***eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Blurb for ANY DUCHESS WILL DO:
What’s a duke to do, when the girl who’s perfectly wrong becomes the woman he can’t live without?
Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season—or any season—but his diabolical mother abducts him to “Spinster Cove” and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.
Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn’t dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week’s employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother’s “duchess training”… and fail miserably.
But in London, Pauline isn’t a miserable failure. She’s a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure—a woman who ignites Griff’s desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won’t be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess—can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?
The Duchess of Halford has kidnapped her son, Griffin York, the Duke of Halford and spirited him off to the notorious place known as “Spinster Cove”. Her aim is to force him to choose a wife so that she may have some hope of grandchildren. Griff is not happy to find himself there, nor is he happy about the prospect of taking a wife – any wife.
Pauline Simms lives a simple life, yet hardworking. She hopes for better things for herself and her sister, Daniela. She works hard at home and in her employ as a serving girl at the Bull and Blossom, which is where she unexpectedly is served up a major life change in the guise of a handsome Duke who chooses her from the ladies in residence.
The Duchess of Halford proposes that she can take any one of the young women in the tavern and ‘train’ her to be a Duchess and by doing so, make her the perfect bride. Her son, Griff, takes her up on that proposition and chooses a serving girl covered in sugar as the one whom she must turn into a Duchess. The agreement being that, if the Duchess succeeds, Griff will marry her and if she does not succeed, she will never speak of such a thing again. Griff, however, decides to stack the deck, so to speak, by making a separate deal with Pauline that if she remains unpresentable to the ton, he will pay her one thousand pounds and return her to Spindle Cove in a week’s time. He never expects to find her so intriguing, witty, intelligent, or desirable.
I loved every moment of ANY DUCHESS WILL DO by Tessa Dare from beginning to end, from the sugar spill to the happily-ever-after. Tessa Dare always creates endearing stories but I think there is possibly, more humor, more romance, and certainly more sigh-worthy moments in ANY DUCHESS WILL DO than any of hers so far. Pauline Simms is a rare heroine indeed. She’s spontaneous, outspoken, and gives us moments of pure delight as she tries to be two different things to two different people. Her open and sensitive heart makes her the perfect sister, friend, companion, and lover. You find yourself cheering for her, dreaming with her, sighing with her, and falling in love alongside her. Griff, well, what can I say about a man who had me the moment he mentioned the way Simms sparkled. I love to watch a hero grow, fall in love, but to weep in a woman’s arms is, well, the ultimate moment when you know a man can truly love. There are poignant, touching moments that will cause your heart to catch in your chest for both Pauline and Griff – mostly for Griff. Moments that only make you fall that much more in love with this incredible hero.
I highly recommend ANY DUCHESS WILL DO, a Spindle Cove novel by Tessa Dare to anyone who wants to laugh, fall in love, and get lost in a Cinderella meets Pygmalion kind of story that keeps you turning the pages long into the night, and wishing it would never end.
Happy Reading Everyone!
ANY DUCHESS WILL DO, a Spindle Cove novel by Tessa Dare, Avon Romance, release date – May 28, 2013 in print and ebook formats.