Today I’m handing over to Mandie who has a review fo The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare. Before we take a look at the review, let’s see what it’s all about.
The Official Book Blurb
Witty, Saucy Regency Romance
‘I am a Duke. I’m not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It’s a different thing entirely.’
When the Duke of Ashbury returns from war scarred, he realises he needs an heir – which means he needs a wife! When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress visits wearing a wedding dress, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.
His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.
But Emma is no pushover. She has secrets and some rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…
When a girl meets a Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…
I have a confession to make. Mills & Boon books have always been my guilty pleasure. They are quick to read, full of heroes and heroines that are having some kind of personal struggle that will not make the path to romance and happiness an easy one and we all know either girl gets boy or boy gets girl in the end. But that’s the point. When you pick up one of these books it’s because you want to be transported for a short while into a world where true love exists.
The Duchess Deal does not disappoint. In it we meet Emma, a vicar’s daughter who due to a bad choice has been cast out by her father and is now working as a seamstress in London and The Duke of Ashbury, a bitter recluse who is suffering from both physical and mental scars from war.
Emma is not the type of girl you would expect for the era the story was set in. Despite her lowly station in life she showed no fear of the Duke and in fact was quite confrontational and challenging. When given a set of rules their marriage will live by she sets a few rules of her own. Despite her background Emma gets invited to join a group of well to do women, who don’t fit in to the norm of polite society but are exactly what she needs. This gave the book a kind of modern feel which may not please everyone that loves historical romances however it didn’t bother me in the slightest and it had me chuckling at some of the things that were said and done.
The Duke is as expected very bitter after having been rejected due to his disfigurement and is determined that he will only marry to obtain an heir. Other than that he has no use for a wife. You get the feeling though from the reactions of his household staff that his mean temperament is not really how the Duke is but more a result of his scars and despite his best efforts to hide, he really does care about people and doing the right thing. His nocturnal activities whilst roaming the streets of London prove this even when it makes him a wanted man.
The whole book kind of has a Beauty and the Beast feel about it right down to the fact that Emma agrees to marry the Duke more to help someone out of a bad situation. The modern feel to the story may not please those that are looking for a true historical romance, but for me that was the appeal of it and I quite often found myself chuckling at some of the things that were said and done.
With thanks to publishers Mills & Boon for the advance review copy via Netgalley.
The Duchess Deal is available now from the following retailers: