07 February 2018

The Duchess Deal // Tessa Dare Proves Her Books Only Get Better

The Duchess Deal
Published: 22nd February 2018 (UK)

Source: Netgalley/Preordered

Genre: Historical Romance

My Rating:
‘I am a Duke. I’m not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It’s a different thing entirely.’

When the Duke of Ashbury returns from war scarred, he realises he needs an heir – which means he needs a wife! When Emma Gladstone, a vicar's daughter turned seamstress visits wearing a wedding dress, 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 secrets and some rules of her own:

- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she's seen the man beneath the scars, he can't stop her from falling in love…

When a girl meets a Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

We all know I adore Tessa Dare, right? I mean, she is seriously a favourite author. I cannot get enough of her books. So when I learnt the UK release of her newest book would be pushed back (boo, stupid rights issues) I was understandably heartbroken. I seriously contemplated buying a US paperback even though I much prefer romance on Kindle. I decided not to buy because I had pre-ordered the Kindle edition anyway. I did get approved for the ARC on Netgalley, though, so all hope was not lost (although the wait for the UK ARC was painful too). I sped through this book and wanted to delay it ending because it was so so good!

My initial reaction to this book was emojis: 😍😍😍. Then there is this gif which demonstrates how I died from the cuteness:

flails helplessly... dead
But I suppose I should try and explain in words why it’s so good too. You know, since this is a blog and it’s not all about visual demonstrations of my love.

I will start by saying it was amazing. The hype was well deserved. It's the kind of book you want to hug close because it's so good and you want to hug it close. I always thought the first Tessa Dare book I read was my favourite (romancing the Duke) but I do believe this may have taken that top spot because it was just that good and I pinpoint the reason I loved it easily: Ash.

Don't get me wrong, I adored Emma. She was a tough headstrong woman who didn't allow her father determine her path in life. She struggled to get to where she was at the beginning of the book and she fought throughout the book to remain independent as she had grown accustomed. She had hang-ups ups and flaws but she was funny and fought and teased Ash and made him accept a love he didn't know he wanted and didn't think he deserved and I adored that about her. You couldn't not love her... but Ash was a precious angel.

Ash made me smile in his grumpiness and when he was despairing at being a monster and ashamed of the scars which made him I wanted him to get his happily ever after. I laughed at his various hilarious Shakespearean swear words and I just adored him. His wit was brilliant. I love a good romance with banter. Also, Ash was a genuinely good person, no matter how hard he tried to hide it. He cared about those around him, no matter how he tried to hide that fact.

I suppose folks want to hear about the story, not just the characters. I have to say he didn't have the usual ending and some might call it ridiculous. Normally, there is a big moment which splits the couple apart for a time but once Emma and Ash were together no matter their arguments they never felt like they weren't together. Their insecurities raised their heads a couple of times but I could tell they would be together and even their own doubts wouldn't last for long.

Basically, this book is wonderful. Read it. Repeatedly. This book has earned a place as a comfort read for me.

What’s your favourite Tessa Dare book? And do you have a favourite historical romance?

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