Hello Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well?! Here it is the final ten book in my 50 Favourite Historical Romances, thank you for tagging along as I share my ultimate favourite books from this wide and varied genre. I hope you have enjoyed this series of posts and that you have found a few new romances to fall in love with and a new author or two. I could do this series all over again as I have at least another 50 more books I love, but for now, without further ado or waffle here is my fina ten favourite historical romances.
Part Five in my; 50 Favourite Historical Romances.
The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper (Captivating Captains #1) by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead
As the Great War tears Europe apart, two men from different worlds find sanctuary in each other’s arms.
Captain Robert Thorne is the fiercest officer in the regiment. Awaiting the command to go to the front, he has no time for simpering, comely lads. That’s until one summer day in 1917 when his dark, flashing eye falls upon the newest recruit at Chateau de Desgravier, a fresh-faced farmer’s boy with little experience of life and a wealth of poetry in his heart.
Trooper Jack Woodvine has a way with strong, difficult stallions, and whispers them to his gentle will. Yet even he has never tamed a creature like Captain Thorne.
With the shadow of the Great War and the scheming of enemies closer to home threatening their fleeting chance at happiness, can the Captain and the Cavalry Trooper make it home safely? More importantly, will they see peacetime together?
Severed Knot by Cryssa Bazos
Barbados 1652. In the aftermath of the English Civil War, the vanquished are uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth.
When marauding English soldiers descend on Mairead O’Coneill’s family farm, she is sold into indentured servitude. After surviving a harrowing voyage, the young Irish woman is auctioned off to a Barbados sugar plantation where she is thrust into a hostile world of depravation and heartbreak. Though stripped of her freedom, Mairead refuses to surrender her dignity.
Scottish prisoner of war Iain Johnstone has descended into hell. Under a blazing sun thousands of miles from home, he endures forced indentured labour in the unforgiving cane fields. As Iain plots his escape to save his men, his loyalties are tested by his yearning for Mairead and his desire to protect her.
With their future stolen, Mairead and Iain discover passion and freedom in each other’s arms. Until one fateful night, a dramatic chain of events turns them into fugitives.
Together they fight to survive; together they are determined to escape
The Inconvenient Elmswood Marriage (Penniless Brides of Convenience #4)
Their marriage was a solution…
Until passion turns it into a problem!
Lord and Lady Elmswood’s convenient marriage has allowed them to live separate lives for years. Until larger-than-life Daniel almost dies and Kate must nurse the husband she barely knows back to health…and discover how maddeningly attractive he is! With the clock ticking on his departure, they disagree on everything – except the impossibility of resisting each other!
The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels #6) by Kerrigan Byrne
The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…
He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…
A LEGENDARY LOVE
Lorelei will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?
Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal (Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies #2) by Lara Temple
Alan Rothwell, Marquess of Ravenscar, is furious when unconventional heiress Lily Wallace refuses him purchase of her property. He can’t even win her over with his infamous charm.
But when fever seizes him and they’re trapped together, horrified, Alan realizes Lily’s attentions will compromise them both! His solution: take Lily as his betrothed before desire consumes them completely…
Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways #2) by Lisa Kleypas
He has tried hard to forget her.
Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation… and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate.
Can she remember the man he once was?
Then, Win returns to England… only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. But first, he must confront a dangerous secret about his destiny—or risk losing the only woman he has lived for…
A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove #1) by Tessa Dare
Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are… nowhere to be found. Or are they?
Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.
Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn’t belong here. So far as he can tell, there’s nothing in this place but spinsters… and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It’s a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram’s makeshift army.
Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle… but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?
The Mysterious Miss Fairchild by Sarah Mallory
An accomplished beauty…
But a most unsuitable match!
Natalya Fairchild can’t help but be drawn to Tristan Quintrell, Lord Dalmorren, with his effortless charisma, even if he’s not her intended bridegroom. Tristan is an eligible society catch…whereas Natalya’s unknown heritage could label her ruined! As he helps Natalya investigate her mysterious past, she starts to hope the truth of her conception won’t destroy her prospects…of a life with Tristan!
The Saxon Outlaw’s Revenge by Elisabeth Hobbes
At the mercy of her enemy!
Abducted by Saxon outlaws, Constance Arnaud comes face-to-face with Aelric, a Saxon boy she once loved. He’s now her enemy, but Constance must reach out to this rebel and persuade him to save her life as she once saved his
Aelric is determined to seek vengeance on the Normans who destroyed his family. Believing Constance deserted him, he can never trust her again. Yet, as they are thrown together and their longing for each other reignites, will Aelric discover that love is stronger than revenge?
Rogue Knight (Medieval Warriors #2) by Regan Walker
York, England 1069… three years after the Norman Conquest. The North of England seethes with discontent under the heavy hand of William the Conqueror, who unleashes his fury on the rebels who dare to defy him. Amid the ensuing devastation, love blooms in the heart of a gallant Norman knight for a Yorkshire widow.
Angry at the cruelty she has witnessed at the Normans’ hands, Emma of York is torn between her loyalty to her noble Danish father, a leader of the rebels, and her growing passion for an honorable French knight.
Loyal to King William, Sir Geoffroi de Tournai has no idea Emma hides a secret that could mean death for him and his fellow knights.
War erupts, tearing asunder the tentative love growing between them, leaving each the enemy of the other. Will Sir Geoffroi, convinced Emma has betrayed him, defy his king to save her?
You can find all books featured in this post on Amazon or your own favourite book-buying site. I also want to urge everyone to support their local independent book shops, most of which are delivering directly to your door.
So there you have it, my 50 Favourite Historical Romances, do have a look at the previous posts for the full 50 and I will be back sometime in the near future with my 50 Favourite Historical Fiction Novels – that is once I have whittled the huge list down, becasue that list is huge.
#BlogTour | The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke #3) by Tessa Dare #Review & #Excerpt #TheWallflowerWager #MillsandBoonInsiders @TessaDare @MillsandBoon
Hello my wonderful friends, have I been excited about this book, or what? And finally The Wallflower Wager has come to Chicks Rogues and Scandals…..I feel like dancing with joy! I am so excited to be sharing my review of this gorgeous book with you all and I have an exclusive (no spoilers) excerpt for you all to devour, so grab a cuppa and a snack of your choice and enjoy.
They call him the Duke of Ruin.
To an undaunted wallflower, he’s just the beast next door.
Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society―and now he wants to get even.
Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.
When her imposing―and attractive―new neighbour demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.
Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?
And a two-legged dog.
And a foul-mouthed parrot.
And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog…
Soon, cold-hearted Gabriel, who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse, is covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable animals, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.
Not if he ruins her first.
“Stop,” she said with perfect calm. “Don’t move.”
He heard a strange flutter, and in the next moment it happened.
A bird landed on his shoulder. A parrot, she’d said? The creature’s toes prickled along his skin. His muscle twitched with the urge to shrug it off.
“No, don’t,” she said. “I’ll come for her.”
Usually, Gabe would balk at taking orders from a lady – or anyone else. However, this was a decidedly unusual situation.
“Pretty Girl,” the bird squawked.
Gabe set his jaw. Do you think I haven’t noticed that, you cursed pigeon with pretensions?
She crept towards him, padding noiselessly over the carpet, step by silent step. And as she came, sweet words fell from her lips like drops of raw honey.
“That’s it, darling,” she murmured.
The fine hairs on the back of his neck lifted.
The hairs on his arms lifted, too.
“Yes,” she breathed. “Just like that.”
Now she had the hairs on his calves involved. Damn it, he had too many hairs. By the end of this they would all be standing to attention.
Along with other parts of him.
“Don’t stir.” she said
He couldn’t speak for the parrot, but Gabe was doing some stirring. One part of him had a mind of its own, especially when it came to beautiful women in translucent chemises. He hadn’t lain with a woman in some time, but his body hadn’t forgotten how.
He couldn’t help himself, he stole a glance at her face. Just a half-second’s view. Not long enough to pore over every detail of her features. In fact, he didn’t get any further then her lips. Lips as lush as petals, painted in soft tender pink.
She was so close now. Near enough that when he breathed, he inhaled a lungful of her scent. She smelled delicious. A faint hunger rose in his chest.
“I know you’re feeling lost. And not a little frightened. You miss her terrible, don’t you? But I’m here, darling. I’m here.”
Her words sent a strange ache spreading from his teeth to his toes. A painful awareness of all his hollow, empty spaces.
“Come home with me,” she whispered. “And we’ll sort out the rest together.”
He couldn’t take any more of this. “For God’s sake, get the damned thing off me.”
At last she collected the feathered beast. “There we are.” Cradling it in her arms, she carried the parrot to it’s birdcage and tucked it in.
Gabe exhaled in relief.
“She’d settle more if I covered her cage,” his beautiful intruder said. “I don’t suppose you have a towel?”
He glanced at the linen slung about his hips.
“How badly do you want it?”
Her cheek’s flushed. “Never mind, I’ll be going.”
“I’m going to walk you.”
“Truly, you needn’t do that. It’s only next door. No more than twenty paces down the street.”
“That’s twenty paces too many.”
Gabe might not operate by polite society’s rules, but he understood them sufficiently to know this situation violated at least seventeen of them. And anything that damaged her reputation would decrease the profit he stood to collect on this house.
Until he sold this property, her worth was intertwined with his.
“You’re no doubt accustomed to having your own way, Your Ladyship. But I’ve ruined enough lords, baronets, knights and gentlemen to fill the whole of Bloom Square.” He arched and eyebrow. “Believe me when I say, you’ve met your match.”
Penny watched in silence as the Gabriel Duke turned and stalked to his dressing room.
Then she melted into a quivering pool on the floor.
he’d left the door ajar. As his towel dropped to the floor, she caught a glimpse of taut, muscled backside before tearing her gaze away.
Oh Lord oh Lord oh Lord.
Once she’d latched and re-latched Delilah’s cage for good measure, Penny stood and attempted to piece herself back together.
She glanced hat her dressing gown. The faded toile print was years behind the fashion, and the end of the sash were hopelessly frayed – the casualty of many a playful kittens swipe. And her hair …Oh, she could only imagine the state of her hair after this adventure.
She peered into the dressing-table mirror. Worse then she feared. Her plait made Delilah’s ruffled crest look sleek. Penny quickly unknotted the muslin around her braid and combed her hair with her fingers before re-braiding it and tying it off.
She squinted into the mirror again. Better, she judged. Not a great deal better. But better.
From the dressing room, Mr Duke gave an annoyed groan.
“I’m so sorry for the imposition,” she called “Delilah only came to live in Bloom Square a few weeks ago. Her mistress passed away. Parrot’s are very loyal an intelligent, and they often outlive their human companions. So she’s not only been uprooted from her home, she mourning.”
“I must say she doesn’t sound particularly aggrieved to me.”
“She does say the most amusing things, doesn’t she? ‘Pretty girl’ and ‘yes’, and – Do you hear that one? ‘Fancy a …’ what? I never can catch what she’s saying at the end. It’s not biscuit.’Fancy a cuppa,’ perhaps? But who gives a parrot tea? It sounds like ‘fancy a foxglove,’ but that makes even less sense. I don’t mind saying the mystery is driving me a bit mad.”
She froze. “I’m not that upset about it.”
He returned to the bedchamber, not clothed in a pair of trousers and an unbuttoned shirt.
“It’s what the parrot’s saying. ‘Fancy a fuck, love.’ that bird came from a whore house.”
She spend a few moments in scandalized silence. No one had ever spoken to her in such a manner – but that wasn’t the disturbing part. The disturbing part was that she liked it.
“That can’t be,” she said. “She belonged to a little old lady. That is what I was told.”
“Bawds turn into little old lady’s too.”
“Pretty girl.” Delilah gave a cheeky whistle. “Fancy a f-”
Penny pressed a hand to her mouth. “Oh, no.”
“Yes! Yes! Ooh! Yes!”
Mr. Duke sat to pull on his boots. “Please tell me I don’t need to translate that for you.”
***Excerpt was used with permission from Mills and Boon as apart of this blog tour. ***
Once again Tessa Dare has blown me away with her wonderous way with words, again and again she proves that she is in a whole league of her own when it comes to historical romance, there isn’t a single negative thing that I can say about her work, she is pure class and this one maybe the best I have read to date, it is unbelievably good.
This is the third book in the Girl Meets Duke series, and the best yet, in my personal opinion. What makes this my personal favourite is the fact that our hero is a regular self made man, instead of an aristocrat, he has worked hard to pull himself out of the gutter to become such a powerful tycoon. I don’t anyone who reads my reviews will find that a surprise that I prefer regular Mr. Duke to an actual Duke, but seriously though this man is….well, I think I need a gif to say what I think of Gabe…
Lady Penelope, what a fabulous character she is! From the first page when she was trying to coax a stubborn parrot from the windowsill with a biscuit, I knew that I had found a kindred spirit, she is brilliant, she babbles on from one topic to the next, she loves her animals and will do anything in her power to look after them and she will fight tooth and nail to protect them, she is kind, caring and very misunderstood by the ignorant people of society that find her odd – Penny, you are not odd, you are unique! She has gathered a menagerie of animals a fact that her family are at odds with and soon give her an ultimatum; if she wishes to stay in London and live independently as she is now, then she must be rid of the animals and enter society or she goes home to become the much loathed role of spinster aunt. Enter Gabriel Duke, the notorious Duke of Ruin who has just moved in next door and after an hilarious first encounter offers to help her, but it is while helping her that sparks start to fly and our unlikely duo become more then just ‘acquaintances’
Gabriel Duke, I think you all know what I think of him; sexy, ruthless, protective, brooding, growling, hard-working, self-made man, enthralling, mesmerising…he is just so damn hot, I need a bucket of water thrown over me!! I don’t think I can take the heat that radiates from this testosterone fuelled hulk of a man.
Mmmm!! …..Where was I? Gabe, yes…he has clambered , dragging himself out of the dirt and the gutter to become this powerful, ruthless tycoon who doesn’t take no for an answer. He has just bought the house next door to Penny and plan’s to do it up and sell it for a huge fortune, and he knows that with the house being so close to the beautiful spinster’ Penny he will get so much more for it as every young buck and rogue will want to live next door to her. The only problem with his plan to renovate the house and bring it up to date is none other then the girl next door – if he hasn’t got enough to deal with, now he has to deal with a house full of animals.
This is just so good, the relationship between Penny and Gabe is brilliant, they are laugh out loud funny and the chemistry is off the charts sizzling hot. I loved them because they are so different, I wouldn’t never have believed that they would work as well together as they did.
This is everything that we all have come to love about Tessa Dare books; humour, twists and turns, sexual tension, fabulously engaging plot, gorgeous couple all entwined with that unmistakable Tessa Dare gift for mesmerising story-telling. Honestly I cannot recommend this book enough, it will appeal to all Dare fans and also for those who haven’t read a Tessa Dare book yet – really is there any one out there who hasn’t read on of this fine authors work? – then this is the perfect introduction to her wonderful work.
This was a complimentary copy from the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour, thank you Mills and Boon Insiders.
About the Author
Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty historical romances.
Mixing wit, sensuality, and emotion, Tessa writes Regency-set romance novels that feel relatable to modern readers. With her bestselling “Spindle Cove”, “Castles Ever After”, and “Girl Meets Duke” series, she has had great fun creating heroines who defy the conventions of their time—engaging in “unladylike” pursuits that range from paleontology to beer-making—and dreaming up the strong-willed, sexy heroes who find their hearts ensnared by them.
A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.
Blog Tour Schedule
He’s been a bad, bad rake—and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson
The accidental governess.
After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart… without risking her own.
The infamous rake.
Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling… and he’s in danger of falling, hard.
This is book two in the Girl Meets Duke series, and it is just as wonderfully romantic and engrossing as the previous. Which is exactly what we all have come to expect from Tessa Dare, her skill at crafting a well-rounded, articulate and mesmerizing story is flawless and incomparable. Like every other Tessa Dare book I have read, this is amazing.
This time we meet down on her luck Clock Setter; Alexandra Mountbatten, who is a little down on her luck she has a handful of client’s but not enough to really be comfortable so when she organizes to tend to the clocks at one of the major houses in London she thinks that this will be the job to finally put her on her feet. It just happens that the lord of the manor is the very man she fell head over heels for in an accidental meeting in a book store, he however confuses her presence there as the new governess for his wild wards. One thing leads to another and after an incident she ends up faced with an uncertain future. She reluctantly takes Chase up on his offer of the post of Governess, even though she knows nothing about children.
Alex is a wonderful character, she real pulls you in and you instantly like her, she is warm, head-strong and has a resilient nature, she is hardworking and caring which you really see when she is working her magic on the stubborn, set in his ways Chase. I really like their relationship, he is supremely sexy and a little distant towards life and the way he is so taken with the little, caring Alex is so loving.
Chase wanted nothing more than to wile away his days in pleasure, no attachments, no responsibilities that is until he becomes the reluctant guardian of two practically feral children. I mean it too, these two little girls are wild and unruly, they repeatedly murder their little doll, so they can have a funeral for it every day. Beneath that wild behaviour there are two vulnerable and scared little girls who are confused by what has happened to them. Alex is really the making of them and their randy and somewhat broody guardian; Chase. He see’s himself as nothing but a reckless libertine, who is way out of his depth especially when he meets the intelligent, spirited and no-nonsense Alex.
I love the moment when Alex and Chase first meet, in a book shop. It is very normal, and a lot of people can relate to that moment, Alex has a bit of a tongue tied, clumsy moment in front of a devilishly attractive man with the greenest eyes. I can relate to that, and I can relate to Alex. She is a wonderfully down to earth and practical woman wo knows that life isn’t all beds of roses, it is hard, people struggle, and she is living proof of that. Ms Dare has this gift at creating ordinary, hardworking women who just do what they have to survive, and Alex is no different.
This is what I love about Tessa Dare she grab’s hold of your imagination and takes you on a delightful and endearing journey as we watch two completely different character’s fall in love. The Governess Game is another win, it is beautifully written, captivating with a mesmerizing and tender romance wrapped up with a thrilling and breath-taking story that will engage and enthral readers.
Utterly fabulous, I cannot recommend this highly enough!
This was an ARC copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review
The Governess Game is out today and can be purchased from Amazon.
Praise for The Duchess Deal
‘The irresistibly provocative, classy love scenes set the bar high for other historical romance novels.’
‘This book is funny, it’s charming, and the romance works so beautifully.’
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
‘A rollicking and passionate romp that is just what… fans will relish.’
‘Wickedly funny and soul-satisfyingly romantic novel…’ Booklist
‘Prepare to Fall in Love’
I am a Duke. I’m not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It’s a different thing entirely.’
When the Duke of Ashbury returns from war scarred, he realises he needs an heir – which means he needs a wife! When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress visits wearing a wedding dress, 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 secrets and some rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…
This is just gorgeous! I have been a fan of Ms Dare’s work for a while now, so I knew even before I picked this up that I was going to be in for a treat, and oh, boy! What a treat! This is laced with every emotion that you can think of, it is a ‘Marriage of Convenience’ both characters never went into this marriage with love in their minds they both wanted something from it, he an heir and she to help. But it becomes so much more than that, you know that as soon as the story open’s that there is something very special going to happen with these two and there does. It is as ever so beautifully written, it’s full of angst and the story builds and builds just as the sexual tension between them does until it comes to a too romantic to be true climax. Tessa Dare has a real skill with writing wounded character’s that make you all in love with them and this is by far one her best.
Seamstress Emma Gladstone is on the brink of destitution, her rent is due, and she knows that this time if she can’t pay she will be on the streets. She is desperate she will never go home and beg too much has happened for her to do that – there are too many skeletons in her dark closet, so she does the only thing she can to get the money she needs. Donning the wedding dress, she had been charged to make – the very dress that after hours and hours of pain and expense to make hasn’t been paid for – she goes and bangs on the door of the man whose bill it is to settle; the mighty Duke of Ashbury! But, the Duke has other ideas instead of settling up like a gentleman he gives her a choice – the full amount of what she is owed, there and then in cash or she marry him!
Emma can’t quite believe that he has asked her such a thing, and more than that his adamant that she will accept him. Especially when he turns up at her work – that is such a great scene – actually braving the outside world to come to her and basically tell her that she will be marrying him. Due to personal reasons, not just the fact that she is desperate but also the fact that by marrying the Duke she can help a good friend to avoid scandal, she does marry him – but after he has given her his own conditions of what would happen in their marriage, she presents him with her own conditions.
Conditions to their marriage that not only shocks her by confessing her deepest wishes to him, but also shocks him too that she isn’t as pliable as he first thought her to be.
Ash is needing an heir, he knows that he has to have an heir otherwise his title would pass on to another branch of the family – one he was determined that wouldn’t have his title. So when he first sets eyes on Emma, he is on the verge of asking his man of business to make arrangements to find him a bride when the unbelievably beautiful and proud to a fault woman barges into his office demanding a measly sum of money for a grotesque dress, he knows there and then that he has found his Duchess she is exactly what he needs. She is young, healthy and more importantly she is right there. He knows deep down she will accept him, how could she not? After all she is in need of money and he is a Duke, but he is quite taken back when she does accept him …but with conditions of her own!
Ash is such a fragile man, since he came back from the war severely scarred he has become a sort of recluse, he is ashamed of his appearance he thoroughly believes that no woman would ever love a ‘beast’ of a man like him, so he keeps himself locked up in his big house, becoming more and more depressed. I do like a vulnerable man and Ash is the epitome of vulnerability, he is a brooding hunk of a man that does really need some goodness in his life, he needs to feel loved and he needs to be treated like the good and sensual man we all know he is. This is where the kind, patient and strong Emma comes in, she is exactly what he needs – whether he knows it or not!
I absolutely love the very first scene, when Emma turns up at the Dukes house wearing a wedding dress she has made for his latest lady and demanding payment for it. In that first introduction to Emma you see a strong woman who won’t take no for an answer she is determined, somewhat stubborn, she has got just as much pride as him and she has no intention of leaving his house without payment for the hour’s and hours work she has done on this dress. He pushes and pushes her as he does with everyone, but this little seamstress is unnerved by his demanding presence she, is determined not to be refused. For me those first few pages, that one scene when they meet shows you exactly what these two are about. You know instantly that under both their too proud and business-like exteriors there are wounded hearts that need love and that love is standing right there in front of them. It is terrific intro to both of them and gives way to so much more.
I love this, it’s so romantic and it is a hugely satisfying read. The plot is a simple ‘Marriage of Convenience’ trope where the hero and heroine after a bit of a to-ing and fro-ing they finally get their HEA, but for me what really makes this is Emma and Ash’s budding relationship from the very first moment we meet them you just know that there is something special with these two, the way she brings him back from his dark place and makes him live again is really beautifully done.
I cannot recommend this enough, it is definitely a must read and one that will be read and re-read over and over again.
The Duchess Deal is out now and can be purchased at Amazon. (Links above)
This was a complimentary cop via Mills and Boon as apart of this blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
Emma jumped in her skin and crumpled the sketches into her pocket. “We’re closed.”
The rapping only grew louder. More insistent.
With a sigh, Emma went to the front of the shop. She turned the key in the lock and opened
the door just an inch.
“I’m sorry, I’m afraid we’re shut for the eveni—”
“You’re not shut for me.”
She found herself pushed aside as a man bulled his way through the door. He wore a dark
cape and a tall hat with its brim pulled low, concealing most of his face—but
she knew him at once. Only one man would have behaved in such a presumptuous manner.
The Duke of Ashbury.
“Miss Gladstone.” He inclined his head in the slightest possible nod. “I told you we’d meet
Emma closed the door and turned the key. There was nothing else to do for the moment. She couldn’t leave it ajar and risk being seen alone with a gentleman.
“Your Grace, I can’t admit visitors after hours.”
“I’m not a visitor. I’m a customer.” He strolled around the darkened shop, prodding a headless dressmaking form with his walking stick. “I need a new waistcoat.”
“It’s a dressmaking shop. We don’t offer gentlemen’s attire.”
“Very well, I’m here to order a gown.”
“A gown for whom?”
“What does it matter?” He made an annoyed gesture. “For a particularly ugly woman, approximately my size.”
Good heavens, what could this man be after? Was his mockery yesterday not enough to satisfy him? He couldn’t actually want to retrieve Miss Worthing’s gown.
Whatever his aim, Emma meant to exact a price in return. Today, he was welcome to share
in the humiliation.
She drew a box to the center of the floor—the one ladies stood upon to have their hems
pinned—and waved him toward it. “Up you go, then.”
He stared at her.
“If you want a gown—”
“It’s not that I want a gown.”
“If your very ugly, duke-sized friend wants a gown, I will need measurements. Sleeve, torso,
hem.” She arched an eyebrow. “Bosom.”
There. Surely he would retreat from that.
Instead, the unscarred corner of his mouth tipped with amusement. He set his walking stick
aside. He removed his hat. Then his cloak. Next his gloves. And, finally, his topcoat. Without
breaking her gaze, he stepped onto the box and lifted his arms to either side, palms up. Like an
actor on a stage, expecting applause.
“Well?” he prompted. “I’m waiting.”
Emma retrieved her measuring tape. She’d begun this little farce, and she couldn’t back down from it.
About The Author
Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fourteen historical romance novels and five novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.
Mixing wit, sensuality, and emotion, Tessa writes Regency-set romance novels that feel relatable to modern readers. With her bestselling “Spindle Cove” and “Castles Ever After” series, she has had great fun creating heroines who defy the conventions of their time—engaging in “unladylike” pursuits that range from paleontology to beer-making—and dreaming up the strong-willed, sexy heroes who find their hearts ensnared by them.
A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.
Back Blurb :
Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air and men in their prime are. . .nowhere to be found . . .
Or are they?
Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies; the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.
Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliffe, knows he doesn’t belong here. So far as he can tell there’s nothing in this place but spinsters. . .and sheep. But he has no choice , he has orders to gather a Militia. it’s a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited =, exquisite Susanna finch – a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram’s makeshift army.
Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. the scene is set for an epic battle. . .but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?
My View :
I have read a lot of good reviews about Tessa Dare and I knew that I had to read her work and I am so glad I did because this is just so good, Tessa dare is exactly what I expected and so much more this just pure brilliance. It has everything that I personally look for in a Historical Romance. Enchanting and entertaining story with character’s that are so real and likable and not to mention my personal preference of a solid if flawed and tormented military hero.
Our first encounter of our hero see’s him and his little band marching toward’s the aptly named “Spinster Cover” on his way to see the local gentry to try to regain his place in the Peninsula Wars after a horrific wound. Bram is a soldier through and through, he has gunpowder running through his very vain’s and he cannot think of anything worse than an office job, so this is his last chance to regain his role as an officer at the front.
He rolled onto his side, giving her room to breathe. “Where did you come from?”
“I think I should ask you that.” she struggled up on one elbow. “Who are you? What on earth are you doing here?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” He tone was grave. “We’re bombing the sheep.”
“Oh. oh dear. off course you are.” Inside her, empathy twined with despair. of course, he was cracked in the head. One of those poor soldier’s addled by war.
You can real feel Bram’s pain, soldiering is who is, it is all he know’s and he feel’s very guilty about getting wounded and leaving his men. Bram is solid in his believes that his only way in the world is to go back to the hell that is the Napoleonic war’s, and he will do anything and everything in his power to accomplish that goal especially now as he not only has to look out for himself but also for his wayward cousin, Lord Colin Payne. And he would achieve what he set’s out to do if he didn’t meet the spirited and fragile Susanna Finch, the daughter of the very gentleman whose help Bram needs to get what he want’s.
Bram is credit to his creator, everyone know’s that I love a tragic war hero and Bram is that a much more, he’s too intelligent for his own good, too handsome for his own good (A pair of fine green eye’s have always made me swoon) too stubborn, and never shy of making his opinions universally known but all that makes him the absolutely brilliantly endearing man that he is and this is all before he show’s his softer side, once Susanna get’s past his defences he is highly sexy and protective. The steamy scenes between him and Susanna are alone enough to make you want a cold shower.
“Bram,” she whispered, unable to resist, “Do you think you could love me, just a little?”
He laughed, “Good lord, no.”
No? Susanna bit her lip, cringing inside, “Oh”
Oh dear. She dropped her gaze to his lapel, assessing her options. Could she bring her self to marry him, if he didn’t love her at all?
Of course she could, the alternative flashed before her eyes – a future that appeared hopelessly lonely and grim. She couldn’t picture it too clearly, but she sensed it sensed it would involve a great many cats and peppermints.
Never mind love. she could make do with lust or admiration, or whatever he offered her. even tepid affection was better than fuzzy peppermints.
He touched her cheek, drawing her gaze back up to his strong, handsome face. “No, Susanna.” He said “I cannot love you just a little. If that’s what you want, you must find a different man.” His green eyes were breathtaking in their intensity. His thumb brushed her bottom lip. “because I can only love you entirely. With everything I am, and everything I ever will be. Body, Mind, Heart and soul.”
So Victor Bramwell, is given the new Title of Earl of Rycliffe and the task to raise a militia in the little town of Spindle Cove by the local gentry, Lord Finch the problem that Bram has is that on arriving in the little town he soon realises that all is not what it seem’s for a start is over run by women and men are thin on the ground and the one’s that he doe’s find and put into his militia are more concerned about baking cakes and what colour curtains should be hung than marching and shooting rifles and Bram knows exactly who to blame. Susanna.
Susanna, isn’t what you expect she comes across as very, strong-willed and minded a young woman who know’s exactly what she want’s, but below that mask there is a vulnerable and fragile young girl, who is tormented daily by her own horrors. Bram and Susanna are a match made in heaven, she is the tenderness and love that Bram craves for and he is equally strong willed and protective what Susanna need’s. it is just beautiful how they sooth each other’s broken heart’s.
“Your begging to be taught a hard, fast lesson in what it means to please a man.”
“Your just longing to put her head on my lap and feel my finger’s in your hair.”
he backed her up against a rock. “You need a good ravishing.”
“You” She breathed, “need a hug”.
They stared at each other for a long , tense moments. At first, looking eath other in the eye. Then looking at each other’s lips.
“You know what I think?” he said, coming closer. So close she could feel his breath wash warm against her cheek. ” I think we’re having one of those vexing argument’s again.”
“The kind where both sides are right?”
And this time when they kissed, they both made that sound. That deep, moaning, yearning, whimpering sound.
That sound that said yes.
You are exactly what I need.
For me A Night Of Surrender, Spindle Cove book 1 was the best way to be introduced and start reading Tessa Dare, she know’s her craft and what people want out of a Historical Romance, I can absolutely see know why so many people go crazy for this lady’s work she is just amazing and Tessa Dare is just so talented and she has definitely just stormed her way to the very top of my favorite author’s list. The only shame is that I started reading her work late, but that doesn’t matter it just means I get to read all her work now to catch up.
This is super sexy, highly enjoyable and Pure brilliance, one that should be permanently cemented on any Romance readers bookshelf.