Simply One Of The Most Romantic Books Of The Year: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Simply One Of The Most Romantic Books Of The Year: The Duchess Deal by Tessa DareThe Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke, #1)
by Tessa Dare
Release Date: August 22nd 2017
Published by Avon
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: eARC
Narrator: Girl Meets Duke
Pages: 384
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five-stars
Source: ARC received for review purposes


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…

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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Tessa Dare is an absolute master at what she does. Of course there are hundreds of historical romance authors out there, but no one quite does it like Tessa Dare. Her books are priceless gems. each one better than the previous one. The Duchess Deal was no exception. Telling the story of two unlikely personalities in a marriage of convenience falling slowly but hardly for each other,  The Duchess Deal is Tessa Dare’s most magical, most romantic, and sexiest novel to date.

As always Dare writes characters that are full of heart and soul. Emma, darling darling Emma, is a witty seamstress who has made a life for herself after she’s ousted and disowned by her vicar father. She is a woman with a lot of strength, self-possession, kindness and compassion. Life may have dealt her a bad hand, but she moves on from that and instead channels her grief and disappointment into her passion of making dresses. In many ways, she is the complete opposite of the brutally scarred ass-hat who proposes the preposterous idea of entering a marriage of convenience. Said ass-hat is of course the Duke of Ashbury, a war-hero who is in desperate need of an heir. He is gruff, broody, and angry for the way his life has turned around, but he also somehow finds a way to sneakily settle in your heart and make you swoon for days. Your heart aches for him, and you want him to see himself beyond the physical scars to the hero that he is. Of course, he is a man after all, and an incredibly bull-headed one at that, so it takes a kind, passionate and loving woman like Emma to finally crumble that tough wall he has built around him.

This Beauty and The Beast-esque romance between Emma and Ash is delightful, awkward, and sexy. They both go into the marriage with plans of not falling for each other, and as a reader, you scoff at that because you know from their very first meeting that the kind of attraction they have doesn’t end at lust. It’s fun watching them dance around each other, push each other’s button, and slowly and subtly fall desperately in love with each other. It’s a swoons-inducing romance that will leave you breathless. The clever banter, the hilarious teasing (mostly on Emma’s part ), and the sensuous and steamy love scenes makes it a romance that’s absolutely worth the read, and re-read. As always with Tessa Dare’s novels, there is also a great depiction of female friendships between Emma and a lovely, and quirky group of women who embrace her with open hands. They are a fun addition to the book, and add even more humor to the story, along with Ash’s nosy, meddling staff who only want for him to find love.

The Duchess Deal is for those readers who love a good toe-curling romance between two broken and unlikely souls that fit beautifully together that also has a memorable cast and humor for days. If the rest of the Girl Meets Duke series is going to be anything like this first book, then romance readers are in for a ride.

What is the most romantic book you’ve read this year?
Let me know in the comments below!

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Nick
  • kindlemom1

    Beauty and Beast-ish huh? Sold! No really though I’ve been meaning to try this author. I have to ask though, how steamy are the scenes? For some reason when it comes to historical romance I like it more clean than I do steamy.

    • YES, Ali!
      They are steamy but not erotic steamy.

  • I cannot wait to read this! I got an audiobook for review but haven’t started listening. I agree, Tessa Dare is amazing!

    • I hope you love it, Quinn!

  • Ari

    Dammit Nick, now I want to give historical romances a try. I don’t really like any type of historical fictions because the politics is a little too much for me, but this book sounds too good to pass up on. And I’m already loving Emma because she sounds feisty and sassy and I’m so here for it. I’m ready to swoon my heart out!

    • You’re going to love HR!!!!

  • Yessssssss!!! To everything you said in this review. I agree with it all. I adored this book and think that Tessa Dare is one of the best historical romance novelists of our time. She doesn’t waste words and her stories are full of charm and angst and humor and I always just love the hell out of them all. Great, great, great review Nick!

    • I love that her books are full of humor too. She always makes me laugh with her stories. Thanks, Rowena. So glad you loved it too! 🙂

  • Omg Dare! Yes yes

    • She’s a QUEEN!

  • Ok I feel I need to add this. I still haven’t tried a historical romance ::ducks head in shame:: but I know I need to. Great review!

    • This is a good place to try!

  • I’m a couple of chapters in and I am just not feeling it, Nick! I’m in a historical romance slump right now, because 3 books that I keep trying to read, I have problems with. And it’s from my favorite authors! The books are The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne, The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare, and It’s Hard Out Here for a Duke by Maya Rodale… 🙁

    I’ve been rereading old favorites, steampunk paranormal romance, and also sports romance!

    I did get the Beauty and the Beast vibe, though 🙂

    • Oh what a bummer, Zee! I hope you get over your slump soon and are able to give this a try again.

  • This sounds like it was an awesome read. I am thinking of trying this author.

    • You should definitely try her!

  • I’m picking this up as soon as I shut off my computer so I’ll come back to your review later, Nick. I’m thrilled by your 5 stars, though! 🙂

    • I can’t wait to hear your thoughts, Rachel! 🙂

  • Nick this was a five for me too. I laughed and swooned and adored both of these characters!

    • I’m so glad to hear that, Kim!

  • I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book. I STILL haven’t read anything by Tessa Dare but I am obviously missing out. I need to change that asap! I’m adding this one to my TBR asap. I need a good swoon. lol Great review!

    • Oh you have got to try her books, Julie. She’s an excellent HR author!

  • Jasprit

    Nick this book sounds absolutely brilliant! I had the chance to read a copy, but don’t know why I didn’t think that it would be my sort of read, but your review once again has swayed me in giving it a go. I’ve always never known where to start with Dare’s books, but your review makes it sound absolutely swoonworthy! Lovely review once again!

    • This is definitely a good place to start with her books, Jasprit. Or if you’re looking for a series to binge, I highly recommend her Castle Ever After books.

  • I did like this one, not as much as you did 🙂 But I still loved the way it was written. One of her best books since her spindle cove series.

    I think the most romantic book I have read this year would have to be So I Married A Sorcerer by Kerrelyn Sparks.

    • I need to try that series! It sounds good!

  • I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about this book and I’m crying because they’ve pushed back the UK ebook date to Feb next year! I can’t wait that long. I am going to have to buy me a US copy of the book and except I have physical romance copies on my shelf. I am sat here making grabby hands at my screen because this just sounds brilliant. Tessa Dare writes the best HR and this sounds like she once more reigns supreme and writes a brilliant romance.

    • I saw that the book got delayed in the UK because another publisher picked it up. I really hope you can find your way around a US copy because you simply can’t wait until Feb to read this one. This is absolutely a Becky book.

  • This book is SO DAMN GOOD. Every time I think Tessa Dare can’t get any better, she proves me wrong. Personally I thought this story was not only more romantic and sexier than Dare’s other works, it also has a lot more depth to it. I *loved* the way she portrays the impact of Ash’s disfigurement and chronic pain on his life, and of course the feminist angle with Emma’s past was awesome too.

    Khan and the rest of the meddling household staff were just the icing on top, so far as I’m concerned! I’m super psyched to read the sequels now because I loved all the secondary characters — I’d be happy with any of them getting their own book.

  • I agree, Tessa Dare is the queen of historical romance! Hilarious and very sexy! I absolutely loved this one, too! Can’t wait for the next one. Wonder if it will star one of her quirky friends? I hope so. Wonderful review, Nick! 🙂