Thursday, July 20, 2017

ARC Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Title: The Duchess Deal
Author: Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Publication: August 22nd 2017 by Avon

Genre: Historical Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google PlayKobo

Rating: 4.5/5

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, 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 a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

The Duchess Deal was the first book I read by Tessa Dare but it certainly won't be my last. I really enjoyed it a lot. I already thought it sounded like a pretty unique historical romance and I'm so glad to say that I was right about it. It definitely was different from other books in the same genre that I've read before. I just loved that uniqueness so much.

The premise is pretty straightforward. Scarred since his return from the war, the Duke of Ashbury (a.k.a. Ash) has been living a sheltered life for the past two years but he's in need of a wife to give him an heir. Enter Emma Gladstone, a vicar's daughter turned seamtress who turns up —in a wedding dress no less— in the Duke's library. Ash pretty much decided then and there that Emma will become his wife.

Can I just say that I adored Emma? I really did. I loved how she kept confronting Ash and coming up with little pet names for him that he hates. That part was so hilarious. Ash definitely had a challenging personality, thinking no one could ever love him because of his scars. So he's your typical scarred hero, inside and out. Initially he just wanted to have a marriage of convenience with Emma and after that she could have her own house in the country to raise their son. Of course Emma challenged him on every turn, which I loved, of course.

This story also had a great cast of secondary characters. I loved the friends that Emma made and who eventually also became Ash's friends. I especially loved Alex and I hope that the next book will be about her and the very mysterious man she met at the bookstore. Another favorite character was Khan the butler. I laughed a lot with him and Ash.

Overall, The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare was a great historical romance. It was funny as hell, very steamy and full of fiery female characters as well as great friendships. I loved it and can't wait for book two!

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fourteen historical romance novels and five novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

Mixing wit, sensuality, and emotion, Tessa writes Regency-set romance novels that feel relatable to modern readers. With her bestselling “Spindle Cove” and “Castles Ever After” series, she has had great fun creating heroines who defy the conventions of their time—engaging in “unladylike” pursuits that range from paleontology to beer-making—and dreaming up the strong-willed, sexy heroes who find their hearts ensnared by them.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.

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  1. Ahhhh, I'm so glad you enjoyed this book!!! I absolutely cannot wait to read it!!! I have a copy from Edelweiss so hopefully I can do so soon. You must read Dare's Spindle Cove and Castles Ever After series!

    Great review, Stephanie! Have a lovely day. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I was really pleased with it! I loved the main character so much. She had so much spunk! :D

  2. Tessa Dare is one of my FAVORITE romance authors!! I can't wait to read this one - glad you enjoyed it!

    1. She seems to be a favorite with a lot of people. Me included now. :D

  3. It's been so long since I've read a historical romance. It's one of my favorite genres (shhh, don't tell anyone. haha). I love the sound of this and will be adding it to my TBR. Thanks, Stephanie.

    Lonna @ FLYLēF

    1. Your secret is safe with me, Lonna! ;) I'm usually a historical fiction girl but I've been reading more historical romances lately.

  4. I don't read this kind of historical fiction romance often, but I am glad you could enjoy this one so much :D

  5. Just going to look at your rating since I'll be reading this soon!! Can't wait :D

  6. I read my first Tessa Dare novel last year (Do You Want to Start a Scandal) and LOVED IT! I am stoked for this one! :D

    1. I just bought the first book in the Castles Ever After series so I'll probably reach that one at some point as well :D

  7. This sounds like a perfect book to read over the summer! I have not read an historical romance before and you have got me really curious. It is always amazing to find a new author to add to your list of favourites. I am so glad that you loved this one so much. :)

  8. AWESOME review, Steph!! I've heard of Tessa Dare before, but have never read anything by her. I need to add this book to my GR shelves! Sounds like a GREAT historical romance, and I haven't read one of those in a while.

    I LOVE that Emma is no passive wallflower, but gives the Duke a run for his money. Sure sounds like they have a very tumultuous relationship! TERRIFIC stuff!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) )


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