The Ugly Duchess  - Eloisa James As I was reading this book, around the 75% mark, I was determined that this book would get a 2 or 3 star. I was ticked off. Daisy (aka Theo) was driving me batty with just how angry, unfeeling, and icy she was.

But then, the author did something that turned everything on its head.

Up until that part of the story, I was convinced these two would never find their HEA. I was sure they were doomed and I was so upset by this because the beginning was so sweet and lovely and just perfection! And then, too soon, all hell broke loose and a separation occurred that nearly broke my heart.

This book had me all over the map with my emotions. I understood Daisy's self esteem issues. Some of the things she did to protect herself, especially after the fight with James, just seemed outlandish though. It was odd, but then she was trying to cover up her hurts and she did it by working to keep the estate going and profitable and becoming known for things other than her looks.

This was good. But I felt that, for this portion of the book, she was so cold and unfeeling that I could not connect with her at all. I felt for James. Heck my heart hurt for James, but I could not find the same feeling for Daisy (until the end, when all was explained and I had that AHA moment!). James throughout the story was delightful. He was handsome as a young man but when he came back he was hot, sexy alpha man who was going to get his Daisy back however he could. One thing I loved was how he almost seamlessly got back into being the Duke, in charge of his house, but yet shared the duties with his wife. (When she had to keep remembering that this was HIS house, his dukedom, I was almost glad. I know that some feminists might want to clock me over the head for that, but I just mean it in this one instance. Daisy needed to get back some of what she lost and James coming back into the picture allowed her to let her guard down and feel loved and love again. Something she denied herself for far too long.)

One issue I had in terms of the plot was that the separation took up too much of the book. I get that there was a reason for it. I get that they needed to grow up and become the people they were meant to be(especially James). I'm not saying it should not have been there. It just took on the majority of the book and I didn't need to see it all. All I wanted to see was James and Daisy together. Not suffering and miserable for most of the book.

Maybe that is what made the end so sweet though. Because I nearly cried when James came back and was rooting for him the whole time, even when Daisy was being so un-Daisy like and annoying! And when he FINALLY broke through...*sighs* Well it might have been all worth it. He was patient and kind, and did what he had to in order to bring his Daisy back. And the epilogue was adorable. Loved it beyond words.