The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Also in this series: The Duchess Deal, The Governess Game
Publication Date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
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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…
The Duke of Ashbury is contemplating his upcoming marriage and how he’ell go about finding a bride when Emma Gladstone, seamstress, walks into his study in a wedding gown. She’s fearless when she asks him for payment for the dress. His former fiancé had ordered the dress but when she broke her engagement to the Duke she refused to pay for it. While Ashbury is proposing marriage, Emma is trying her hardest to just get the money so that she can get out of there, which she finally does.
The Duke, however, doesn’t give up on Emma and soon their actually married. There are a couple of reasons that Emma wants to marry the Duke and one of those is to help her friend who is single but finds herself in the family way. She figures once she get pregnant and the Duke sends her off to the country house she’ll take her friend with her and then the girl can give the child up for adoption. Simple. Yeah, not so simple. Emma doesn’t get pregnant right away and then if seems as if the Duke won’t send her to the country after all. On top of that Emma finds herself falling in love with the growly man and doesn’t want to be sent away. But how can she stay with the man she loves and still help her friend? Emma will find a way.
This was a great story, I must say. I love Dare’s writing and I love the sense of humor that she instills in her characters. In this book Ashbury has a very dry wit and he never hesitates to bring it forth. I loved the banter between Ash and Emma and wanted more and more.
Emma’s plan to help her friend seemed a little feeble to start off with but her intentions were good. She’d been kicked out by her father just by being caught with a man – she was afraid of what her friend would go through if she told about the baby. I could understand why she did it but it still seemed a bit pie in the sky but she had a good heart.
Ash had been hurt and burned in the war and had hidden himself away. He was jilted by his fiancé who couldn’t bear to look at him and that’s where he ended up coming up with the “rules” that he gives Emma. Once he’s with her his thoughts fly away and he wants to keep her closer – he falls in love. The pair of them have some oh-so-steamy sex and wow – Dare was in top form when she wrote those scenes. Wow.
Overall the book had all the things I like – humor, witty banter, serious situations and great sex. What more could I ask for?
Rating: 4.5 out of 5