Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke (2017) Tessa Dare

Set in England in the early 1800s

The Duke of Ashford is in need of an heir.

“If I died tomorrow, everything would go to my cousin. He is an irredeemable prat. I didn’t go to the Continent, fight to preserve England from tyranny, and survive this”— he gestured at his face—“ only to come home and watch my tenants’ lives crumble to ruins. And that means those laws of primogeniture— since I don’t intend to overturn them— require me to marry and sire a son.”

That right there redeems most everything rude and awful the duke does and says.

“Only one act is required on your part. You must permit me to visit your bed. I’m well aware of my distasteful appearance. You need not fear any crude or lascivious attentions from my quarter. All encounters will be as dignified as possible. No lights, no kissing. And of course, once you are pregnant with my heir, we will be done.”

Emma Gladstone is a vicar’s daughter working as a seamstress after being thrown out by her father six years before. She needs money to survive, but has standards.

“I will not be your mistress. My body is not for let.”

“That can’t be entirely true. You’re a seamstress, aren’t you? Your fingers are for let.”

“If you don’t know the difference between a woman’s fingers and her womb, I would definitely not share a bed with you.”

I like a lot about this book. Ash is scarred from war. He’s a good man who worries about his tennants. Emma is strong-willed and unwilling to be cowed. Both have been hurt by their pasts. Both are flawed. But each tries to listen to the other, and understand their past hurts and protect them from future harm.

But I especially liked the dialog.

“And now I must ask you to leave. I need to be getting home.”

“We can accomplish both those things at once. I’ll take you home. My carriage is just outside.”

“Thank you, I prefer to walk.”

“More convenient still. My feet are even closer than the carriage.”

It’s modern, but it’s not completely over-the-top and feels like the author translating the dialog of the time into modern cant rather than pasting historical settings upon a modern story.

But mostly it’s fun, and I’m a sucker for good dialog.

There is a lot of boinking in this story, much of which I could have done without, although some of the boinking related directly to Ash and Emma working out their difference and misunderstandings.

This is possibly the most generic cover, unrelated to the content, I’ve seen in awhile. I don’t think the publisher was even trying. It’s possible the man on the cover could be Ash, showing only his unscarred side. Except that the light shining through the window on his bad side is something he wouldn’t allow. Especially while disrobed. I suppose this is supposed to be a scene from the end of the book, but… bleh.

All in all it was a fun story that I enjoyed because of the dialog and the situation the characters.

Publisher: Avon
Rating: 7/10


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