This place needs sprucing up. Or something. I definitely need to do some updating on the sidebar, not to mention throwing a post or two up for something other than the TBR Challenge reviews I plan on sticking with. I will do better, I will do better...
When she arrives at Holbrook Court however, she finds that Rafe has discovered that he has a half brother, Gabriel, and that they are in the beginning stages of planning a theatrical. O_o Of course there's some backstory for their reasons, but honestly they're lost in the deriding Imogen thrives in towards Rafe for wasting his life and physique to the bottle. It's not long before Rafe gives up the booze for better living, and that's when the obscure theatrical becomes the vehicle for more than just luring Gabe's ex-lover (the mother of his child, and an up-and-coming actress in London) to Holbrook Court. Honestly, I never did truly understand the reasons for Rafe and his guests desiring to put on a play, other than to lend credo to the weirdness of the aristocracy?
To wrap it all up in a nutshell, Imogen has decided to take a lover and fixates on Gabriel as the perfect candidate. What Rafe lacks in manners, sex appeal and scintillating conversation, Gabe has in spades. But that's before Rafe gives up liquor and poses as his brother for various liaisons with Imogen. Even as Imogen continues seeing Gabe in secret - or so she thinks - it's not long before she starts seeing Rafe as something more than her tiresome guardian and looks at him through a woman's eyes. Confused much?
And this is when I gave up on the rest of the story and started reading faster just to get it over with. Don't get me wrong, I loved Rafe, especially the fact that Ms. James cast him as an alcoholic who gives booze up just for the sake of giving it up. It wasn't so easy to like Imogen though. She's almost cruel in some aspects, especially in her dealings with Rafe. Or maybe it's because I look at alcoholism through different eyes. My husband was an alcoholic, and he died from it. It's easy to blame the alcoholic who cares nothing for his family and even mistreats them, but Rafe seemed to be a good guy. He turned to the bottle after his beloved older brother died and didn't look back. Of course, there is no good reason to drown yourself this way, and there's no excuse to became a boozehound. Or maybe I have an injured view of the disease, and maybe that's what made me dislike Imogen so much. Hell if I know. And I didn't mean to drag all of this out in what's supposed to be a fun review, but it's still there in my opinion of the book.
All of that to say, The Taming of the Duke wasn't my most favorite book by Eloisa James, and that's hard to admit since I'm a fan. Maybe in 10 years I can read it again and come up with a different opinion, but since I'm seriously needing to offload some books to make way for my mom moving in -- I don't see me doing that.