Author: Tessa Dare

Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Posted September 1, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa DareReviewer: Rowena
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Also in this series: The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars


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 Duchess Deal is the first book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series and I adored this book. It’s got Dare’s classic humor and seriously, her writing style never fails to wrap me up in feels.

This book follows the Duke of Ashbury as he marries Emma Gladstone, a young woman down on her luck but determined to brave things out. Ash thinks it’s fate that brought them together since he had literally just written down that he needed a wife and a woman comes into his office dressed as a bride. How can they not be together, right? Sure, the dress is hideous but with his scarred face from the war, beggars can’t be choosers.

From beginning to end, I was locked up in feels. This is probably one of the more swooniest Tessa Dare books that I’ve ever read and I just thought the writing style, the pacing, and just everything was spot on. Aside from the feels, this book was funny. Both the hero and the heroine have such great dialogue together. I loved seeing them bicker back and forth until feelings emerged between them and I really enjoyed their story as a whole.

Ash was such a surly hero and I thought that I would not like him because he was such a bulldozer. He went out of his way to be mean and sarcastic and even though there were times when I wanted to kick him, I still loved the hell out of him. There’s a balance to his character that really worked for me and Dare could have easily crossed the line with his character but doesn’t. For me, he was the right amount of mean and swoon-worthy that I was able to see past his shortcomings.

Emma was a fantastic heroine that I completely connected with. Her fierce determination to make it in a world that isn’t easy for women to succeed in was admirable. I loved seeing her figure things out, make the best of her situation, fight for what she thought was right and I really loved seeing her go toe to toe with Ash. She stood her ground when it was needed but she wasn’t hard.

I thought the romance between Ash and Emma was a lot steamier than what I’m used from Tessa Dare. I loved it. I loved seeing them grow to love each other and I really enjoyed seeing them work toward their happy ending. It wasn’t easy but man was it worth it.

This is another winner for me. Tessa Dare really know what she’s doing with writing these historical romances. She writes all around fantastic romances with characters that are strong and memorable. I’m eager for the next book in this series. I totally recommend this book.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Posted August 21, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa DareReviewer: Tracy
The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Also in this series: The Duchess Deal
Published by Avon
Publication Date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

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

four-half-stars


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Review: Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

Posted September 20, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa DareReviewer: Rowena
Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare
Series: Spindle Cove #5
Also in this series: Lord Dashwood Missed Out
Published by Avon
Publication Date: September 27th 2016
Pages: 272
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.•Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan?•Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall?•Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit … and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?

Tessa Dare delivers another fabulous historical romance that had me captivated from the very first page. She writes such wonderful romances that really grab at readers and she did it with ease here. Every word moved the story along and I felt every emotion that both main characters felt throughout the course of this book. So good!

Charlotte Highwood is the youngest Highwood sister and she had plans. Plans that did not include getting caught with Lord Granville and being forced into a marriage neither of them wanted. She just wanted to talk to Lord Granville, let him know that she had no plans to trap him into marriage and to also warn him about her Mother and how he was to stay far away from her. She’s pissed to high heaven that her plans went up in flames by a scandal that wasn’t even hers. Well, wasn’t entirely hers. She’s not going to give in without a fight and if she can just figure out who was getting down in that room, she can clear her and Piers name and they won’t have to get married. She can save him from being forced to marry her and she can save herself to find and fall in love with the man she was meant to marry.

Charlotte was just as awesome as I was hoping she’d be. I’ve always like her from the early Spindle Cove books and was super excited when I found out she was finally old enough to get her own book. She was so nosy and yet so funny and she was all that and then some in Do You Want to Start a Scandal. Her personality shined so brightly and honestly, she was everything in this book. She made me happy, she made me sad but oh man in the end, I felt like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire.

Piers was great too. I loved watching him fall in love with Charlotte, completely confused while it was all happening. When he said:

“What are you doing to me?” he murmured.

He was so confused about her and everything he was feeling about her. I loved it all. I loved seeing him crumble to pieces toward her. I loved how deeply and how fast he fell for her. I mean, sure he pissed me off a bit when he tried to manage her, manipulate her into seeing things his way but he more than made up for that when all was said and done. His love for Charlotte was as deep and her love for him was. The epilogue made me happy sigh because gah. I loved these two.

Tessa Dare always serves up great characters and witty dialogue with spicy scenes that I love each and every single time. She doesn’t disappoint with this latest book in the Spindle Cove series. This was a good one. I definitely recommend it.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare

Posted January 11, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa DareReviewer: Rowena
Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare
Series: Spindle Cove #4.5
Also in this series: Do You Want to Start a Scandal
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
Pages: 144
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!

Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. Lord Dashwood Missed Out was a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.

And he finally seems to have noticed her.

George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir--only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen. Lord Dashwood Missed Out, his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.

She has one night.

I heart Tessa Dare. I also heart her Spindle Cove series and I didn’t know much I missed her characters from that series until I read this novella.

The women of Spindle Cove are preparing for an author’s reading at the library and they’re all excited. You see, the author is a young woman named Miss Elinora Browning who wrote a book called Lord Ashwood Missed Out. It’s a story about a young lady who fell in love with the dashing Lord Ashwood and he left without farewell and broke her heart. Her story became quite popular and now she’s got speaking engagements and is traveling around, making quite a living as a young authoress.

She’s on her way to Spindle Cove when the weather takes a turn for the worse and the only coach available is a private coach with someone already on board…and that person is none other than Lord Ashwood, I mean Lord Dashwood. The villain in her story. Haha. It’s like karma is out for blood because not only is she stuck on a coach with a very pissed of man, they fall into a ditch and the wheel breaks and so they have to find some place to hide out TOGETHER until the morning and the weather clears, so they can fix the wheel and continue on to Spindle Cove. To say that things got real interesting, real fast is an understatement.

As entertaining as the main romance was, I’ve got to be honest and say that I was much more interested in what the old characters were doing, namely – the men. Holy cow, I didn’t realize how much I missed Colin Sandhurst until he started talking in this book. I laughed like a crazy person every time the men came onto the scene. When they go out in the bad weather to track down the author and escort her to Spindle Cove, I could not stop laughing. The name they came up with for themselves? Holy cow, I laughed so much.

I’d definitely recommend this book to fans of the series and to fans of Tessa Dare in general. She’s a fantastic writer and though this isn’t my favorite book by her, it’s still a treat. Colin’s book is on my to be re-read this year list. I can’t wait!

4 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

Posted August 24, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa DareReviewer: Rowena
When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After #3
Published by Avon, Harper Collins
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shy, pretty, and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter . . . and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He's wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters . . . and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.

Tessa Dare strikes again!

I knew that I was going to enjoy this one and I wasn’t disappointed. Tessa Dare delivers yet another historical romance that touched my heart, made me laugh and made fall in love with both the hero and the heroine. She’s proven time and time again that she deserves to be on my auto-buy list and she proved it yet again with this one.

Miss Madeline Gracechurch is shy. Painfully shy. So much so that being in a crowd gives her anxiety and when she’s of age to come out and have her season, she’s terrified. She doesn’t like attention and being in crowds makes her want to vomit so it doesn’t come as a surprise that she lies to get out of attending balls and participate in her season. The lie? Oh, only that she already met the man of her dreams, her future husband, Captain Logan MacKenzie but he’s fighting in the war so she can’t marry him right now. She’s going to wait for him. To keep up pretenses, Madeline starts writing letters to Captain Logan MacKenzie and what started off as something to get people off her back turns into a huge lie that goes on for years. The lie gets to big that it takes on a life of its own. She gets a castle for her efforts in keeping up the charade but when Captain Logan Mackenzie shows up at her castle door and wants to make good on the promises they made to each other…Madeline is confused and terrified at the same time.

Captain Logan Mackenzie has waited years to find out who the lying Miss Gracechurch is. He pictured her as a plain, bratty young woman but the woman he was expecting was not the woman he got. Even though he’s never laid eyes on this woman, she’s got something he wants and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it.

Including marrying the lying little wench.

Being in the army wasn’t easy for Logan and it wasn’t easy for the men that he led into battle. Everything that they were promised upon their return to their home of Scotland was not waiting for them after the war and in an effort to take care of his men, he takes them to Madeline’s castle and takes up residence.

Seeing these two battle wits at the same time that they were battling their own battles made for an entertaining read. I loved seeing Madeline and Logan come together. It wasn’t love at first sight. Their love grew over time and overcame a whole lot of obstacles and I enjoyed every minute of their story. Their romance was fun and steamy and everything I’ve come to love from Tessa Dare’s books and I just really liked it all.

I loved both Logan and Madeline but I also loved the secondary characters as well. Madeline’s Aunt was great fun and so was Logan’s men. They were all fleshed out characters that stood out and they were fun to get to know. I’m really thirsty for more from this series and I hope we’ll get some more. This series is great!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-half-stars


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