cover image The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke, Book 1

The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke, Book 1

Tessa Dare. Avon, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-234906-4

Dare’s delightful Girl Meets Duke series commencement unites two wounded souls in Regency England, as a duke meets his match in a seamstress. The Duke of Ashbury desperately needs an heir, and he decides to ask seamstress Emma Gladstone to be his wife after she demands payment for his former fiancé’s wedding gown. Ashbury admires Emma’s pluck and beauty, and hopes that his very businesslike offer of marriage and property will help Emma overlook his scars (which he feels are hideous) long enough to provide him with an heir. But Ashbury doesn’t anticipate Emma’s ability to stand up to him and insist that they have dinner together and converse. Emma refuses to be intimidated by Ashbury, displaying the confidence and intellectual ability to engage him in lighthearted banter. Their love scenes are both sensuous and alluring. Emma isn’t fearful of her own desires and often leaves the duke flummoxed by her willingness to show her love for him. Dare (Do You Want to Start a Scandal) perfectly crafts an ever-present romantic tension that propels the novel swiftly forward to its breathless conclusion. (Sept.)