Girl Meets Duke, Book 1
Tessa Dare is one of my favorite romance writers, and this is the first book of a terrific new series. It’s already gotten a ton of publicity; it’s one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books of Romance for 2017 and an Amazon Best Romance of August 2017 – and I agree.
The Duke of Ashbury has returned from the war badly damaged from a rocket blowing up near him. He almost died and has severe scarring on half of his body and face. The fiancée he returned to is repulsed by him and breaks their engagement. But he has a duty to produce an heir and needs to find a wife.
When the seamstress who made his fiancée’s wedding gown shows up at his home demanding payment for the dress – which she is wearing, and it’s hideous – he asks her a few questions about herself. Turns out Emma Gladstone is the daughter of a vicar and is unmarried, and the duke proposes on the spot. She thinks he’s playing games with her but quickly finds out he is serious, and they marry.
The Duke tells her all she has to do is get pregnant as quickly as possible, then he will give her a house in the country for her own. There she will raise their son and he won’t bother her again. Except she is strongly attracted to the Duke, but he is so damaged, both mentally and physically, he doesn’t believe it or even want to believe it.
They reach their happily ever after but only after some really hot love scenes – several of them, in fact. Dare is known for her explicit sex scenes and she really does a great job here, something lesser writers fumble with. These are fully realized characters as well, and you can’t help rooting for them along with their household staff who are plotting to get them to fall in love.
If you’re a Tessa Dare fan, you will be happy with this new series opener and if you’re unfamiliar with this writer, you might want to become better acquainted. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
8/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THE DUCHESS DEAL by Tessa Dare. Pamela Dorman Books (August 15, 2017). ISBN 978-0735223493. 352p.