family as Poppy, met the man she thought she would love forever. The devilishly attractive Duke of Fletcher was the perfect match for the innocent, breathtakingly beautiful young Englishwoman, and theirs was the most romantic wedding she had ever seen. Four years later, Poppy and the duke have become the toast of the ton… but behind closed doors the spark of their love affair has burned out.

Unwilling to lose the woman he still lusts after, the duke is determined to win back his beguiling bride’s delectable affections…and surpass the heady days of first love with a truly sinful seduction.



This story is about Perdita a.k.a Poppy and John a.k.a Fletch. They instantly fell in love with each other in France which lead to four years of marriage. However, Fletch isn’t happy because his wife’s sexual desires aren’t satisfied. Somehow, this leads him to resent Poppy which leads to their marital problems. Poppu is also aware that something is wrong but her mother influenced her thinking very much. In the end, problems are resolved and they still remain married.


The story shows that the regency era was not as perfect as it seems. Women were using unhealthy methods to stay beautiful. Also, some were not encouraged to enjoy sex which Poppy’s mother just did. In their time it was also absurd for a woman to know how to play chess. However despite this, Jemma strived to play chess and beat most of the men she encountered. On the other hand, Poppy is a striving naturalist. She creates her own curiosity box which holds different weird items.  Also, she sends letters to scholars and corrects or suggests some details to add to their research. However, she does this secretly because this was not suppose to be done by a duchess.


I was surprised to know that the curiosity cabinets were real. I thought that it was all made up, but no, the author made a note explaining Georgian curiosity at the end of the book. I never thought this would be real, but her explanation was very acceptable. This cabinets stemmed from the lady’s wants to know more about science and nature. Curiosity cabinets and collectibles could only quench this passion kind of passion.


What confused me? I don’t know.. Jemma and Villiers’ relationship is confusing. Poppy and her self control is very confusing. Also, her mother is very confusing. I think she is very deranged. Making her only daughter leave her house so that she could become duchess for a certain time. Also, she hopes that Fletch would have a mistress because its normal for him to have one. How can a mother wish something like that for her only child? Anyways, at least in the end a divorce did not happen, no thanks to the mom though.


I learned that it is best to know yourself and be confident enough to make your own decision. Poppy was in this predicament because she can’t make her own decision. Her mother’s opinion was so strong that she could not say no to it. Also, it was her mother’s fault why she can’t enjoy making love. Her mother has lots of faults but well, Poppy did still love her. Somehow, as a person I could relate to Poppy because my mother has a strong presence too, but she definitely lets me make my own decisions which sometimes fail too.


This book made me realise that powder isn’t good for the hair. Also, that in making important decisions, I should be the one to make them. Advice is always welcome, but the decision should come from me. Also, it is nice to do the things which I love. This is because at least it would make me more productive. Somehow, finding something you love doing is very important because it adds more to your essence.


This story is set before Christmas but I still read it because I was in the mood for something connected to Christmas. Although, it was nice to read that Poppy finally liked making love, it was very frustrating at first. I gave this a 2 hearts rating because of this reason. The first parts were frustrating but the ending was good. I just found it funny that she was not comfortable making love because of her powdered hair which her mom made her have. Somehow, this was a shallow reason for me. However, having anything itchy in the body is very distracting. All in all, it was not the best read by Eloisa James but I was definitely entertained.


“He walked until his heart was as dreary as the sky, until some sort of truth came to him.”
― Eloisa James, An Affair Before Christmas

Then he just blurted it out, with no preparation. ‘The truth of it is that whether your mother arranged our marriage, or whether it was all an illusion, I must be horribly obtuse, because I can’t talk myself out of being in love with you.”
― Eloisa James, An Affair Before Christmas


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