I recently was given the novel Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James from a friend. I figured since it was historical fiction that it would be able to hold my interest. I am used to reading novel set in the 18th century England, however this novel I was deeply disappointed. Here is the back cover… 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 implode, 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?
Now for my review. I give this novel negative 3 stars. I simply cannot give it more than that. This is not a book that wants you to keep reading. The sentences do not flow well together and in fact contradict each other. The word choice was another problem I had. “Time wasted itself” how can time waste itself? it just does not make any sense. The beginning was just awful. He sees her at a party and BAM he loves her. He does not even speak to her but automatically decides that she is the one. She gets married off to him (which is technically realistic) but she does not even put up a fight. It was more like her father says “you’re getting married” and she responds with “eh, okay.” Wait what? I Love (sarcastically) how in the first few pages has love at first sight and jealousy. It was more like “I’m going to stick all the plot devises in one section and not worry about them again.” I also cannot stand her use of Julia Quinn’s characters. Julia Quinn writes amazing stories that have well-developed characters and plot. Eloisa James should be able to create her own character rather than relying on Julia Quinn to invent them.
So if you like this book, I’m going to ask how… why… what? If you like historical romance I would recommend that you read Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series starting with Daphne (The Duke and I). Those are written well that makes the reader want to read more.