Review and a Giveaway: One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare

Posted June 1, 2010 by Holly in Reviews | 41 Comments

Review and a Giveaway: One Dance with a Duke by Tessa DareReviewer: Holly
One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare
Series: Stud Club #1
Also in this series: Twice Tempted by a Rogue, Three Nights with a Scoundrel

Publication Date: May 25th 2010
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

In One Dance with a Duke—the first novel in Tessa Dare’s delightful new trilogy—secrets and scandals tempt the irresistible rogues of the Stud Club to gamble everything for love. A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members—yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight.” Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke—until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries her luck.
In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?
From the Paperback edition.

Spencer Dumarque, the Duke of Morland, has garnered a reputation for himself. Every night at the stroke of midnight he shows up at a ball, dances one dance with one girl, escorts her to dinner, then leaves. Thus society is totally smitten with him. They’ve dubbed him The Duke of Midnight.  Lady Amelia d’Orsay has dubbed him something else, however..a cad.

Spencer is a member of the exclusive Stud Club. But he isn’t satisfied with owning one-tenth of the stud horse the club is named after. He won’t settle for less than full ownership. Unfortunately for Lady Amelia and her family, the coins can’t be sold or given away – they must be won in a game of chance. Her brother was lucky enough to gain one of these coins, and unlucky enough to lose it – along with a considerable sum of money – to Morland. Desperate to get him to release the debt, Amelia claims Spencer’s midnight dance..and sets off an entirely unexpected chain of events.

Shortly thereafter The Stud Club’s founder, Leo, is found murdered and Spencer and Amelia set off break the news to his twin sister. The other remaining members of the club, Rhys St. Maur and Julian Bellamy, decide someone must marry Leo’s sister as a way to protect her. Julian can’t because he doesn’t consider himself his equal. Rhys refuses for his how reasons. That leaves Spencer. Only Spencer isn’t interested in marrying anyone. Or is he. Because though he can’t imagine marrying Leo’s sister, the more he thinks about it, the more he realizes Amelia is everything he wants in a wife. Of course, convincing her might be more trouble that it’s worth, but once Spencer makes up his mind he isn’t easily deterred.

Amelia was very refreshing as a heroine. She was thisclose to being on the shelf, so she was somewhat more mature as a woman. I really liked that she was so practical and down to earth. She wasn’t a simpering miss, convinced love is the only answer to everything. She knew she wouldn’t get a better offer of marriage, and though Spencer wasn’t exactly what she’d always been dreaming of, she was practical enough to accept this was the best thing for her. She showed strength and depth of character.

Spencer was a coarse man. Or maybe plain-speaking is a better way to put it. He said what was on his mind and often alienated others – including Amelia – because of the way he put things. But he was strong and sensitive, even if he didn’t always show it. I really adored him. Both he and Amelia were flawed and that made their coming together all the more real.

While I loved most if it, I’m really struggling to come to terms with the actions of the heroine at the end of the book. Both protagonists made mistakes throughout, but I don’t understand why the heroine made the choice she did at the very end. Throughout the book I adored her, but there at the end I found myself questioning her feelings for the hero. She truly didn’t seem to care for him as much as he did her, by thought or deed.

Otherwise I really loved it. The story itself was wonderfully told and the characters were beautifully drawn. Both were flawed, yet lovable. Though the end marred my overall enjoyment somewhat, I still have to say this was a fabulous novel in what looks to be a promising trilogy. I’m anxious to start the next one.

4.25 out of 5

The Series:

One Dance with a Duke
Twice Tempted by a Rogue
Three Nights with a Scoundrel

I have an extra copy this book. If you’d like a chance to win, leave a comment on this post telling us why you want to read it, and we’ll enter your name in the drawing. Contest ends Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 11:59 p.m.

This book is available from Ballantine. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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41 responses to “Review and a Giveaway: One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare

  1. Thank you for your great review! I have read much praise for Tessa Dare’s work, but I have yet to read one of her books. I would love to start with “One Dance With a Duke”!

    US Resident, Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  2. This book is on my to-buy list. i have read Tessa Dare’s first trilogy and enjoyed it so I will be definitely reading this one too. Love the name of the series The Stud Club and also the promotional video Tessa filmed in her kids’ room :). I am glad you gave it a good rating.

    Would love to win!

  3. I’ve wanted to read this book since I saw Dare’s very clever trailer for it. Anyone with that kind of sense of humor must be an awesome author. Thanks for the contest.

  4. Oooooo, Tessa Dare books are yummy. I loved the first series and this looks like a great set of books. There are a number of great writers that have focused on male heroes — friends, war-buddies, brothers, same family — all are so good. What’s not to like in a Tessa Dare book? Would love to be considered for the give-away.

  5. This is one of those books my mom always reads when she’s given boxes of books from the neighbor.
    I know she’d love it. I like them too. But I like to win and gift them to her or my husband too whatever fits who best.

    Thanks for the great giveaways!

  6. I loved Goddess of the Hunt and I like the premise behind this one. Plus her promo video was just hilarious and made me want to read the whole trilogy.

    jen at delux dot com

  7. Great review. I haven’t read any of Tessa Dare’s books and this sounds like a really good one to start with. Thanks for the giveaway.

    forwhlz at gmail dot com

  8. thanks for the review holly 🙂

    i too haven’t read tessa dare but your review and the excerpts you posted really makes me want to read this one. hmmm… also i’m really curious at what she did in the end that made you question her feelings. lol tidbits like that in reviews makes me curious all the more.

  9. Great review!

    This book is on my list for my next visit to the bookstore. Why I want to read this book is simple: the book trailer for the trilogy. How can I possibly pass this series up?

    Plus, I like horses and if there is a dog in the story, I’d run to the store right now!

  10. Chelsea B.

    Man all these posts are making me want to run out to the store right now (at 1:36am, mind you) and pick me up a copy! Cannot wait to read it!

  11. tradingaddress

    Thanks for the chance to win. I want to read this book because it’s from my favorite genre, historical romance.

    tradingaddress at gmail dot com

  12. Really enjoyed the interview!

    I’ve read and enjoyed Tessa’s other books so looking forward to any of her new releases. The blurb sounded awesome and can’t wait to get a hold of it.

    Pam S

  13. Natasha

    I would so love to read this! All the excerpts are great!

    I enjoyed Goddess of the Hunt by the same author. I think I’ll enjoy this series too!

  14. Tessa is one of my most recent finds that has me excited when she releases a new book. I love the banter between her characters and the combustion between her h/h before they even kiss. Love her books so far and would love to get in on this new series.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  15. big fan of tessa and I loved her first series and so I can’t wait to read her new one.


  16. Ina

    Hi there!
    thanks for the great interview – I’ve all her books and now I can’t wait to read that one!
    greetings, Ina

  17. I’d like to read this book, because I’ve never read one by this author before. It sounds really good and I think I would enjoy reading it. Please enter me. Thanks!


  18. I so loved her first trilogy and this excerpt makes me want to read her new book this very moment! Please enter me! Thanks!

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