Lana, Geri & Jenn swoon over THE DUCHESS DEAL by @TessaDare ‏

THE DUCHESS DEAL
Review: Girl Meets Duke #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Tessa Dare
Release Date: August 22, 2017

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…

AMAZON | iBOOKS

LANA’S REVIEW

Emma Gladstone had learned a few hard lessons by the age of two-and-twenty. Charming princes weren’t always what they seemed. Shining armor went out of fashion with the Crusades. And if fairy godmothers existed, hers was running several years late. Most of the time, a girl needed to rescue herself.

Is it possible for my swoons to have swoons? Because I’m pretty sure they all mated together in a swooning frenzy and had swoon babies. I mean all of the swoons! ALL OF THEM!!!! This book was everything. EVERYTHING. It was romance perfection. I think my goosebumps had swoons, for goodness sake. No really. I’m not exaggerating even a little. This book was a little peace of romantic heaven. It was everything I love about a great romance; great banter, humor, sizzling steam, and two main characters that you can’t but help and fall head over heals for.

Emma Gladstone

Complexion: cream. Lips: rose petals. Lashes: sable. Backbone: steel.

I. Loved. Her. Here’s a woman that didn’t live an easy life. Not even close. And yet she never loses her fire, her sparkle, her incredibly gentle heart. When she faces down a broody duke in order to receive payment for a dress she made for his ex fiancé, the last thing she expects is a proposition of her own. The man is impossibly stubborn, grumpy, with a penchant to blasphemy in the most creative of fashions, and perhaps slightly deranged…

Are you—” There seemed no way to say it but to say it. “Your Grace, are you trying to get me into your bed?”
“Yes. Nightly. I said as much, not a minute ago. Are you listening at all?”
“Listening, yes,” she muttered to herself. “Comprehending, no.”
“I’ll have my solicitor draw up the papers.” He returned to his place behind the desk. “We can do it on Monday.”
“Your Grace, I don’t—”
“Tuesday, then.”
“Your Grace, I cannot—”
“Well, I’m afraid my schedule is quite booked for the rest of the week.” He flipped through the pages of an agenda. “Brooding, drinking, indoor badminton tournament…”

The Duke of Ashbury has returned from the war, a scarred, shell of a man he once was. A monster he no longer recognizes in the mirror. But a duke needs an heir, and to get an heir, he needs a wife, and to get a wife, well…he needs a miracle. When the beautiful Emma comes charging into his house, he believes she holds the answers to everything he desires. But what he doesn’t expect is for the witty beauty to tilt his world on its axis.

she tucked a stray wisp of dark hair behind her ear. Then she licked her fingertip and turned the page. His knees buckled. In his mind, he scrambled to piece that half second into a lasting memory. The crook of her slender finger. The red pout of her lips. That fleeting, erotic glimpse of pink. She did it again. Ash gripped the doorjamb so hard, his knuckles lost sensation.
He wanted her to read the whole cursed book while he watched. He wanted the book to have a thousand pages.

The chemistry between these two was instant and fiery. I couldn’t get enough of it. Their banter, their daily push and pull of Emma attempting to break through his walls and Ash retreating further behind them. I loved it so hard. I loved Emma’s backbone and take charge attitude. She was no wilting wallflower but there was also this endearing softness to her. It wasn’t long before everything about her began to tear down the walls that Ash has built around himself and questions everything he once thought. I loved watching that wall of his break down slowly. I loved the way that Emma slowly but surely healed his heart even though she couldn’t heal his scars. I love that he was the most perfectly imperfect hero. There was something so completely endearing about the man. GAH.

You are wet, and you are cold. You don’t like being cold. Therefore, I despise you being cold. I would go about murdering raindrops and setting fire to the clouds, but that would take slightly more than an hour. Perhaps even two. So we’re here, and you will cease complaining about it.”

This book is why I read romance. I can’t believe this is my first Tessa Dare book and I plan on rectifying this immediately. I loved every chapter, every page, every word. If you’re a fan of swoony and steamy historical romance with incredibly vivid and multi-layered characters, this is simply not to be missed!


GERI’S REVIEW

This was one of swooooooooooniest book I’ve read this year. The only other books that can compare in terms of the swoon factor was the Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas and The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean. All three are historicals and all three worked like a charm.

War had taught him two things. First, life was fleeting. Second, duty wasn’t.

The hero, the Duke of Ashbury became a recluse and withdrew from society due to the injuries he sustained in the war. His face and his body was so scarred that people turned away from him, and even started calling himself a monster because of the way he looks. Because he a duke, one of his duties was to provide an heir. Something that he was adamant of doing or else his whole estate would be inherited by a cousin who is an irresponsible bloke. He didn’t want the people depending on him to have the misfortune of getting a spendthrift for a lord so he had the motivation to really find a wife and have an heir.

Emma Gladstone is the seamstress tasked to create the wedding gown for the Duke of Ashbury’s mistress until the wedding was called off. Unfortunately, she wasn’t paid. Desperate to get money to pay for her rent, Emma went to the Duke to ask for payment.

I have an unfortunate habit of looking for the best in people, and it makes me blind to their flaws.”

This is where their story begins, and man, what a story it is. What started off as a marriage of convenience turned into one of the most romantic and life-affirming stories I’ve read this year. Their meet-cute was one of the most hilarious I’ve read in a long time. t’s full of lighthearted and funny moments, and the romance is just, ah-mah-zing. I was swooning from beginning to end. Tessa Dare is known for her clever, witty banter and this book is brimming with it.

If you say so, my treasure.”
“I daresay I do, you little baggage.”

Emma is fantastic heroine. Her backstory was really sad and it made her into a person she is. I love how she’s not cowed at all by Ashbury’s appearance and temper. In fact, she revels in it. I enjoyed how she was able to coax her scarred husband out of his shell and made him a better person.

At first, I thought the Duke of Ashbury was going to be just this brooding temperamental one-dimensional character at first. I mean, I love me some grumpy, brooding hero but Ash is so much more than that. His sarcasm, his wit and deadpan humor added so much to what could have been a dreary and bitter character. He does have a chip on his shoulder, something that his character had to deal with throughout the book. But this hero was seriously funny.

And you claim to be feeling this way. Floatish. Singsong-ish. About me.”
She sighed. “Yes.”
“That’s absurd.”
“I know, but I can’t seem to stop it.”

There were some subplots in this book that might feel unnecessary but I thought that they were perfect because they add so much not only to the characters, especially the Duke, but also to the place where the story is set. And these subplots did a great job at setting up future storylines in the series, which is always a win for me.

The Duchess Deal is a book that you read in one sitting. Once you open it, good luck to your chores or doing anything else because all you’d want to do is read straight through. I had a biggest smile on my face reading this book. It’s romantic and full of characters that you can embrace and root for. So well done!

If you leave, I will follow. Do you hear me? I will follow and find you and cart you home.”


JENN’S REVIEW

I begged for this ARC. Literally. And I’m not even sorry. Was I surprised by how much I loved this book? Absolutely not. I will always love Tessa Dare….always. I always giggle in her books. I always swoon in her books. There is almost always a hate-to-love relationship, which is perfection for me. The Quirk! The Dry Humor! The Witty Dialogue! ALWAYS!

 always GIF

SWOONS!

All the swoons!

Did I say swoons? Oh yeah, I did!

à la Mode St. » fashion

“You are wet, and you are cold. You don’t like being cold. Therefore, I despise you being cold. I would go about murdering raindrops and setting fire to the clouds, but that would take slightly more than an hour. Perhaps even two. So we’re here, and you will cease complaining about it.”

à la Mode St. » fashionEmma. Complexion: cream. Lips: rose petals. Lashes: sable. Backbone: steel. A seamstress, not only in deed, but also in heart. This is what she loves to do. In seeking out payment for a discarded fiance’s dress, Emma goes to the formerly intended groom for payment of the dress she made, which happens to be Ashbury. He needs a wife, so he proposes a marriage of convenience. These two are so different that at first, she doesn’t even believe him. Even after getting married, these two find it very difficult to get along (Ugh. I love it.).

Ashbury. What a brooding, scarred, perfect character. He is VERY scarred from a war injury. And jaded. And ill-tempered. And I love him. What can I say? He’s an asshole, and this dirty girl loves her assholes. He needs a wife to make an heir….and that’s pretty much it. He doesn’t believe anyone will truly desire him because of his disfigurement. I love scarred heroes so much. They are always assholes. yes yeah nod cowboy clint eastwood GIFThis book definitely had a slow burn. Ash promises to visit her bedroom every night (in the dark so she cannot see his scars) in order to conceive as quickly as possible. Of course, things take an unexpected turn into awkwardness and it doesn’t go as planned. Both Emma and Ash have their own insecurities (but still being awesome and not whiny bitches), so they vow to themselves and each other to not get attached and to take precautions so that emotions don’t get involved in their marriage. (Psh! Please. Who are they kidding? Am I right?)

 yes yes gif yes gifs GIFà la Mode St. » fashion

As he stood in the doorway watching, she tucked a stray wisp of dark hair behind her ear. Then she licked her fingertip and turned the page.

His knees buckled. In his mind, he scrambled to piece that half second into a lasting memory. The crook of her slender finger. The red pout of her lips. That fleeting, erotic glimpse of pink.

She did it again.

Ash gripped the doorjamb so hard, his knuckles lost sensation.

He wanted her to read the whole cursed book while he watched.

He wanted the book to have a thousand pages.

à la Mode St. » fashionWhat I love the most about Tessa Dare’s books?

EVERYTHING.


 

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