The Ugly Duchess - Eloisa James Buddy read with Karen BookLover 12/16/12I love Eloisa James, so my opinion may be biased. She's never over the top, and she unapologetically adds content that may or may not be realistic for her preferred Regency time period. But she sure does make me laugh with it! She's never too sexual, but she does write very sensual scenes. For me, she just really writes great ROMANCE stories. Her characters are flawed, they make stupid, stupid, STUPID decisions (James, I'm looking at you), but they are just people.I know that people had issues with a couple of things about this story, and it's an issue I tend to flip my bitch switch about also. But it honestly didn't bother me to the point that I couldn't forgive. I think both Theo and James were at fault. They both made tremendously stupid mistakes...due to their immaturity and naivete, their stations in life, and the pressures exerted from those that were supposed to support them. My heart just broke for Daisy (James name for Theo). People can be so cruel, and she was the butt of many a joke. She let it turn her bitter, she let her bitterness cloud her judgement, and she let it ruin what could have been a beautiful marriage. She was so blinded by her insecurities that she refused to listen to James, so to me she was very much at fault. Not to say that I don't understand her point of view. I can empathize and criticize all at once! I do the same for James.James was a young man with little control on the direction of his life. While women of that time period are perceived to be the powerless ones, there were instances such as this in which the men were put into positions just as much out of their control. James simply got stuck between a rock and a hard place. Instead of being honest and explaining himself to Daisy, he hid the partial motive for their marriage and in doing so, destroyed the trust, friendship, and burgeoning love that they had.This book is a great testimony to just what secrets can do to a relationship. Dishonesty, no matter if the intent is good, is never the best policy.