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The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke: 01 Mass Market Paperback – 22 August 2017
Mass Market Paperback
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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“Dare once again works her own irresistible brand of magic by taking a cast of richly nuanced characters, a deliciously clever plot… and a generous measure of addictively tart wit, and then she spins the whole thing into pure literary gold.” (Booklist (starred review))
“You’ll laugh and cry... while reading this daring reimagination of Beauty and the Beast that is pure romance at its best. Dare’s gift for crafting humorous repartee is matched by her talent for writing deeply emotional stories filled with steamy love scenes.” (RT Book Reviews (top pick))
About the Author
Tessa Dare is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of more than a dozen historical romances. A librarian by training and a book-lover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she shares a cozy, cluttered bungalow with her husband, their two children, and a pair of cosmic kittens.
- Publisher : Avon (22 August 2017)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062349066
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062349064
- Item Weight : 179 g
- Dimensions : 10.64 x 2.44 x 16.81 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #170,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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1. It is a marriage of convenience.
2. They will have sex with no lights and no kidding.
3. When Emma gets pregnant, she will have her own house in the country to raise the child.
Emma begs to differ.
1. They will have dinner together every night.
2. They will have conversation.
3. There WILL be kissing.
The whole book is strewn with their carnal activities but it never goes overboard or sleazy. The chemistry between the two is clearly perceived and their fallible in love, a given. I loved the humor between the two protagonists. Usually the heroine, at some point feels scared of the hero, but not this one. Thank God. She gives as good as she gets which I liked. No simpering, no kow- towing, no nervous twisting of the hands.
I liked this book and would definitely recommend it.
By AlphaGirlReviews on 16 January 2019
Top reviews from other countries
When the Duke of Ashbury returns from the war horribly scarred ("Faulty rocket at Waterloo. You have precisely three seconds to move past it. One. Two...") his fiancée can't bear to look at him and calls off their engagement. In dire need of a wife and heir (so his estate doesn't fall into the hands of his 'toad of a cousin'), when seamstress Emma Gladstone explodes into his study demanding payment for the bridal gown his fiancée has cancelled, he asks her to marry him instead.
"If it's a wife you want, surely you could find many women - many well-bred ladies - who would be willing to marry you."
"Yes, but then I'd have to find them. This saves me so much effort."
Emma is not a fool and, although it takes her a couple of days (she's not entirely sure he's serious), she soon accepts. She thinks she might even grow to love the Duke, and is hoping for a real marriage, but the Duke has a few rules...
There are two things about this novel that make it outstanding: the cracking dialogue and the brilliant characters - particularly the hero, Ash. I was about halfway through the story when the penny dropped. Ash is basically Deadpool - manically cracking irreverent jokes to hide his pain, both mental and physical. Ash had once been an extremely handsome man, now he considers himself to be a monster who frightens small children. It's not the only superhero reference. Ash's relationship with his butler is very Bruce Wayne and Alfred ('Batman'), the encounter with Trevor (the teenage boy who wants to be the sidekick of the 'Monster of Mayfair') reminded me of 'The Incredibles', and then there's that very steamy kiss in the pouring rain ... 'Spiderman'?
So, if you love historical romances written in a very traditional Jane Austen/Georgette Heyer style, you're going to hate this. But it you love witty, warm-hearted romantic comedy, with characters that leap off the page demanding your attention, you'll love it.
This was definitely a five-star read for me.
Thank you to Tessa Dare, Mills & Boon and Netgalley for my copy of this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Emma works as a streamstress and walks into The Duke of Ashbury’s house asking for money that is owed to her, if she doesn’t get paid she will be out on the streets. Ash is the Duke and feels he looks like a Monster due to an injury he suffered whilst at war! To ensure his estate is safe when something happens to him he needs an heir, and with never leaving his house, he sees this down and out streamstress as the way forward! When Ash propositions Emma, she takes her money and storms out the house, back to the life in the shop.
Ash refuses to take no for an answer and arrives at Emma’s place of work, he tells her she will marry him and have his heir, although there are rules she has to abide by. Of course, she would be silly to not accept his offer, so signs the papers and married the Duke.
Emma refuses to allow Ash to be mean and hurtful to her, and gives as good as she gets. In doing this, they both start having feelings for each other, but thinks that the other isn’t interested. Can the two of them realise before it’s too late that they really want each other, or will they both end up being miserable and alone.
The content has some of the elements I don't like, as above, and the plot is certainly not a new one - the physically and mentally scarred war veteran being saved by the love of a good woman has been done again and again. That aside, I laughed out loud, rooted for the couple, loved their banter, especially the heroine's teasing of her stiff, starchy husband and the relationship with their staff, and just simply enjoyed this light, funny and uplifting book, and just set aside my usual reservations. For others like me, who might not want to read something which is not true to the period, I would say do try it and read it without reservations! Would I read other books by this author? - yes, if they come as highly recommended as this one, but she still wouldn't be an auto-buy for me.
The writing in this book is wonderfully witty, and Tessa Dare really developed the best characters in Emma and Ash and just how they bounce off each other. It was so fun to read all of their interactions, as they were so comedic and sometimes gruff and snappy with one another yet there was a constant underlying of love and respect for one another.
The side characters in this book are also really great from Emma's friends, who I know get their own books in this series and I can't wait to read, from the servants who love to plot about throwing Emma and Ash at each other in different ways to make them truly fall in love as well as the butler Khan who is knowledgable and kind, and not afraid to say what he thinks. Even Breeches the cat is a hit!
I thought how Emma and Ash really began to reveal their flaws and fears to one another, and the slow way Ash finally allowed Emma to really see him, and feel him, his scars fully on show was truly beautiful. This scene, despite being a sex scene, actually made me well up in emotion as I really felt the connection between the characters and I could almost hear all their walls come tumbling down.
Brilliant characters, wonderful plot and witty writing. A must read!
Reclusive, disfigured war hero and duke Ash needs an heir, and when a seamstress in dire straits rocks up on his doorstep she seems just the woman for the job – but little does he realise she‘ll bring him so much more than a child, including joy and a sense of self-worth.
The good and the bad:
The disfigured and hurting man – a la Beauty and the Beast – is a classic hero type, and in this case, characterised really well. Yes, Ash is bitter after being severely disfigured at war, but still his wit shines through giving us something to like about him from the outset. The matter of Ash’s disfigurement and related insecurity was dealt with sensitively. Through the amusing dialogue and developing relationship with seamstress Emma, my love of Ash grew, and Emma was likable and good match for him, having suffered her own hardships. I was rooting for them both.
There were some exciting and adventurous sex scenes, always described well. I particularly like the one in the library when Emma is reaching for a book, and the reverse psychology scene in the chair!
There were some little side stories that didn’t distract from the main event of Ash and Emma’s love story, but rather wove together to enhance the book – although I did wonder where the “Monster of Mayfair” thing was leading to, and it seemed a bit superfluous. (It doesn’t relate to a real “monster”, by the way.)
Yes, the book is probably not entirely true to the era but as someone who is not a history buff, this didn’t bother me. There are undoubtedly a few bits that are not realistic (like the ball scene towards the end) but I think the book is meant to be a bit whimsical. It’s light, romantic fun and it genuinely made me smile throughout.
My only real criticism is that there are no line spaces to signal a change in scene. That really played havoc with the flow of the book and is an annoying lack of basic standards by the publishers in an age when most books are published as eBooks and – I imagine – books likes this are largely purchase in eBook format.
Overall, I loved it enough to read the next book in the series immediately afterwards.