Blog Tour Book Review: The Duchess Deal – Tessa Dare

I was thrilled when Mills and Boon asked if I would like to be part of this blog tour for Tessa Dare’s brilliant book, The Duchess Deal, and on publication day! I’ve been lucky enough to be supported by some wonderful book bloggers on my own tours, so it’s been great to see it from the other side, as it were. I always knew it was a lot of work, but have even more respect for the all that goes in to them now.

I was sent this book by Mills and Boon a little while ago, and as a historical romance is not something I’d usually choose, I didn’t read it straight away. One afternoon, I casually picked it up and from that moment, I really didn’t want to put it down!

To give you a taste of why not, read on for the full review, and an extract of the book which is published today! You can buy it here Don’t forget to leave a review if you have a minute. We authors rather depend on them, so if you could it  would be fabulously helpful and will help spread the word about this great book!

Review

This is the first Tessa Dare that I’ve read – but it certainly won’t be the last. Although I love the Regency period, I’m not sure this was something I would have picked up especially, but I was sent an advance review copy and I am so glad because I am now looking to read more of this author’s books.

Young seamstress Emma is desperate. About to be evicted, she has spent hours stitching a, fairly ghastly, wedding dress only for the society wedding to be cancelled, with Emma being left unpaid. In a last ditch attempt to collect what she is owed, she turns to the would-have-been-groom, the Duke of Ashbury. The Duke, having been burned and scarred badly by a rogue rocket at the Battle of Waterloo is now a recluse – which does nothing for his need to provide an heir for his estate, thereby preventing it falling into his feckless cousin’s hands when he passes. So when Emma is shown in to his study, wearing the evidence of her work, it seems that his requirement for a wife may just have been met…

I absolutely loved this book. Although historical in setting, it has a very contemporary feel to it and I adored the sarcastic humour of the Duke and the sassiness of Emma. I’d definitely recommend it!

5*

 

Extract

A young woman in white strode into the room.

His boot slipped from the desk. He reeled backward and collided with the wall, nearly falling off his chair. A folio of papers tumbled from a nearby shelf, drifting to the floor like snowflakes.

He was blinded.

Not by her beauty—though he supposed she might be beautiful. It wasn’t possible to judge.

Her gown was an eye-stabbing monstrosity of pearls, lace, brilliants, and beads.

Good Lord. He wasn’t accustomed to being in the same room with something even more repulsive than his own appearance.

He propped his right elbow on the arm of his chair and raised his fingertips to his brow, concealing the scars on his face. For once, he wasn’t protecting a servant’s sensibilities or even his

own pride. He was shielding himself from . . . from that.

“I’m sorry to impose on you this way, Your Grace,” the young woman said, keeping her gaze fixed on some chevron of the Persian carpet.

“I should hope you are.” “But you see, I am quite desperate.”

“So I gather.”

“I need to be paid for my labor, and I need to be paid at once.”

Ash paused. “Your . . . your labor.” “I’m a seamstress. I stitched this”—she swept

her hands down the silk eyesore— “for Miss Worthing.”

For Miss Worthing.

Ah, this began to make sense. The white satin atrocity had been meant for Ash’s formerly intended bride. That, he could believe. Annabelle Worthing had always had dreadful taste—both

in gowns and in prospective husbands.

“When your engagement ended, she never sent for the gown. She’d purchased the silk and

lace and such, but she never paid for the labor. And that meant I went unpaid. I tried calling at her home, with no success. My letters to you both went unanswered. I thought that if I appeared

like this”—she spread the skirts of the white gown—“I would be impossible to ignore.”

“You were correct on that score.” Even the good side of his face twisted. “Good Lord, it’s as

though a draper’s shop exploded and you were the first casualty.”

“Miss Worthing wanted something fit for a duchess.”

“That gown,” he said, “is fit for a bawdy-house chandelier.”

“Well, your intended had . . . extravagant preferences.”

He leaned forward in his chair. “I can’t even take the whole thing in. It looks like unicorn

vomit. Or the pelt of some snow beast rumoured to menace the Himalayas.”

She tilted her gaze to the ceiling and gave a despairing sigh.

“What?” he said. “Don’t tell me you like it.”

“It doesn’t matter whether it suits my tastes, Your Grace. I take pride in my handiwork regardless, and this gown occupied months of it.”

Now that the shock of her revolting attire had worn off, Ash turned his attention to the young woman who’d been devoured by it.

She was a great improvement on the gown.

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

Backbone: steel.

 

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